/ Project

Julia Turner - Factories

FACTORIES

Imagined architecture, originally conceived for the Under One Roof exhibition in the Boiler Room Gallery at Heath Ceramics.

My studio is a part of the Heath Collective, a small group of maker studios that occupies space in Heath Ceramics’ San Francisco factory building. The idea of "Under One Roof" was to make a space for the artists here to respond both to each other and also to the building which is our common ground.

I have lots of affection for factories in general: looming, dirty, forbidding buildings huffing and belching smoke are comforting and fascinating for me. Even when I can’t begin to guess what’s going on inside, I know on some level it’s an extension of hand work and I feel friendly toward big machines. The Heath factory in particular is actually far from dirty or dark- it’s beautiful- but working away inside it I have a feeling of connection to american industry and of being a small, happily functioning part of something much bigger than myself.

The factories are tiny, just an inch or two tall, and were installed as a mini-landscape in the shadow of the huge black steel pipes and plates of the WWII naval ship boilers left from the building's original function as a laundry, which give the Boiler Room Gallery its name. They are made from steel and hardwood, much of which was actually scrounged from the Heath building as they were retrofitting and tearing out walls left and right. They are mostly nostalgic, vaguely political, definitely not literal. They can’t decide if they’re reliquaries or toys.

Factories are available as an ongoing series through the studio.

Julia Turner - Factories

/ Project

 

BELLS           

Julia Turner

Tung Chiang, studio director at Heath Ceramics and also my workshop neighbor, has been gathering bells over the years and suggested we collaborate to make a small series of wind bells combining his hand-thrown ceramic pieces with clappers made by me in metal and wood. Neither of us knew how hard it is to make a nice-sounding bell, so we decided it was a great idea, he started throwing clay forms and I began to experiment with brass, string and wood. Many, many months and lots of scraps later, we finally did emerge with a model with beautiful details (including a hidden but exquisite chinese button-knot hand-tied by Tung) and a nice tone, and we began the actual making of them. Tung threw each bell by hand and we chose the glaze colors together, and with the help of my studio crew I fabricated seven sets of jointed clappers in oxidized brass and hardwood, with hand-carved and painted sails. The seven original bells have all found homes, but a limited production version of these is in the works.

Julia Turner
photos courtesy of Heath Ceramics/Rosalie Wild

photos courtesy of Heath Ceramics/Rosalie Wild

/ Project

Read More