Heath’s Boiler Room created an environment that gave a voice to and begged discussion of the hard-to-define worlds of art, design, and craft. A space with many titles: gallery, store, event venue, and installation in its own right, the Boiler Room was a place to discover and connect with incredible creations by artists who inspire us.
This space has allowed creators and makers to graciously open up to our community, sharing not only their work, but their stories, inspirations, and values. Although this chapter has come to a close, we still look fondly at the art and artists that brought the Boiler Room to life.
Read more about our featured exhibitions:
February 24, 2017 - March 19, 2017
Since 2017, the Boiler Room has hosted Playmountain East, the only American outpost of legendary Japanese design firm Landscape Products. Playmountain East was a series of exhibitions featuring the work and processes of Japanese and Japanese-influenced makers. The work featured a variety of mediums, from iron, wood, ceramics, to fashion; a spotlight program on regional craft; and a special series on the work of Japanese women artists and artisans.
Knife Fork Spoon: Modernist Flatware from the Collection of Dung Ngo
June 25, 2016 - August 21, 2016
No one tells the story of modernist flatware better than designer, author, editor, and publisher Dung Ngo. His dual passions of 20th century design and design books form the foundation for Knife / Fork / Spoon. This collection combined flatware design from the 1920s to the present, featuring designs by Eliel Saarinen, Gio Ponti, and Achille Castiglioni atop Dung’s other passion: vintage design and photography books.
Heath’s Clay Studio Director, Tung Chiang, became deeply inspired by Dung’s flatware collection, motivating him to design his very own flatware set. Thus, the Muir Flatware set was born.
Julian Watts: Selected Works
January 2016 - December 2016
An incredible addition to our Boiler Room: Selected Works show, Julian Watts brought together traditional wood carving and furniture making techniques to explore the space between sculptural form and functional objects. Using everyday items like wooden utensils, Julian followed the aesthetic, functional, and cultural threads of each object to their most extreme, surreal end points.
Heath has preserved a lasting relationship with Julian Watts. In collaboration with Heath Clay Studio, they created eighteen handcrafted and harmonious pieces that explore the relationship between artists and their materials. The Clay Studio created a minimal, stark white clay vessel to support the texture and depth of the black wooden lids built by Julian.
Design Series 3: Throwing Light
November 6 – January 3, 2016
Every year our Heath Clay Studio explores a single idea over the course of 12 months and shares not just the outcome, but the entire process with you. Design Series 3: Throwing Light, explored lighting, while previous years have delved more into form, exploring and creating iconic Heath items such as the candleholder and the multi-stem vase. We reveled in the results of a year’s worth of exploration, facing the challenge to create table lamps with forms as beautiful as the light they produce. Boundary stretching, head scratching, delicious epiphanies, and quiet joys. The outcome truly delivered.
Brendan Monroe: Morphology
September 25 - October 25, 2015
His first major exhibition, Oakland-based artist Brendan Monroe showcased his largest solo show, Morphology, at the Boiler Room. Brendan is a sculptor, painter, and muralist who’s known for work that’s playfully conceptual—investigating dreamlike, intimate, and imagined worlds that evoke the tension between reality and surreality. A selection of paintings, drawings and sculptures, Morphology brought to life Brendan’s world at scale, and combined with the atmosphere of the Boiler Room, urged viewers to step into his world.
Alabama on Alabama, featuring the work of Natalie Chanin, Butch Anthony, Mr. John Henry Toney, and Rinne Allen
July 23 - August 23, 2015
Alabama on Alabama was a month-long journey to the soul of the Modern South, held in the Boiler Room and showroom at Heath SF. Refined, raw and radical, the Modern South connected place, people, process, and tradition in a way that cuts across geography and time. The show featured widely acclaimed and celebrated textile artist, designer and slow design pioneer Natalie Chanin. It also included works by Butch Anthony, best known for his “intertwangled” paintings, Mr. John Henry Toney, folk artist and painter, and photographer Rinne Allen.
In tandem, Natalie and Heath have created the embellished collection, Alabama Chanin, hand-etched and gorgeously crafted dinnerware line with depth and texture.
Carla Fernandez: Design. Culture. Mexico
April 18–May 17, 2015
Part celebration, part exhibit, part launch of Carla Fernandez’s inaugural collection in the US, Design Culture Mexico was an opportunity for viewers to understand the heart of Mexico’s happenings and unique style through Carla’s view. Curated by Renee Zellweger of SummerSchool SF, Design Culture Mexico was an evolution of the acclaimed 2014 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum exhibit. The show included the work of artists from Mexico such as Graciela Iturbide, Pedro Reyes, Ramiro Chaves, and others - work that shows how important and dynamic a force Mexico is in contemporary art.
Brendan Monroe: Blobography
November 1 - November 30, 2014
It looked like a risky move at first, pairing talented artist Brendan Monroe, best known for his hypnotic, science inspired illustrations and sculptures with Heath, known for its crisp modern style. In Blobography, curated by Adam Silverman, Brendan collaborated with the LA Heath Clay Studio to create sculptures that gave his world new life. Exploring new mold making and sculpting techniques, along with experimentations with glazes, the show brought a different meaning and interpretation to Brendan's work.
Stan Bitters: Modern Primitive
Stan’s first show in 35 years, Modern Primitive was a comprehensive retrospective of work old and new. An amalgamation of mediums, the show featured medallions, large-scale murals, sculptures, push pots, fountains, and exterior screens. In addition, the show displayed his signature birdhouses in new experimental glazes created by Heath. Modern Primitive was curated and produced in collaboration with Renee Zellweger of SummerSchool SF.
Capturing Stan Bitters' rugged aesthetic within clay, Heath produces a line of tile, appropriately named Stan Bitters, still in production today. It is tile that asks for adventure and allows for more artful use beyond simply covering a wall.