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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
The LA showroom includes this studio where Adam Silverman designs and creates original pieces for their three retail spaces.
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.
And these were all pieces ready and prepared for future exhibitions.
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.
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!