Stan Bitters @ Heath Ceramics
Heath Ceramics continues to amaze me with the simplicity and beauty of their designs. My collection at home just keeps growing, as I know their style and wear will last a lifetime. I love popping into their Mission space to browse the new collections and their collaborations with featured artists. This time they’ve invited maverick sculptor and ceramist, Stan Bitters, to showcase his work. I stopped in last Friday to meet the artist and get an early preview of the exhibit.
At first I didn’t think I would be familiar with Stan Bitters’ work, but then I discovered he was the artist behind the massive fireplace wall alongside the Ace Hotel pool in Palm Springs, as well as this one featured in a beach home styled by an interior designer I admire, Kelly Wearstler. And it was at the exhibit I then learned of the major role he played in shifting the use of clay from a functional medium to an artistic one and the impact he had on architecture and design in Southern California since the 1960’s. He is mostly known for his large scale installations—many in public spaces which can be experienced today.
Stan has been residing in Fresno for most of his 78 years and this is his first major exhibit in 35 years. This is also the first time he’s being showcased in San Francisco. The collection includes pieces he has worked on over his career plus some newer ones designed for the show. My favorites include the long sunscreen hangings that also act as wind chimes, as well as his white thumbprint vases. And yes, those are his actual thumbprints. All pieces are for sale including the colorful lanterns and birdhouses in the retail showroom.
Stan Bitters’ show “Modern Primitive” can be viewed in Heath’s Boiler Room from May 31st through June 30th. The exhibit is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12:00-3:00 PM and by appointment. Be sure to catch the show before it closes. Even just to step inside the impressive Boiler Room which is not generally open to the public.
* All images by me, Leslie.