May 15–June 3, 2018
Established in 2010 by Satoshi Ono, 5W creates artful unisex clothing. Simple, organic lines are thoroughly considered, forming the ultimate modular wardrobe. 5W is based in northwest Japan in Akita, and continues to imbue the art of dressing with balance and poetry.
June 1, 2018 6–9pm
Yoko Takahashi travels the world and visually documents daily life, capturing common moments across all languages and cultures. She is especially enchanted with Russia and Eastern Europe. Yoko’s focus on color and subtle hues draws out the serenity and emotional beauty of the images. You can find her work in Ontario, and her books of photography, including SAWA SAWA, Georgia On My Mind, and EAST SIDE HOTEL. Yoko relocated to the Bay Area in 2010, and lives and works in San Francisco.
April 14–May 13, 2018
Aulico was founded in Miyazaki, Japan in 2006. They began their journey by making shirts from their indigo-dyed fabric, and since then, have been focused on the process of dyeing and washing. Their work is dedicated to honoring the intrinsically natural process of traditional indigo dyeing, a craft they continuously explore and find new meaning in.
April 20–May 12, 2018
Yuri Shimojo is a Japanese painter working and living in New York and Kyoto. With a background in Japanese traditional performing arts, and time spent in Hawaii and Brooklyn, Yuri’s cultural experiences continue to inspire her work today. Her Sumi and Shu series began in 2000 from her fascination with the inks (sumi is Japanese for black ink and shu for cinnabar ink) and their intricate ties to history, including shamanic rituals around the world. The power between the two colors showcase Japanese aesthetics, a yin and yang balance of stillness and movement, and allow viewers to connect their own culture and heritage to the work.
Join us for the opening on Friday, April 20, 5–8 pm.
March 3–April 8, 2018
Glass Works features Studio Prepa, a glass blowing studio run by Katsuhisa and Mizuho Hira. From vases to sculptures, their glass pieces showcase their attention to detail. Katsuhisa and Mizuho enjoy using traditional glassmaking techniques, and challenging the construction of the molten material. Committed to quality and sophisticated design, their work remains simple yet functional, dynamic and bold. This show also includes pieces made in collaboration with Playmountain East.
January 20–February 25, 2018
KAMA-ASA was founded in 1908 in Tokyo by shop owner Minosuke Kumazawa, catering to the needs of chefs ever since. Working with the best craftsmen throughout Japan, they select the finest quality of handcrafted kitchen tools, helping each customer find their destined tools by explaining the unique stories and features behind them. The pride of a craftsman and the sensitivity that goes into handcrafted work, combined with Japan’s ever-growing creativity, all contribute to the spirit of care, quality, and tradition you can feel when using KAMA-ASA products in the kitchen and around the home.
November 17–December 23, 2017
Mina Perhonen is a fashion label based in Tokyo, known for its romantic and timeless design. Japanese textile and clothing designer Akira Minagawa founded Mina Perhonen to create clothing that goes beyond fashion, seeking to retain functionality over the years. His clothing is classic and sustainable, meant to be passed on through generations. Mina Perhonen is Finnish for “my butterfly”, as Akira finds inspiration in the butterfly’s lightness, colors, and variation, qualities reflected in Mina Perhonen’s feminine textiles.
Join the opening on Friday, November 17, 5–8 pm.
September 29–October 22, 2017
Born in Nigata, Japan, Go Koyama presents wood pieces such as plates, vases and other sculptural objects. He works with black persimmon, chestnut, cherry, and zelkova wood to create sculptural objects, which are sometimes finished with oil, lacquer, wax, and glass paint. His work evokes harmony, peace, and beauty.
In his creative process, Koyama has conversations with the woods. It’s important for him to celebrate the life of the tree as he imbues another life into it. Although growth rings, imperfections, and wormholes are generally considered defects of wood, Koyama sees them as authentic characteristics, making each of his sculptures unique.
Koyama apprenticed with fellow woodworker Shinichiro Tani and began working independently in his own studio in Karuizawa, Nagano in 2010, where he is also well known for his abstract sculptures. He has had numerous exhibitions in Japan and China and now lives and works in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture.
