touring heath ceramics

Last fall Steve and I made a long-anticipated investment in Heath Ceramics. We thought that after 34 years we deserved matching dishes, and if the past is any indicator, this would be our last set of dishes. Heath dishes are simple, substantial and beautiful. While I believe our investment equaled the price he paid for his first car in 1972, we appreciate the dishes every single day (and on weekends, three times a day). Last Sunday we returned to Sausalito to take the Heath factory tour, and it made the price all worthwhile. By the way, our dishes are all seconds, and I dare you to find the flaws.

Edith Heath began making her dishes in 1949, and they built this factory in 1959. I was amazed at how old school, but still highly organized, the whole operation was. The equipment her husband invented for her are still in use, as well as several other well-loved machines. Last night Steve and I calculated that probably 6 different people worked on our dishes.

We’ve always appreciated the limited, beautiful, bold, yet subdued color palate in all of the Heath ceramics, both the dishes and the tiles. Our dishes are the Coupe line, mist and linen, and we’ve added dessert and soup bowls in every other color. It occurred to me this weekend that the colors may be inspired by beautiful Marin County landscape–that is the sea, sand, sky and grasses. I didn’t think to ask, but I’ll bet I’m right.

We came away with a large salad bowl (thanks to Steve’s folks for a Christmas gift certificate) and we’ll return for a few more pieces next spring. Heck, I imagine we will be returning for years to come.

Want to see?



About kim tackett

Northern CA marketing consultant, writer of very small stories, and drinker of very strong coffee.
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