Pretty Painted Porcelain Vessels by Heesoo Lee

heesoo lee vessels

Using porcelain as a three dimensional canvas, South Korean artist Heesoo Lee’s vessels, plates, mugs and vases are decorated with stunning hand-painted trees and flowers.

Her handmade and painted mugs, vessels, bowls and vases -which start at about $120 for a mug and go into the thousands for her vases- are decorated with trees and florals. The Aspen Trees are my personal favorite but her Cherry Blossoms and Poppies are also lovely. Here’s a look at much of her work.

Aspen Trees

The following two Christmas Ornaments were made for The Clay Studio’s annual juried Christmas Ornament show:

Cherry Blossoms:


About the artist and her craft:
Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Heesoo Lee earned her BA in Art from Ehwa University. After apprenticing with Julia Kirillova in Berkeley, CA, Heesoo began her full time studio practice. From there, she relocated to Maui, where she established a thriving studio business. She was a summer resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT in 2013. Heesoo currently maintains her studio in Helena, MT.

Heesoo Lee creates her works in porcelain and white stoneware. She likens her vessels to a three-dimensional canvas. It’s an apt comparison, for the artist paints the surface with layer upon layer of underglaze, then applies a clear glaze before firing the piece to more than 2,100 degrees–a temperature that lends remarkable strength to her seemingly delicate work.

Her painting medium of pigmented clay is so light that it often requires thirty or more layers to achieve the magnificent depth and realism for which she has become renown. The analogy to painting ends in the kiln. During firing, the layers of underglaze can react with one another and change colors; at higher temperatures, yellows, reds and oranges want to evaporate out.

“It’s very challenging and time-consuming,” she says. “You can’t correct it, or walk away from it and come back to it later, the way you can with a painting. Yet I like the subtle, elegant effect, and the way you have to be humble with the clay. “I put my energy, my feelings, into the work, and I think people can feel it.” -Heesoo Lee

Her pieces can be purchased at the Trax Gallery, the Archie Bray Foundation and at The Clay Studio.

Heesoo’s husband, Adam Field, is also a talented sculptor. The two of them, who share a workspace and studio, and are presently showing their work in “Porcelains” at the Trax Gallery from September 6 – Oct. 5th.

images courtesy of the Trax Gallery, the Archie Bray Foundation and at The Clay Studio.