July 22, 2017–August 13, 2017
Born in Kagoshima, Japan, Shori Morinaga started out as carpenter and furniture maker, and opened his atelier Crate in 2007. There, he developed a passion for woodturning. In 2010, he met American sculptor Alma Allen in Joshua Tree and soon became his apprentice. Shoji continues to make turned wood objects and custom furniture at Crate, and shows his work around the world, from Playmountain Tokyo and Dieci in Osaka to Tortoise in Los Angeles.
June 10, 2017 – July 16, 2017
The next in Playmountain’s series on Japanese-influenced artists and makers: TEMBEA canvas bags and SOLS canvas sneakers.
TEMBEA means “to wander” in Swahili, so these canvas beauties made in Tokyo are meant to be your everyday companions. Whether carrying baguettes or biking to work, each bag softens over times and becomes part of your life.
SOLS is manufactured in Kurume, Fukuoka, a city well-known for its rubber industry. Created with a slight inward curve often seen in old canvas sneakers, and a vulcanization process to ensure durability, SOLS delicately expresses the traditional craftsmanship with a new point of view.
A small selection of handmade leather goods from RHYTHMOS will also be featured, made in Japan and crafted for everyday use.
April 21, 2017 – May 14, 2017
Exhibition statement from Shinichiro Nakahara:
I have been pursuing the work of Japanese and American Craftswomen for several years. Fascinated by the viewpoints presented by their creative activities, I find beautiful the particularly deep involvement I see given to the work. The tradition of Craftsmen in Japan is extensive and has produced fine work, but it has also been based on a certain stoicism. In recent years this has gradually changed along with an increasing number of Japanese Craftswomen who create with great freedom of thought. Seeing not only the work of these Craftswomen, but also their processes, has given me a glimpse into their lives. I had anticipated feeling connected to their perspectives and their pursuit of beauty. I discovered not only did I appreciate the completed object but also the landscape surrounding its creation.
We are presenting a total of 10 Japanese female artists — Akiko Oue, Fumi Sako, Hiroyo Masuko, Masae Mitoma, Momoca Usagi, Nutel, Reimi, Rino Akihiro, Tomoko Wada, and Yumiko Iihoshi — who are artists, product designers, ceramicists, metalsmiths, paper artists, illustrators, rug makers, and glass sculptors.
The opening reception is Friday, April 21, from 5–8 pm.
February 24, 2017 – March 19, 2017
In late February 2017, the Boiler Room will host Japan’s legendary design store and curator, Playmountain, for a year-long series of programs featuring Japanese and Japanese-influenced artists and makers. This includes work in a variety of media, including iron, wood, ceramics, and fashion; a spotlight program on regional craft; and a special series on the work of Japanese women artists and artisans.
On a Japanese map of the Pacific Ocean, California is located to the east of the Japanese Islands. East is West, and West is East.
Since its inception Landscape Products has been inspired by California: its architecture and design, arts and crafts, music, and films. In other words, we have always been excited by the cultural breeze that blows from there.
This is why we have named our new retail venture in San Francisco Playmountain East. Even though we are across the Pacific from each other, we are close neighbors of heart and mind. Please keep watching kindly over us as we begin our journey "East.”
January 2016 – December 2016
Boiler Room: Selected Works presents an eclectic group of artists working in the intersection of art, craft, and design. Featuring pieces by Brendan Monroe, Butch Anthony, Rinne Allen, Stan Bitters, Tung Chiang and Julian Watts, the show brings together some of our favorite artists and collaborators from the Boiler Room. Large-scale, abstract sculptures by Stan sit alongside one-of-a-kind lamps by Tung, Brendan’s ceramic sculptures, and Julian’s exquisite woodwork. Admire Stan’s remarkable ceramic murals side by side with hypnotic paintings by Brendan, Butch’s genre-bending collages, and Rinne Allen’s lyrical photography. Discover something wonderful in the Boiler Room and take it home.
June 25 – August 21, 2016
No one tells the story of modernist flatware design better than designer, author, editor, and publisher Dung Ngo whose twin passions of 20th century design and design books form the foundation for Knife / Fork / Spoon, the latest exhibit to come to the Boiler Room at Heath SF. Drawn from his extensive flatware collection, Knife / Fork / Spoon combines flatware design from the 1920s to the present, including designs by Eliel Saarinen, Gio Ponti, and Achille Castiglioni presented atop Dung’s other passion: vintage design and photography books. Beautiful on their own, Dung’s pairing of flatware and books tells the story of 20th century design in a thoroughly unexpected, original way.
