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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 021218 — Heeseung Lee

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Welcome to the #sparkchamber, Heeseung Lee! Heeseung is a ceramist, whose life work is dedicated to clay, as well as arts and education access advocacy. She is a part-time Quaker, a no-nonsense Philadelphian at heart, and loves to travel. Heeseung currently lives in Baltimore with her super-geek science-y husband, and her 2 “kids” are elderly pit- mix terriers. One has the personality of a teenage female French want-to-be existentialist, the other is sort of a surfer dude. They are quite the duo, and inspire her tremendously. 

1.] Where do ideas come from?

Ideas come from everything and anything. I make decorative functional ceramics, comprised of hand-built slabs and multiple surface design layering. So formally, I look to Japanese and Korean traditional architecture, garden design, and textile patterns as some examples. I also look to European and Asian dining-ware and try to modernize designs and concepts. However, ideas do burgeon from a glimpse of something unexpected, like how a shape will grow out of how a dimple will form in a couch after someone gets up.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching? 

This is a hard one, I guess the drive often stems from wanting to “gift” people joy in the everyday items they use throughout their day, wanting to use functional ceramics that don’t exist, and often my OCD nature ... if I think of something, it’ll drive me crazy until I create it.

3.] Early bird or night owl, tortoise or hare? 

All of the above. Sometimes, I feel like I am 5 different people with distinct personalities, trapped in one body. It also depends on how the project-at-hand is working out. Sometimes I can crank out an entire body of work (hundreds of pieces) in a couple months, sometimes it takes me a week to make 1 cup.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

Sadly, it is often related to a deadline. I still bump into old work in random places and think. “good god, I never finished that darn thing.”