With 'Adam Silverman Ceramics,' L.A. potter turns a page

Adam Silverman's plan for a quiet 2013 isn't panning out.

On Oct. 27 the Laguna Art Museum will mount a show of the Los Angeles potter's work, and on Tuesday publisher Skira Rizzoli releases his book, “Adam Silverman Ceramics.” The monograph is a sumptuous overview of his recent work organized in a nontraditional format.

“I wanted the book to be its own beautiful, self-standing object that is as good as the pots or better,” Silverman said. “I wanted it to have its own identity.”

The bulk of the book consists of photographs by Stefano Massei of Silverman's tactile stoneware vessels. Massei's large-format images are so detailed, they make the reader want to reach out, touch the pages and feel the potter's crusty glazes.

An introduction by Los Angeles graphic designer Shepard Fairey actually comes at the back of the book. That's followed by essays from curators-writers Brooke Hodge and Lisa Gabrielle Mark, among others, as well as photos by Katrina Dickson showing Silverman's process. In her thoughtful black and white images, Dickson captures the artist's studio with its mounds of unformed clay, chalkboard scribbles, inspirational mementos and family snapshots, even a Wallabee-shoed foot on the pedal of a potter’s wheel.

“I wanted that section to give people who can’t come to the studio the feel of what it smells and sounds like,” Silverman said.

His frantic year follows a productive period in local ceramics, as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Edward Cella Art & Architecture and David Kordansky Gallery all hosted ceramic shows.

“Thank God I didn’t see the beautiful Ken Price catalog before my book was done,” Silverman said of the retrospective at LACMA. “Or I would have been paralyzed.”

Los Angeles residents can visit Silverman at Heath Ceramics, where he has been the studio director since 2008. On Sept. 28, Heath will host a book release party with Silverman from 5 to 8 p.m. The studio will be open to the public, and viewers can get a sneak peek of Silverman works before they are shipped to Japan and Laguna Beach. 7525 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 965-0800.


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