“I’m influenced by my South African Heritage and it reflects in imagery in my art. … My work is very much inspired by my immediate surroundings and the passion I have for my African heritage. … My ceramics is all handpainted, by myself, therefore adding to each piece’s unique and collectable value.”
Lee lives on a small farm with her husband (who owns small stud of Nguni Cattle, aptly registered under "Lobola Nguni Stud") and 2 young sons, Dylan (10) and Joel (8) on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.
Lee grew up in the remote Village of Rhodes, in the Drakensberg, where her parents owned the Rhodes Hotel for 25 years. Her first introduction to clay was through their neighbour, potter John Steele (now Head of art department at Walter Sisulu University). After matriculating from a small school in Barkley East, Lee was accepted into Pretoria University but felt she would benefit more from a hands-on approach. Thus, Lee enrolled in Port Elizabeth Technikon in the Early 1990’s to further her studies in art.
Only in later years did Lee change her focus from Fine Arts to Clay and Ceramics feeling that in order to be successful she needed to move away from her comfort zone. Lee describes the medium and the creative process as challenging and humbling saying, “You are never guaranteed of success, that the piece you spent days, maybe weeks on, wont crack or craze or warp or bubble. Every time you open the kiln, you do it humbly, never boastfully…”. Lee claims that even now she holds her breath every time she opens the kiln.
Lee is actively involved in the promotion of Ceramic art in the Eastern Cape and is one of the founding members of Ceramics South Africa. She has received numerous awards from CSA-EC Regionals, including; 2010 Highly Commended Award; 2013 Best underglaze Award and 2016 Best Underglaze Award. Her work can regularly be seen in our National Ceramics Magazine and has also been published in various magazines such as Oprah, SA Homeowner, Ideas and Tuis to mention a few.
Freakalee Ceramics sell in selected shops in South Africa and are also export to numerous destinations worldwide. Every beautifully crafted piece currently created by Lee is unique and hand-made and painted, keeping in-line with her view that each piece is a work of art and steers clear from becoming a mass-produced item. Lee is constantly reinventing herself and creating new ranges. ERP Mercantile currently has exclusivity to sell Freakalee ceramics online.