Lemont Center for the Arts

To enrich the cultural landscape of Lemont by fostering the production and appreciation of the arts.

Lee Ristow – Local Artist Feature

For the month of February, we feature local ceramicist Lee Ristow. Lee’s ceramics reflect her love of nature. Read on to learn more about this ClaySpace Resident Artist.

Bowl, ©Lee Ristow

Bowl, ©Lee Ristow


Lee Ristow, Lemont, Resident Artist at ClaySpace, Lisle, Il

Medium or Media:


Artist Statement:

I came to clay rather late in life by taking art classes at the local community college.  I have been “crafty” all of my life and wanted to find my medium. I tried several: drawing, watercolors, jewelry, and I liked them all. But from the first time I tried clay, I knew that this was my “thing”. While I throw and hand build, I find I am most drawn to hand building. Most of my work is inspired by nature, especially leaves. I often use leaves from my own back yard, but I have been known to suddenly stop while bicycling to pick up a leaf that I find interesting.  I am an eclectic potter and like to try many things, like using colored clay bodies, coil building, weaving clay and adding glass to pieces before firing. My “art” is constantly changing, it is a work in progress, like me.

Candle Holder, ©Lee Ristow

Candle Holder, ©Lee Ristow

Share your process and/or technique:

Mostly handbuilt decorative and functional pieces, some wheel thrown

What types of challenges do you seek in art making?

I often “push the envelope”. I am willing to try almost anything—mix colors into clay, add glass to clay, various textures and techniques etc. I guess I am really not a production potter, with the possible exception of the leaf items I make.

Owl, ©Lee Ristow

Owl, ©Lee Ristow

What inspires you?

Nature, other artists work. Recently inspired by a trip to the Grand Canyon, working on a Canyon series of pieces.

Where can one view your art in person?

The Gallery at ClaySpace Ceramic Art Center in Lisle

Where/how can one purchase your art?

The Gallery at ClaySpace Ceramic Art Center in Lisle, currently at LCA

Triple Leaf, ©Lee Ristow

Triple Leaf, ©Lee Ristow


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This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.