Inside Heath Ceramics is the Heath Clay Studio, where we play and learn, experimenting with new shapes and techniques. Part pottery studio and part design lab, the Clay Studio is where we develop one-of-a-kind pieces and objects, exploring a new subject each year as part of the annual Design Series.
Many of Heath’s classic pieces originated on the wheel, and that same spirit of creation and exploration guides us today in the Clay Studio. Just as Brian Heath built the foundation of the factory needed to produce Heathware at a larger scale, Edith Heath kept the wheel spinning, ideating and creating at the potter’s wheel. “After all, a machine doesn’t decide what the shape is going to be,” she said. “A human being has to decide that.” Such is the beauty of a close relationship between design, hand, and machine in a modern world.
And so the Clay Studio is made up of a small team of potters and glazers who form and create anew, continuously, and together. Designing and making is fluid and open, leaving room for creativity, changing our mind, introducing new techniques, and limited, one-of-a-kind pieces: one month, we might share a new pitcher or vase design, the next month, a few more, and the following month, an entirely new design. Visit us in the Boiler Room, around the corner from our San Francisco showroom entrance, to see and shop an ever-changing selection of these special works.
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This spirit around creativity, process, and exploration continues and culminates every fall, for the annual Design Series show — Studio Director Tung Chiang explores a single subject or theme, through form, glaze technique, color, or simply the way objects relate to one another. Occasionally, certain pieces might make their way into continuous production — our candleholders and modern hurricanes were Clay Studio designs before we began making them in the factory.
And so you see, the Clay Studio keeps Edith Heath’s legacy alive today, continually drawing inspiration from our foundation, forming and learning as we go. Working side-by-side with our factory, the Clay Studio is simply where we evolve our design language and get our hands dirty in new and unexpected ways. To Heath, this is imperative to making unique and beautiful objects that we’re proud to put into this world.