Cover Story
Heart and Craft
Jennifer Choo | 05 Jan 2018 00:30
Lee is not just passionate but fiercely determined as well

Lee Ee Vee is not someone who does things by halves. From successfully spearheading The Last Polka, one of Malaysia’s first artisan ice cream makers to moving to Paris to learn the French language so that she could enroll in an interior design course there, it is evident Ee Vee is not just passionate but fiercely determined as well.

Her current endeavor is called Thirty3eleven, her own ceramic brand culminated from a lifelong love of design. For the time being, the brand is a one-woman show.

“I’m the designer and ceramic-maker at thirty3eleven; just me and my two hands! I get the occasional help from my husband to help lift heavy things,” she laughs. “It’s a small outfit and I’d like to keep it that way as it gives me a lot of flexibility when it comes to managing work and life.”

The bright and articulate 34-year-old started taking lessons in ceramic-making two years ago. “Moving into ceramic has been an interesting journey. Design, and specifically interior design, has always been close to my heart since I was little. I remember lying in bed before sleep and decorating in my head, imagining colours, furniture, positions of the rooms in a house… But I never went to design school because I couldn’t really draw, thinking I needed that as a talent in order to succeed.”

“In hindsight, that’s not really true,” she says, finally deciding not to let that “disability” to stop her from pursuing her passion. “As I got older, I knew I had to give myself a chance and pursue design. This is, of course, the shortest possible summary of seven to 10 years of a confusing but exciting journey of discovering myself and what I was meant to do in life. I took up pottery classes and have been figuring my way around the craft ever since.”

The name Thirty3eleven is a combination of numbers from a Bible verse, Exodus 31:1-3, which says: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.”

Lee believes this verse was given to her years ago as a life purpose or calling, and wanted the name to serve as a reminder for the reason of her work.