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How to Make Art? It's Elemental

Artist Susie Lee explores the creative powers of clay, light, water and glass in our 4-part video series.

January 31, 2019

Clay, water, glass and light are ordinary materials that surround us. In these four videos, artist, entrepreneur and scientist Susie Lee takes a close look at each of these four materials and explains how they've inspired and embodied a whole host of creative works. 

Episode 1: Clay

Clay can be molded into many aesthetic incarnations. What’s the connection between wabi-sabi and the Pacific Northwest? How is clay sculpted and used as a metaphor for the body? These questions and more are explored. 


Episode 2: Water

From the Puget Sound to Lake Washington to the 152 average annual days of rain that falls in the Pacific Northwest — water defines this region. Lee takes a tour of some of the iconic artistic works that have utilized water.




Episode 3: Glass

Neither solid nor liquid and prone to shattering when cool, glass requires technical precision and a high degree of craft. Lee profiles local iconic glass artists and finds out what compels them to embrace the dangerous and fragile glass-making process. 


Episode 4: Light

From laser-beam installations to neon political signs, artists harness the ephemeral qualities of light to create bold statements about the natural and artificial world.



Stephen Hegg

Stephen is a 25-year veteran of KCTS, producing a wide range of cultural and public affairs series, documentaries and arts programming.  His credits include PIE, Something in the Water  (PBS feature on Seattle’s indie music scene), the gala opening of Benaroya Hall, and documentaries on Asahel and Edward Curtis, Dan Sullivan and Doris Chase.  Seattle-born, Hegg is a graduate of Whitworth University and is also an accomplished violinist and avid cyclist.

More stories by Stephen Hegg

Aileen Imperial

Aileen Imperial is a multimedia and documentary producer with a commitment to thoughtful observation and engagement. Her work has aired nationally on the PBS American Masters series, PBS NewsHour, and she is a 4-time Emmy winner for feature videos in the Arts, Culture, and Human Interest. Find her on Twitter: @imperealize

More stories by Aileen Imperial