Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Very Cool Place

This morning, I stumbled across this site for Heath Ceramics

Wow. Beautiful, beautiful ware. Their pieces speak to form and function in a way that is so simple yet so seductive. ( And the design of their website is pretty amazing, as well.)

In my perusal, I also became incredibly sentimental. Now, I have never been to the actual facility or their cool, new retail store in San Francisco. So I wasn't remembering back to a specific time  or trip.

But a myriad of memories, sensations and emotions were nonetheless re-awoken. 

See, many moons ago I majored in ceramic art at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, in Alfred, NY.  So maybe I was drawn into their site for a few reasons that differ with some other folks. But when you check it out (and I hope you do) , I think you'll be as inspired as I was. 

If I were to have a second chance at a ceramics-based life, I would be knocking on Heath Ceramics door to do whatever it took to be part of their operation. 

With each click of my mouse, I grew more and more impressed with who they are, what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Here's just a snippet from their History and Values page.....

Edith Heath (1911-2005) founded Heath Ceramics in the mid-forties when, following her one-woman show at San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor, her pieces were picked up for sale at Gump’s of San Francisco. For the past half-century, Edith's life was dedicated to the craft of ceramics and the skill of the artisan. This passion, along with the legacy of her work in stoneware clay body and glaze development, gives Heath its unique place in ceramics today. As a result of Edith’s timeless and unique design sense - many of her pieces live in the permanent collections of museums such as the MOMA in New York City.

Edith Heath founded Heath Ceramics with a strong social point of view about the products her company made - simple, good things for good people. Today we are faced with new economic and environmental issues, business challenges and politics. We remain a small local manufacturer in order to be able to stay true to our values and the products we produce. As a privately owned company, our goal is to make responsible and holistic decisions for the long-term benefit of our customers and our employees, led by a focus on supporting great design and craft. ..."

Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey 
It was such a pleasure to visit Heath Ceramics today, albeit virtually. Hats off to new owners, as of 2003, Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey for keeping Edith's legacy alive and strong. In my opinion,  it is so refreshing and inspiring to learn about operations such as theirs whose success is built and continues to thrive on talent, integrity and a vision that is both local and global.

I hope you enjoy it as well!


Kelly, Arte Styling said...

Heath Ceramics is made just over the Golden Gate bridge for me in Sausalito. I haven't been yet, to their new retail store...or even to the original location. I have no legitimate excuse. It needs to be an upcoming field trip. They also recently opened a store at the HD Buttercup building in Los Angeles.
It's just beautiful stuff, isn't it? I go to a lot of estate sales around here and quite often you can get your hands on a vintage Heath dish. They are so unique, we try to snatch them up when we see them.
Interesting that you have a degree in ceramic art! I say, it's never to late to start a new (or old) career!

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

Hi Kelly - Thanks for stopping by! I am envious of your location for many reasons, now this too, is added to the list :) If you ever get a chance to get there, please let us know how it goes. Would love to hear about that.

Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish said...

Ooooh - I love a good ceramic source! Thanks for sharing! :)

Unknown said...

Wow thanks for the intro! I love ceramics. I use them in all my homes.

DesignTies said...

I think it's pretty awesome that a woman in the 1940s founded her own company :-)

My mom used to teach ceramics year ago, so I have a love and appreciation for handcrafted ceramic pieces.

Why not go for the second chance at a ceramics-based life?? If it's what you love, then go for it!!


inspiration is all around even where we least expect it