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The pots of Portola

Ceramic artist Lee Middleman opens his studio

From Jeonju, South Korea, to the Imperial Ancestral Temple of the Forbidden City in Beijing, Lee Middleman's pots get around. This weekend, the Portola Valley-based ceramic artist opens the doors of his studio to the public.

Known for his use of complex textures, rich glazes and experimental firing techniques, Middleman has established himself as a respected ceramic artist both in the States and abroad; his works are included in the permanent collections of museums from India to Turkey to Japan. The artist also has an interesting back story: Prior to devoting himself to ceramic art, Middleman earned his doctoral degree in physics at Stanford University and spent many years in the high-tech industry.

Those who venture into the hills above Portola Valley this Saturday or Sunday, Dec. 12-13, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. will discover a wide selection of works that share an earthy palette and a distinctly Asian aesthetic. The pieces range from round, stippled bowls reminiscent of urchin shells to elegant vases bearing swirling patterns to vessels with bark-like surfaces and perforated lids.

Middleman's studio is located at 16 Coalmine View, Portola Valley. To learn more about the artist, go to leemiddleman.com or call 650-851-0295.

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