Essential No. 3: Heath Ceramics

The 1940s collectible makes a comeback
Peter Fish

Who knew plates and bowls could inspire lust? But when Edith Heath shaped clay into tableware, she drew the eyes of connoisseurs like Frank Lloyd Wright and Alice Waters. Five years ago, husband-and-wife design duo Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey purchased Heath Ceramics (Edith Heath died in 2005) and revived it.

Working out of Sausalito, California―the company’s base since 1948―they’ve added new colors and one entire dinnerware line: the Waters-inspired Chez Panisse design. But they haven’t altered the pottery’s handmade essence. “Edith Heath didn’t do shapes of the moment,” Bailey says. “Her work was beautiful, functional, timeless.”

Set your Thanksgiving table with Heath dinner plates, and your guests may push aside the cranberry sauce just to glimpse the serene beauty beneath.

Set your table

The Heath factory store (400 Gate Five Rd., Sausalito, CA; 415/332-3732) is open to the public. Next month, a new Heath store will debut in Los Angeles; visit heathceramics.com for details and more retailers.

Do you have a new western essential―a food, drink, place, or experience you can’t live without? Email us: newessentials@sunset.com