Tribute to Jean Bailey Lehman

It was Jean’s wishes that her friends, family, and the clay community be able to donate to SFPN in lieu of flowers. This page was created to honor her wishes.

Jean Bailey Lehman

FebrUary 24, 1939 – July 10, 2021

It is with great sadness that we note the loss of Jean Bailey Lehman,
who directed SFPN for 17 years. However, it is also with great joy that
we celebrate and remember her and everything she did not only for SFPN
but for functional ceramics in the broader sense. SFPN was created in
1993 by Scott Jones, who turned it over to Jean in 1996. With Jean’s enthusiasm and care, the show took shape and flourished to become one of the most exciting and prestigious shows in the United States.

A functional potter herself, Jean understood the special feeling of using beautiful ceramic objects. As a maker, she established relationships with those who used her work; as the director of SFPN, she established relationships with the masters of the craft and encouraged potters at every level. Her enthusiasm for ceramics was deep and contagious, and she drew an impressive collection of the best ceramic artists from all over the country to submit their work and outstanding ceramic artists to jury the shows.

Those who were fortunate to have known her personally also learned that Jean was an extraordinary person who touched our lives and our families’ lives deeply. All of us who have been involved with SFPN over the years have lost a dear friend and we miss her greatly. –MSE

Jean & SFPN through the years

Jean Lehman receiving SFPN handmade dedication tile by Margaret Seidenberg-Ellis with 20th SFPN 2012 Juror Jack Troy
Jean with Co-Director Phil Harlam and the late 2005 Juror John Glick
Jean with her 3 SFPN Soul Sister Muskateers, Joanne Cassaro, Lois Wilkins (SFPN editor), Margaret Seidenberg-Ellis
2011 SFPN Reception with Juror Mary Barringer and Co-Director Kevin Lehman
Jean with 2013 SFPN Juror Jim Connell and Co-Directors Amy Burk and Kevin Lehman
Jean with 2010 SFPN Juror Bill Van Gilder