Claudia Lee was born in New York City and moved to Tennessee in 1967. Here she began her artistic life as a handweaver, spinner and dyer of yarn. She also started the Overmountain Weavers Guild and served as Tennessee’s representative for The Handweaver’s Guild of America.
Upon meeting a fellow textile artist who also made paper, Lee’s attraction to her craft was immediate, and she has honed this craft for more than 20 years. Lee also has dedicated herself to teaching others and offers a wide range of classes in her studios at her Liberty Paper Mill located in Liberty, Tennessee. Lee has published work in over 20 books and has authored her own book, Papermaking, published by Sterling/Lark.
The Portals, comprising the body of her work in this exhibit, represent an exploration of the possibilities of paper, a material characteristically fragile and pristine. Working with basic flax, linen thread, bamboo and twigs, Lee has created leathery-tough papers with contrasting soft feathery deckle edges. The use of windows in these pieces adds to the mystery and sense of depth and hidden spaces. As Lee notes, “They pull the viewer in, not unlike Alice’s attraction to the rabbit hole.