Heath Ceramics

Posted By Gudy Herder / October 28, 2013 / 19 Comments

This was just another highlight during our BlogTourLA with Modenus. Geraldine suggested a visit to Heath Ceramics and I am so glad Veronika just made it possible! This is going to be a long post!

Heath Ceramics has a fantastic showroom in Los Angeles featuring their collections and products from like-minded designer/makers. And you can admire Adam Silverman’s workshop and see him work when he is around. He is the LA studio director at Heath Ceramics, potter and exhibits his own work too.

Heath ceramics_ombre bud vases

You will have heard about the famous bud vases when you are familiar with Heath Ceramics. This is part of the S/S13 collection with a stunning ombre effect.

Heath ceramics_chaise longue

The combination of their own collection and featuring other makers with really nice handmade work is such a different way of thinking and building a creative community, and I love it!

Heath-ceramics_tableware

We have been told that quality standards are that high, pieces are slowly popping in the stores and in case of the LA showroom, by Friday the shelves of their dinnerware are almost empty.

Heath ceramics_moodboard

I am a mood board ‘sucker’ and could have spent hours taking good note of the different glazes and tear sheets. You see the larger b&w image of a potter? That’s Edith Heath. And here goes her story:

Edith (1911-2005) founded Heath Ceramics in 1948. She was a talented ceramicist with a great respect for craft and material, and a strong point of view on the product: simple, good things for good people.

Her pieces were designed to enjoy a single kiln firing, at a lower than normal temperature, saving energy and still producing a durable and non-porous product. I’d love to know what temperature that was and what clay bodies she used for my own pieces. This is exactly one of the main topics when it come to make a collection profitable.

When her husband, an engineer and inventor, converted an old treadle-powered sewing machine into a potter’s wheel (access to pottery wheels those days were limited), and later installed a gas-fired kiln in the basement, Edith was able to practice her newfound craft, developing endless glaze formulations.

Heath Ceramics dinnerware has been used in homes for more than half a century considered among the most enduring examples of mid-century design. It reminds me a bit of Scandinavian furniture from the 50’s. Edith was not likely to follow trends, which is one reason that Heath is still around and many other potteries have disappeared with its timeless and unfussy quality.

Heath ceramics_detail mood board Heath

Heath was purchased in 2003 by Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey who teamed up with Adam Silverman in 2008. We enjoyed a guided tour through his workspace and I got a second peak this day on an interesting mood board with loads of ancient ceramic references.

work shop Adam Silverman

The LA showroom includes this studio where Adam Silverman designs and creates original pieces for their three retail spaces.

Heath ceramics_mockup

Here you see a mock-up of a soon to come exhibition of this work. Is there anything more interesting than getting a glimpse behind the scenes? The characteristic Heath vases on top are customized with his signature bubble glaze becoming special edition pieces.

Heath ceramics_poster

Heath ceramics_broken samples

Heath ceramics_Adam Silverman Tokyo

And these were all pieces ready and prepared for future exhibitions.

Heath ceramics_Adam Silverman_vessels_2

And to finish up, I fell for this commissioned lamps for a restaurant. Would love to see the light they are giving with all these little random wholes in the shade.

Heath ceramics_lamps

I have loved this visit, it has truly inspired me, my current mood board is full of Heath images, and I can’t wait to go back to my workshop and getting my fingers dirty in clay again.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

gudysan

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19 Comments

  • Lena
    October 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Gudy in ceramics-wonderland! The perfect place for you, I can imagine that it inspired you a lot!

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Indeed it was a bit wonderland! Could have stayed there as an interim for a while…

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Espectacular!
    Me siento atraida totalmente por ese trabajo manual tan espectacular. Me da igual si es una colección más clásica, básica, como una cañera y extravagante.
    Siento las manos, el calor del horno, los tintes, todo!
    Que grande poder visitarlos!

    Un abrazo Gudy!
    ene

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Me das mucho respeto. ¿Todo eso lo sientes? :-) Un día nos vamos a un taller juntas! O te vienes al mío! Un abrazo!

      • October 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

        Me apunto a un bombardeo!
        Y ya sabes, las brujas, tenemos hipersensibilidad! jajaja!

        Besos
        ene

  • October 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hey Gudy, I read about Heath at Geraldine’s, but love your story and pics so much. What a showroom, FAB and what an astounding lady. Hope you are well my friend, much love
    Axx

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Dear Anya, isn’t it interesting to read the same story seen through different eyes? I loved G’s post too! Sending you a big hug up north! x

  • October 28, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    That BlogTourLA visit really was such a highlight of our trip. As a huge collector of pottery, it was a treat to see another master at work and the generations of other ceramicists that Edith Heath inspired. Love how you captured what you saw!
    xo Tami

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Thank you Tami, grateful for having visited together! x

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Gudy, your pictures really do the shop and studio justice for those who were unable to see it in person. Thank you for letting me step right back into that moment; it was such a fascinating and inspiring hour or two that we spent there. Hugs to you from London! x

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Will, hope all is well with you in stormy London by now. Yes, it’s been of my highlights. Wish they would come to Europe. x

  • October 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Wonderful – I’m in love with the white blue ones on the first pic. Hugs, Sabine

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      I know and they made the ombre effect look really powdery! x

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    How wonderful to see the workshop and I absolutely LOVE the exhibition model! Thanks so much for sharing Gudy! xx

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      Me too. I had never seen any of an exhibition and with these tiny pictures. Nice learnings! x

  • October 28, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    what an amazing place … I love to see the life behind the objects and to have the chance to visit such a workshop is wonderful! xx

    • Gudy
      October 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      We were really so lucky! Visiting Heath plus the workshop was a true privilege. Just imagine Adam Silverman had been around…

  • October 29, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Hi Gudy, a wonderful post. I knew you would love Heath ceramics. Can’t wait to see your own ceramic pieces soon. xx

  • October 30, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I love the graphic textures of these ceramics! And their name is so clever (heath). This workshop reminds me of my mother’s ceramic experiments in the 80s. The broken ceramics are so endearing too: so much effort and then they brake in the oven. Thanks for a glimpse behind the scenes, Gudy!

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