One of my most enduring memories of Ireland will be that of young Robert Lee, sitting at the potter’s wheel in his bright, shiny studio, describing how he came to choose this life, this work and this process.
Sunlight filtered in through the studio’s windows, illuminating organized shelves, color-coded jars, and gleaming floors – not the typical environment for potters, who often work in dank basements, crowded garages or low-rent buildings.
Lee’s studio is the manifestation of focused intention, the outward evidence of the many deliberate choices and actions he has taken to make his dream come true. He has pared down his life to this house, this studio, this body of work.
He creates his pottery from beautiful, translucent porcelain. It looks deceivingly loose, what we might call “wabi-sabi,” implying a casual openness to letting the clay take its own form. But, in reality, he touches the clay only with great intention. There are no extra moves, and every single touch has purpose.
He has pared it down to the beautiful essentials.
Oh, to be so intentional. I admire it and it has given much food for thought. As an art medium, ceramics gives us so many choices – from the clay we choose and forms we make to the glazes we use and way we fire.
And, as in the rest of my life, I’m rather a glutton. I want to do it all.