Heath Ceramics Studio - Adam Silverman- 02.19.10
This is the first of a new experiment ~ Dear NOTCOT ~ think of it as our version of letters to the editor ~ SO many stories of amazing experiences filled with inspiration and creativity from our friends like you ~ i’m working on convincing you to share them with us in your own words! And filled with pics of course, since its fun to see the world through your eyes! So hopefully more to come! And if you think you have a visually inspiring adventure to share, feel free to drop us a line!
Heath Ceramics ~ stunning tile and table work ~ i hadn’t realized that they’ve been doing their thing since 1948. Currently lusting after their tile work! Their main store and studio are in Sausalito and they recently teamed up with Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery for their LA location. Julie Wolfson had a chance to go hang out and chat with Adam as he worked on pieces for Playmountain in Tokyo! On the next page you can see her adventures at Heath filled pics and quotes she came back with!
A PEEK INSIDE HEATH CERAMICS WITH STUDIO DIRECTOR & POTTER ADAM SILVERMAN
Interview & Images by Julie Wolfson
Heath LA is a store, studio and gallery space designed by Commune Design. Adam Silverman joined forces with Heath to bring Heath LA to life last year, but Heath itself has been around for 62 years.
Adam loves making the functional ceramic pieces because he loves the scale of it. “I make piece that you can hold and use. It’s not just on the wall to look at. It’s not a building. The scale is much smaller, more personal,” he says.
In the studio, Adam works on pieces for a show “Hold It”. “It is functional stuff: vases, bowls cups, and jars. Things that hold things,” he says.
He is inspired by his time in the Mediterranean to make “quality of life” things. Items like vases and dishes speak to a lifestyle where things like flowers and food are daily joys of life, experienced slowly. In Japan, where he spent time working in a hillside studio in Mashiko, there is an aspect of ritual that slows down many of the experiences these useful items are a part of. That deliberate experience is “hard to maintain as a busy American eating a sandwich at your desk. So I like making thinks that are part of that lifestyle,” he says.
He mostly works with black clay that’s dark brown when wet but fires black.
Adam doesn’t always know exactly what a piece will look like when it’s done. “There are certain glazes where I know more or less exactly how it will look and there are certain ones where I have no idea. That’s part of the excitement,” he says. What does he do with the ones that don’t turn out the way way he wants? “I smash them.”
The metal wall in the studio showcases many photos and clippings of inspirational and practical items. But sometimes random things he sees will make him think about his work in new ways. “Like I went to see that show at LACMA recently the Luis MelĂ©ndez. The paintings are beautiful and I love a lot of things about them, but there are a couple where he has the same pitcher on the table over and over and he just puts a broken shard of a bowl on top of it to close it as a lid, which you see all of the time in the South of France. It got me excited about the idea of making lids,” he says.
“That show sparked something. I am making a bunch of jars and I am going to make a bunch of lids separately and probably sell them separately in the show. The idea being that you can buy a lid and use it on your own jar or buy and lid and a jar from me that matches or doesn’t match,” he says.
Thank you, Julie!!!