Press Release: Bobby Silverman: Art and Industry and Pottery by Design The Clay Studio Celebrates Ceramic Design

Garth Johnson
215-925-3453 x18
[email protected]

Bobby Silverman:  Art and Industry and Pottery by Design The Clay Studio Celebrates Ceramic Design

When: Both exhibitions open on First Friday, October 3rd and will continue through November 30th. A DesignPhiladelphia reception will be held on Friday, October 10th from 5:30-8pm. At 7pm, The Clay Studio will be hosting a live taping of ceramic artist Ben Carter’s Tales of a Red Dirt Rambler podcast featuring Bobby Silverman, Gettysburg, PA-based potter Tina Gebhart and Michael Strand, who is known for his social projects involving ceramics.

Where: The Clay Studio 137-139 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Clay Studio is pleased to present Art and Industry, an exhibition of new works in our Harrison Gallery by Bobby Silverman that will coincide with DesignPhiladelphia, the city’s annual celebration of architecture and design. The exhibition opens Friday, October 3 and closes on Saturday, November 30; an opening reception for the artist will be October 3 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

For his first exhibition at the Clay Studio, Bobby Silverman will show new work that gets to the core of his unique artistic and design practices. Art and Industry is Silverman's most extensive exhibition to date, as he shows the full range of his diverse interests in using industrial materials and processes.

Silverman’s work has evolved over the last 30 years from his early apprenticeship to the master potter Samejima Sataro in Japan, to his recent line of industrially produced architectural tiles, to his large format conceptual works. His work is also informed by his early training as a social geographer and his interest in the visualization of data.

Silverman has a passionate commitment to the idiosyncratic nature of ceramic material, particularly the phenomenological properties of gravity, luminosity, reflection and translucency.

In the late 1990’s and early 2000's his work was inspired by the elegant and refined Chinese porcelain monochromes of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He became known for his precise stacks of large bowls and vases in a range of luminous colors, which later became the source material for dramatic installations.

His recent work of manufactured ceramic tiles for his company Alsio Design, combines the reflective properties of ceramic and metallic surfaces with topographical forms that are created by 3D modeling programs and mathematical algorithms.  The designs produce vibrant and compelling patterns that are appealing to both high-end residential and commercial applications.

The field of ceramics is filled with studio artists who produce sleek, sexy colorful work that would fit in effortlessly in design fairs and boutiques. This is not to say that other, more “traditional” pottery lacks design sophistication. Pottery by Design is The Clay Studio’s sly, perhaps even subversive, rejoinder to conversations about modern design. The exhibition includes twelve master potters who are all products of the American Studio Pottery movement, including Pennsylvania potters Jack Troy and Tina Gebhart.

Each potter will produce a brief video to accompany their work that gives viewers the rare opportunity to hear about the design decisions that go into their work. Videos for the exhibition range from Simon Levin’s thoughts about the role that line plays in his work to a video produced by potter Michelle Erickson, who retro-engineers historical pots (in this case, an 18th Century British puzzle jug) to find out how they were originally made. The videos will all be running in the gallery on small video screens next to the pots, allowing viewers to get a sense of the potters’ personalities, as well as the functional, ergonomic and visual design decisions that underpin their work.


About The Clay Studio

As Philadelphia's only nonprofit solely dedicated to the education and promotion of the ceramic arts, and as one of the world's leading institutions in the field, The Clay Studio offers a unique venue for arts enthusiasts. Founded in 1974, The Clay Studio supports the ceramic arts through its artist residencies, gallery, studio space, and school, educational & outreach programs. The programs of the Clay Studio reflect the dual character of the organization: as a community centered institution involved with the life of the city and region, and as a national and international focal point for ceramic arts.


About DesignPhiladelphia

DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of the Philadelphia Center for Architecture, is the oldest and largest design event of its kind in the country and annually showcases the work of over 400 practicing architects, designers, and creative professionals. Experience design in unexpected ways through more than 120 exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, tours, talks, and events held in venues across the city. Learn about wide-ranging topics, including architecture, urban planning, landscape, graphic, multi-media, product, furniture design, fashion, and the like. This year’s Festival kicks off on the evening of October 8 and events run from October 9-17. For more information on planning an event, sponsoring, advertising, or attending the 2014 Festival, visit:

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