Interview with Vancouver-based ceramic artist Grace Lee of Eikcam Ceramics
WHO ARE YOU?
My name is Grace Lee, I'm a Vancouver-born and raised ceramic designer and maker.
WHAT DO YOU CREATE?
I create hand built functional tableware and home accessories in stoneware. Most of my work showcases the natural raw beauty of the textured clay paired with whimsical hues and soft patterns.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOOLS AND PROCESSES?
My hands are my main tool along with a trustee rolling pin, a thin bladed knife and a scorer (a multi pronged device that helps to attach the clay together).
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The marriage of all of my travels and growing up on the west coast, and the balance of nature and whimsy.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS?
My design process is not linear but more cyclical with a lot of back and forth, just like a dream catcher. I am always addressing form and function, and color and size at every stage, hence the darting back and forth. The initial step is a simple illustration to help guide me to how I'd like the piece to look. Once the first prototype is made, I tend to go back to adjust lines and experiment with glazes.
WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO?
My studio is at the Mergatroid, located in Strathcona, in east vancouver. I am surrounded by artists in my building but also a plentitude of artist studios dotted around the neighbourhood.
WHEN ARE YOU THE MOST PRODUCTIVE?
After a cup of good java from a local cafe, I find that very early in the morning is when I'm most productive. I thrive on quiet moments in the studio when I can be very present with my work.
Ceramics is a fascinating work in progress. I have learned the virtues of patience and letting go through working with clay and also humbled by its possibilities and limits. It is a grounded craft, quite literally, and working my hands into the clay always grounds me as I begin the process of creating a three-dimensional form.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?
In 2007, I left my design career to venture into my own business of creating with my hands. I have always been immersed in creating whether it be sculpture as a little one or through art school at Emily Carr. So you can fully argue that it took my whole life to reach this point in my creative career.