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Lee Middleman creates highly textured, organic surfaces on classic forms. Although functional, his work is often prized as decorative. His studio and gallery are in Portola Valley
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I throw classic forms and use surface textures to give them energy and vitality, resulting in art that is both pleasing and alive. I seek to create patterns and textures that emphasize the organic interplay between order and randomness as found in Nature.

The tactile feel and visual look of surface textures are essential to my pieces. I create textures by deeply impressing patterns into thrown cylinders. Then, working from the inside only, I expand the cylinder to create the final form. This technique allows the pattern to evolve as the clay twists and expands. As the pattern adjusts to the shape and function of the vessel, it becomes reflective of Nature’s adaptation to form.

My glazing process enhances the natural aesthetic of the order and randomness. Thinly glazed surfaces highlight the macropatterns and reveal the stoneware clay’s micro-texture created during the expansion process. I often use multiple glazes to intensify the dynamic tension of the surface.

My goal is to pursue the interplay of shape, surface texture, ordered patterns, and random effects so that work is created that intrigues the eye and demands to be touched. Although my work is functional, it is often prized as decorative.

• 2018 Abant Izzet Baysal University Ceramic Museum, Bolu, Turkey
• 2018 National Museum of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia
• 2017 Chengcheng Museum, Weinan, Shaanxi, China
• 2017 Art Ichol, Maihar, India
• 2015 Chinese Culture Industry Promotion Association, Beijing, China
• 2015 Yixing Ceramics Museum, Yixing, China
• 2015, 2017, & 2019 Kaihong Art Communication Center, Yixing, China
• 2014 & 2016 International Macsabal Museum, Wanju, Jeonbuk, Korea
• 2013 Qilu Ceramics & Glass Museum, Shandong, China
• 2012 Uttarayan Art Foundation, Baroda, Gujarat, India
• 2012 Hacettepe University Ceramics Collection, Ankara, Turkey
• 2012 Culture & Art Center, International Collection, Osan, Korea
• 2012 Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah
• 2012 Forrest Merrill Fine Arts Collection, Berkeley, California
• 2010 American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
• 2010 Museum Collection, Qingdao Technical College, China
• 2009, 2011, 2013 Taishan Ceramics Co. Museum, Zibo, China
• 2009 American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, California
• 2008 The Ceramics Collection of the Olympic City of Maroussi. Athens, Greece
• 2005, 2007 & 2011 Zibo China Ceramic Museum, Shandong, China
• 2005 & 2008 & 2014 Li Ziyaun Art Center Collection, Zibo, China
• 2005 JayLim Collection, Heyri Art Valley, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
• 2003 Icheon World Ceramic Center Museum, Icheon, Korea
• 2002 Goshogawara Nebuta Museum – Ceramic Collection, Aomori, Japan.

Current Work
Work image 1
Winter Diamond Rings
Work Image 4
Jade Varuna Vase, 18" tall
Work Image 7
Winter Ridge
Work image 2
Oribe SunFlower, 10" x 10" x 6" h
Work Image 5
Jade Crackle Vase, 8" tall
Work Image 8
Cosmic Eggs
Work Image 10
Diamond Ridge Globe
Work image 3
Stone Globe Vases - Jade, Ruby, Midnight
Work Image 6
Jade Abora Vase, 12-1/2" x 7" x 3-1/2"
Work Image 9
Sea Anemone
Websites and Social Media
Upcoming Events

Lee's Winter Open Studio

Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8, 2019, 10am to 5pm
At Lee's Studio, 16 Coalmine View in Portola Valley

See map under CONTACT LEE or by appointment, please call (650) 851-0295 

ICAN National 2020 Calendar

December Page, Texture Edition

Lee's Spring Open Studio

Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3, 2020, 10am to 5pm
At Lee's Studio, 16 Coalmine View in Portola Valley

See map under CONTACT LEE or by appointment, please call (650) 851-0295


ACGA Clay and Glass Festival in Palo Alto

July 11  & 12, 2020, 10am to 5:00 pm
Palo Alto Art Center
, 1313 Newell Rd,
Palo Alto, CA
The prestigious and popular 27th Annual ACGA Palo Alto Clay & Glass Festival is a free, fun-filled two-day celebration of Clay and Glass Art. Featuring both fine and functional art, the Palo Alto Clay & Glass Festival is the largest show of its kind, with 140 juried artists offering their work.

International Ceramic Artists Forum

May 1 to 15, 2020

Li ZiYuan Studio & Museum

International Academy of Ceramics

July 27 to 31, 2020

Arctic Ceramic Centre
Rovaniemi and Posio, FINLAND

Plemenitas (Croatia) Ceramic Art Residency

September/October 2019

Plemenitas, CROATIA

General Info
Yes -- show
16 Coalmine View
Portola Valley
Studio Address
Use main address for studio
16 Coalmine View
Portola Valley
United States
Phone Contact
Yes -- show
Festival Committee