Jeffery Cross

The 1940s collectible makes a comeback

Peter Fish  – November 13, 2008 | Updated January 13, 2020

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. In 2003, 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 dinnerware lines, including 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.

The Heath factory store (400 Gate Five Rd., Sausalito, CA; 415/332-3732) is open to the public. Heath also has locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles; visit heathceramics.com for details and more retailers.