Four contemporary American craft artists showcase their work, along with varying ties to tradition, in the 2011 Renwick Craft Invitational.
Ceramicist Cliff Lee's "Prickly Melons (short and tall)" are, technically speaking, vases. You can see tiny openings at the top of their sinuous porcelain "stems." But they work just as well as sculptural objects. The stunning mustard-colored glaze, called imperial yellow, dates to the Ming dynasty. It took the artist 17 years of trial and error to discover the formula, which had been lost for centuries. Collection of the artist, Cliff Lee/ Buy Photo