It was great to hear from the cute boys at Volume who are celebrating the release of the very important book Heath Ceramics: The Complexity of Simplicity, written by Amos Klausner. Now, how do you wrap up the first complete history of Heath Ceramics–one of the biggest players in California pottery, and maybe midcentury design itself? It was no easy task, says Volume:
A major challenge was the assembling of old imagery, much of it having been tossed in dusty old boxes and not sifted through in decades. We restored scratched negatives, used small photos from old and stained contact sheets, and even sifted through 50+ years of old documents that included numerous glaze formulas, sketches, and product brochures. Collectors around the country also graciously allowed us to photograph old hand-thrown ceramics that were not even known to exist before we embarked on this book project.
The book itself references Heath’s techniques: case-bound cover images are printed on matte paper and then “glazed” with clear vertical spot-varnish bands, the title copy is stamped into chipboard for a raw, unglazed texture. This theme continues throughout the book using gloss and uncoated stocks.