Unglazed surfaces marked with patterns and colors, created by the fire and smoke during the firing process, characterize the distinctive pottery of Jan Lee. Using a technique termed naked raku, her elegant forms have a buttery-soft texture with subtle, diffused designs.
The process begins with a bisque firing, then a resist slip is poured on and an over glaze applied. The piece is then fired in a raku kiln and put into a reduction (deplete of oxygen) container filled with wood shavings. The vessel stays in the container until it is completely cooled. At the end of this step the outer glaze has cracked and the resist layer has started to release allowing the glaze to peel away. Smoke has seeped through into the clay body to form the crazing effect. The pieces are then coated with wax and buffed with a soft cloth.
Lee received a BS degree from Western Carolina University (NC). Her work has been exhibited at the Spartanburg Art Museum (SC), San Angelo Museum of Fine Art (TX), and the Pickens County Art Museum (SC). Jan currently works from her studio in North Carolina.
“It’s all about experimentation. I thrive on the anticipation of the unknown and the adventure of getting there. When I fire, I just give it up to chance. After working with the process for several years, there are still moments that I can’t fully explain. All I know is when it works for me, it is truly magical.“