Clay Studio Tour

Lee Akins

8 photo(s) Updated on: 30 Dec 2023
  • Covered Jar: 12 x 13”; coil built terracotta, glazes, cone 02 oxidation
  • Green Oval Bottle, 13.5 x 9 x 7.5”, Coil built, terracotta, underglazes, oxides, Cone 02 oxidation
  • Layered Open Jar, 11.5 x 8 x 5”, Coil built, terracotta, glazes, Cone 02 oxidation
  • Red Jar: 10½ x 9 x 8”; coil built terracotta, slips, oxides, cone 02 oxidation
  • Shoulder Bottle, 13.5 x 10 x 6”, Coil built, terracotta, glazes, oxides, Cone 02 oxidation
  • Split Foot Bottle: 11½ x 11 x 10; coil built terracotta, slips, oxides, cone 02 oxidation
  • Textured Bottle: 15 ½ x 6”; coil built terracotta, slip, oxides, cone 02 oxidation
  • Textured Teapot, 9.5 x 9 x 7” , Coil built, terracotta, glazes, oxides, Cone 02 oxidation

Click image above to see larger view.


Lee Akins was born in Texas but spent most of his early years in Taiwan. After he received his BFA in Ceramics from The Dayton Art Institute in 1975, Lee moved to Taiwan to teach K-12 art. In 1979, he returned to Texas and taught ceramics at Dallas County Community College and then at Collin College in Plano. Lee completed his MFA in 1986 at Southern Methodist University. In 2008 he retired early and moved to New Mexico to become a full time studio potter.

Lee coil builds terracotta, creating vessels and sculptures influenced by his time in Asia. Archetypal forms are covered with matt patina surfaces. Lee says of his work:

“My work seeks to combine figurative imagery with the format of the traditional clay vessel. The vessel has historically been a powerful metaphor for the body, with each part of the pot being named for the corresponding area of the body. A full lip, a gentle curve of the neck, a rotund belly or a broad shoulder all combine to provide animation to the pot. Some of my pieces are predominantly male, some are a synthesis of male and female but most are female forms inspired by fertility figures found in most early cultures. The Venus of Willendorf and the stone carvings of the Cycladic culture are some of the most powerful to me. My most recent work strives toward an elegant organic form, one that is obviously a hand-made object but has an internal natural order.”

“My pieces are coil-built out of terra cotta clay. Coiling allows me to control the form while the joining marks provide an inherent rhythm to the surface. The terra-cotta gives me a warmth to the colors, yet allows a wide choice of finishes. Peeling paint and mossy rocks provide sources of inspiration for the color and textures of my work.”

Contact Information

email: lsakins@gmail.com
studio open by appointment:

2282A NM68
Rinconada, NM 87531

Website: leeakins.com

mailing address:  P.O. Box 244, Embudo, NM 87531-0244


Taos Ceramics Center
114 Este Es Rd., Taos, NM

Calliope Gallery,

Madrid, NM

(505) 660-9169


Search:  ceramic sculpture, earthenware, earthy, handbuilt, mid range, sculptural, Taos/northern New Mexico, oriental, teacher

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