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 Lee Brotherton  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: Arizona      Known for: pottery-western

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Lee Brotherton
An example of work by Lee Brotherton
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from The Legacy Gallery:

I developed an interest in fine art at an early age. As the only child of a very mobile family, I began to draw and sculpt during my many solitary hours. My tendency towards the visual arts came naturally as many of my family members displayed talent in the arts.

Coupled with my interest in art, the encouragement and support of my high-school art teacher propelled me into the world of art. Art classes and independent studies dominated my high school years. After school, I frequented the many museums and art galleries in New York City.

Naturally, Fine Art was my major at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. After achieving my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I later earned my Art Teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin. Following my education, my career in the fine arts included elementary art instructor, Museum Shop Assistant Manager, art gallery manager and art consultant.

After living many years in the East, the Southwest beckoned me to pursue my career in the many fine art galleries in Scottsdale. Enchanted with the pottery of the early Native American Indians, I began creating pre-historic and historic reporductions and restoring ancient artifacts. After studying, examining and later restoring pre-historic pottery, I began replicating many of the most exciting forms and designs. In particular, I was attracted to the older pottery that had a patina or an aging quality in the surface that could only be achieved by being buried in the earth for many centuries.

This older pottery has soul or tells a history that contemporary pottery often lacks. Early pottery was formed by hand, not thrown on a potter's wheel or slip cast. Thus, the uneveness and texture of the surface shows "the hand" or signature of the potter. My pottery is also formed by hand. But perhaps what is most telling is the design and quality of line and color selection.

All my designs are drawn free-hand with water-based paints, not glaze fired, thus they are not food safe. This intentional decision to draw a particular design on a chosen form is where the artist's true spirit is revealed. A truly beautiful work of pottery is created when the form and design compliment and enhance one another. Art in craft is achieved when the materials, form, color and design are interwoven into one perfect result.

Perfect is defined as when a work of art sings or speaks to your moves you.

The pre-historic and historic Southwest pottery moves me. I strive to celebrate the ancient ones in creating my pottery. Some of my original pieces are inspired by pottery, baskets, textiles and architectural from all over the world. My more contemporary designs often incorporate a real fossil or old artifact embedded in the pottery. I stain or antique my pottery so it looks centuries old. Like ancient pottery, my pottery is fragile and should be considered a work of fine art, rather than a utilitarian piece.

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