Jennifer Lee Artists Buttons


Edition no.

Jennifer Lee
Buttons, 2023
Stoneware mixed with metallic oxides, individually handmade by the artist
Button dimensions: variable
Set of six, in an edition of 30

The button(s) have been hand sewn onto an A5 cards. Each card is numbered, dated and signed by the artist and presented in a bespoke box designed by A Practice for Everyday Life.

Jennifer Lee’s handmade buttons use her signature method of mixing metallic oxides into clay to create subtle strands of colour. Each of her cards has a unique set of six buttons in a panoply of different shapes and sizes, evocative of surfaces in the natural world.

Buttons have a personal resonance for Lee. Brought up on a Scottish farm, her mother had an oatmeal barrel full of buttons, kept in colour-coded containers. Her friendship with Issey Miyake and his use of Lucie Rie’s buttons is also pertinent, reminding Lee of seeing Rie’s button moulds when visiting her studio.

Lee’s instantly recognisable pots are characterised by their distinctive forms, smooth surfaces and rich colours. Her process begins with selecting the clay from an archive that began forty-six years ago. Hand- built and unglazed, the pots are formed by pinching and coiling – processes with roots in the earliest forms of ceramics. Lee’s work evokes experiences of place and process in a way that is at once timeless and contemporary.


About the Artists Buttons project

Ten leading artists, Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Anderson, Rana Begum, Edmund de Waal, Antony Gormley, Callum Innes, Jennifer Lee, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons & Caroline Walker, have been creating limited edition sets of buttons in support of Kettle’s Yard.

The project draws inspiration from the exhibition, ‘Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery’, recently at Kettle’s Yard and from 14 July 2023 – 7 January 2024 at the Holburne Museum in Bath. In 1938, Lucie Rie fled her home in Vienna for London to escape the Nazi persecution of Jewish people. During the war, unable to get a licence to make pots, Rie turned to making ceramic buttons for the fashion industry, experimenting on a miniature scale with new forms and coloured glazes.

Read more about the Artist Buttons project on the Kettle’s Yard blog

Please note purchases of Artists Buttons per customer must not exceed £8,500. Any order exceeding £8,500 will not be processed. 

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