Dung also curated a selection of rare design books from San Francisco book-selling legend William Stout, which are for sale in the Boiler Room during the course of the show.
Knife / Fork / Spoon was on view June 25 – August 21, 2016, and opened on June 25th, 2016 with an opening reception and talk between Dung and Heath Clay Studio Director Tung Chiang. Knife / Fork / Spoon will be at the Heath Los Angeles Showroom from August 26 – September 26, 2016, with an opening reception and talk with Dung Nugo on September 8 (learn more here).
Photo credit: Eric Petschek
We’re pleased to share a new collection of stunning woodwork by emerging artist Julian Watts as part of our Boiler Room: Selected Works show. Based in San Francisco, Julian uses traditional wood carving and furniture making techniques to explore the space between sculptural form and functional object. Using everyday items like wooden utensils as a point of departure, Julian follows the aesthetic, functional, and cultural threads of each object to their most extreme, surreal end points.
We love how Julian lets the medium of wood take shape for itself, while still artfully expressing his own point of view. It’s work that thrives at the intersection of art, craft, and design–fresh work from a new artist worth collecting. It’s time to get to know Julian Watts.
May 19, 2016
To celebrate spring, we invited our good friends Mattson 2, the ultimate Cali-sound jazz-rock duo, will be playing in the Boiler Room, while Stag Dining will be pouring unforgettable drinks and more. And of course, we're sharing the latest pieces by Tung Chiang, Julian Watts, Butch Anthony and others in the Boiler Room.
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 1: Between Hand and Machine explored the candleholder, Design Series 2: Between Form and Function studied the multi-stem vase, Design Series 3: Throwing Light explored lighting.
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.
The Boiler Room at Heath Ceramics was pleased to present the work of Oakland, CA-based rising artist Brendan Monroe in Morphology, his largest solo show and his first major exhibition in San Francisco. The show ran from September 25 to October 25, 2015.
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.
Featuring a selection of entirely new work—including paintings, drawings, and sculptures—Morphology brought to life Brendan’s world at scale and with an intensity befitting a space as dramatic and atmospheric as the Boiler Room.
Photo courtesy of Brandon Shigeta
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 connects 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, co-founder and creative force behind Alabama Chanin, based in Florence, Alabama. It also included work by Butch Anthony best known for his "intertwangled” paintings, and works on paper by outsider artist Mr. John Henry Toney. Alabama on Alabama also featured the work of frequent Natalie Chanin collaborator and photographer Rinne Allen.
Photo courtesy of Leslie Santarina
April 18–May 17, 2015
Part celebration, part exhibit, part launch of Carla Fernández’s inaugural collection in the US, Design Culture Mexico was an opportunity for long-time fans and newcomers alike to take a deep dive into Carla’s world in the heart of Mexico’s happening and unique art and design culture scene. Curated by Renee Zellweger of SummerSchool SF, Design Culture Mexico was an evolution of the acclaimed 2014 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum exhibit that brought to life Carla’s vision, work, artistry, process, and impact. The show also included the work of artists from Mexico such as photographer Graciela Iturbide, Pedro Reyes, Ramiro Chaves, and others—work that shows how important and dynamic a force Mexico is in contemporary art.
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, best known for its crisp modern style. In Blobography, curated by Adam Silverman, Brendan collaborated with the LA Heath Clay Studio to create sculptures that brought his world to life. Exploring new mold making and sculpting techniques, along with experimentations with glazes, the show brought to life Brendan’s world in a brand new way. The show held at Heath Los Angeles in Fall 2014 featured the fruits of the collaboration, sculptures, illustrations and more.
This show, held at Heath’s Boiler Room in May 2014, was Stan’s first show in 35 years. As befits a monumental talent (and personality) with a monumental oeuvre, this comprehensive retrospective featured work old and new, including his medallions; large-scale murals; sculptures; push pots; fountains; and exterior screens. In addition, the show featured his signature birdhouses in new, experimental glazes created for Heath and the show. Modern Primitive was curated and produced in collaboration with Renee Zellweger of SummerSchool SF.
Take a look at our past events and workshops.