Lee Kazanes has been making pottery for over 40 years. “I was in college at SUNY in Plattsburgh and my roommate was taking a ceramics class,” he remembers. “I thought – You can actually take a ceramics class for credit in college.” Lee took that class and it was the beginning of his life-long passion for working with clay. “Although it was difficult at the start, I’ve made my living as a potter my whole adult life. I was able to make my way in the world without ever having to get a real job.”
Lee moved from New York State to Moncure full time 6 years ago. “I was so impressed by the welcoming arts community here,” he stresses. He did work at the NC State Craft Center as well as with well-known local potter Joseph Sand. He established his own studio in the old Station Master’s house along the tracks of the CSX Railroad in the “That line was once a major trade avenue from New York to Miami,” he notes.
Lee’s well-honed skills result in distinctive functional stoneware and porcelain, featuring intense and unique colors with unusual surface treatments. “My forms and glazes are always evolving. Since moving to North Carolina, I feel my pottery has been putting down new roots. My newest works, incorporating more texture and colors reflect my feelings toward my new home.”
Over the years, Kazanas has exhibited in numerous art festivals, craft shows and dozens of galleries from Virginia to Maine. His work was carried in Macy’s in NYC. He will participate in his first Chatham Studio Tour the first two weekends in December. His pottery sells from $16 to $500.
“People who visit my studio in Moncure during the tour will see some bold pottery designs in distinctive colors that they have never seen before.”