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Enter to win a Teardrop Vase from this Winter Seasonal, handthrown by the Heath Clay Studio. Ends 2/29!

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Enter to win a Teardrop Vase from this Winter Seasonal, handthrown by the Heath Clay Studio. Ends 2/29!
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Heath Design Series

2013

Design Series 1: Between Hand and Machine

"For the first Design Series, I focused on small objects. Starting from a place as an industrial designer and hobby ceramicist, and understanding that Heath clay isn't manufactured for throwing, I wanted to take it small and slow. Small, functional objects felt like the perfect starting point."

In Detail

Design Series 1 was the first time we, as a company famous for its manufacturing process, showed a series of intentionally hand-thrown objects. The goal? Discover more about the relationship between hand and machine.

2014

Design Series 2: Between Form and Function

"After Design Series 1, which was all about modestly-sized objects, I felt more comfortable dealing with clay. Design Series 2 was all about vessels. Large vessels, for flower arrangements or bouquets. The form of a vessel allows it to stand alone as an art object. Its function comes when flowers are placed inside."

In Detail

"This year, I learned that sketching with paper and pencil is still my key design tool. What I found interesting was the translation from sketch, to wheel, to final form. With so much room for imagination and inspiration, I saw that what I determined for a piece did not necessarily happen in the end, especially with the medium of clay."

2015

Design Series 3: Throwing Light

“In the first and second Design Series, the clay turned immediately into a product\u2026 clay into a candleholder, or clay into a vessel. In the third year, I felt much more familiar with the material, but I wanted to challenge that relationship more. I found light to be the perfect place to start.”

In Detail

In designing for light, the quality of illumination and shadow were even more important than the object itself. The clay often became secondary, having to disappear to allow light to pass through. Sometimes it formed the base, other times it was removed to create passages for the light to escape. Other elements - wires, hardware, glass, fabric - all combined with the clay to create this collection of lamps.

2016

Design Series 4: Alchemy

“After spending three years with clay, I realized I shouldn’t miss the opportunity to learn from our master glazer, Winnie. Her depth of knowledge and skillset are some of what drew me to clay, and year four was dedicated working closely with her to broaden my understanding of glaze and technique.”

In Detail

Heath’s glaze palette spans over 100 colors, so rather than create more, the focus was on how glaze can be applied, how different glazes work together, and how they change during firing. A few basic forms were created over the year, but at the heart of Design Series 4 was the work of Tung and Winnie side by side exploring application and technique. The results affirm that glaze Is more than color; its texture that is touchable and depth that is multidimensional.

2017

Design Series 5: Forming Fables

“At Heath, function comes first. Each and every thing has a purpose. But what if I spent a year exploring things that weren’t particularly functional? What began as a year of exploring decorative animal figurines became a love affair with how I understand and interact with animals and the world.”

In Detail

"When considering the form of each animal in my mind, I thought of their stories, who they are, and their relationship to one another, going beyond thinking only of their shape and gesture. By the end of this Design Series, I felt closer to nature. I was also reminded that design is about more than solving problems - it’s an emotional investment. Your love and care are reflected in your work."

2018

Design Series 6: Growing Small

“Does growth always mean bigger? So often, growing is synonymous with becoming grander and more impressive. Is this the most important way to grow? The only way? What if I could grow inward? I want to grow small, to see close. This year was about a scale you can hold inside your hand.”

In Detail

In working at small, more tangible scale, Design Series 6 challenged the notions around making molds. Often in the design industry, molds are the final step in the creative process. By the time a mold is introduced, the goal is repetition. In this series, 10 sets of molds were created, each casting a unique form. But once the piece was cast, the design began. Tung altered, edited, added, and subtracted to make each form different. This way, instead of sitting at the end of the creative journey, the mold became the start.

2019

Design Series 7: Bold Interpretation

“After six Design Series, I had made hundreds of designs. I’d exercised my mind, found solutions and inspiration, and found new ways to express myself, but I was missing the connection of clay and the intimate, simple, calm interaction with the wheel.”

In Detail

“I chose bowls for Design Series 7. Unpretentious and everyday. The simple line of the profile, with nothing more and nothing less, creating a simple bowl. The clarity of this year allowed me to reconnect with clay and reconnect to my soul.”

2020

Design Series 8: Listen

“What happens when you have so many plans for a year, but everything changes, all at once? Is Design Series still meaningful? Where does inspiration come from when we’re surrounded by depression and loss? I heard people say they wanted to forget, but how can we? To avoid history is to avoid experience.”

In Detail

At the heart of Design Series 8 is memory. Each vessel has a ceramic bead inside. Sitting still, it’s just an object. But when you touch it and move it, a sound comes from within. That sound is a reminder. That year saw so much loss, but we emerged on the other side, carrying our memories with us.

2021

Design Series 9: Forms of Care

“Coming out of the pandemic, it felt like a time to regrow. A time for rebirth. I decided to bring in an element I had grown particularly fond of during the pandemic: plants. My favorite? The tiny green leaf as it first sprouts from the branch. It doesn’t matter what kind it is - it’s this tiny hope, this tiny life, that eventually grows into something more.”

In Detail

Designing a planter is about providing care. It presents a unique set of challenges: where does the water go? What is the saucer? How does the form relate to the plant it houses? Together, these challenges shaped Design Series 9, and a group of objects that nurture life.

2023

Design Series 10: Between Open & Close

“Over ten years of making, the answer I set out to find through Design Series slowly revealed itself to me through my works. As the ten years come to a close, I now see the project didn't take me where I thought it would—because nothing ever does—instead, it took me on a journey of connecting my hands with my heart.”

In Detail

“Between Open & Close is my final expression in this era of design. I feel confident in making this Design Series my last, and in opening up a new chapter at Heath. Fittingly, the final Design Series's theme is lidded objects that open and close, like this new era of the Heath Clay Studio. In my mind, a lidded object is about the room inside that stores surprises, and how they stay hidden or reveal themselves.”