take the tour: heath ceramics

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Recently I spent an amazing week in San Francisco hanging out with my sister and celebrating my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday. One of the highlights of my visit was taking a field trip to Sausalito and touring the Heath Ceramics factory in Sausalito. Heath was started in the mid-forties by Edith Heath, and has remained one of the few mid-century potteries in existence. Each and every piece is made on the premises using decades old methods (some of which Edith pioneered!), and their dedication to quality and craftsmanship is certainly apparent. If you love distinctive glazes and handcrafted stoneware, Heath is your dream come true. A quick trip over the Golden Gate bridge, the factory is located just outside the bustling Sausalito “main drag.” They have twice-daily tours and a factory store that’s worth checking out. If you’re ever in the bay area and need an adventure, Heath is an excellent place to spend an afternoon! – Rebecca F. Click for a tour of Heath Ceramics!

Rubber casts are created and used to make multiple molds.
rubbermold

Wheel with a special die used to shape serving dish cover.
turning

Molds filled with clay, and thrown pieces are left to dry.
molds

One of many dies used to stamp each piece.
stamp

Scrap clay waiting to be recycled.
scrap

Serving platters with rough edges will be smoothed before glazing and firing.
rough_edges

Unfinished jugs waiting to be glazed.
jugs

Their to-do list is much bigger than mine!
to_do

Finished pieces (photos by Heath Ceramics)
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Heath Ceramics – 400 Gate Five Rd, Sausalito, CA 94965. (415) 332-3732
Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners
Stephanie

How fun! I’ve never thought of touring a factory like this. This post reminds me of the good ‘ol days when Mr. Rodgers would take us on a tour of the Crayon or peanut butter or stamp factory. Love.

Mary T.

All kinds of cool tours this week!

DJ

I adore Heath Ceramics. When I got married years and years ago, we lived in Sausalito. We bought a set of seconds from Health (otherwise the ceramics would have been out of our price range). They had a wacky unintended pattern on them that we adored, hence the discount.

They lasted for years. I’m so glad the factory is still there. I miss Sausalito so much.

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] Factory tours are a forgotten source of fun. This week we toured Rejuvenation and Heath Ceramics and put factory tours back on your mental map. Stephanie says: “How fun! I’ve never thought of […]