The original mid-century modern pottery house, Heath Ceramics, hasn’t strayed far from its roots over the past 66 years. From clay to kiln, the company’s coveted ceramic dinnerware, mugs, tiles—you name it—are all handcrafted in Heath’s Sausalito and central San Francisco workshops, virtually the same way they were when ceramicist Edith Heath founded the business in 1948. The product repertoire has evolved and expanded considerably since then, but preserving the company heritage remains paramount to Heath’s distinct designs.
So it is that a company with firm footing in the annals of design—the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have Heath Ceramics’ works in their permanent collections—has defined itself in today’s context, carrying on its vision with a close-knit group of just over 50 artisans. Helmed by owners Catherine Bailey (who also acts as creative director) and Robin Petravic, who together purchased the company in 2003, Heath has a business vision that’s more concerned with consumer connectedness than global growth.
This year, the desire to support continued manufacturing in California led the company to establish the goal of selling 100 per cent of its ceramics direct from Heath’s own showrooms (as well as online) by the end of this year. And this summer, the busy Heath kilns are giving life to a new collection that channels the Icelandic landscape with pieces drenched in vivid lavender, basalt grey, and matte green. Standouts include a bulb vase and deep serving bowl fired with a special tri-layered glaze for a surface texture that is fittingly reminiscent of summer’s lush moss.
Heath Ceramics studio, 400 Gate Five Road, Sausalito, California, United States 94965, +1 415-332-3732.
Photos by Jeffery Cross.