ceramics by 19

heath ceramics + big day

today’s a big day at d*s: we’re launching the d*s job board today as well as the 2008 d*s scholarship! both are big projects for us so i’m thrilled to finally be able to get them moving and see if we can help people connect with jobs and job seekers and then help the next generation of great designers with their work and studies. those posts are coming later today but in the meantime i couldn’t resist posting these gorgeous new pieces from heath ceramics that coralie at heath sent over.

one of california’s last remaining midcentury era potteries, heath ceramics has launched a new summer 2008 collection with new bowls, vases and picnic bags (by s. stein). yup, picnic bags. and they’re just as cool as you’d expect from a company that is always on top of the game. the new collection is available starting april 1st through october 1st, 2008 right here. it’s definitely worth checking out. i know that if we’re married this fall as opposed to next spring i’ll definitely be registering for this. [thanks, coralie!]

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really beautiful! and i’m thinking that bag is cool with or without the picnic.


The heath ceramics sure are beautiful and I have a whole set from my registry. One thing to keep in mind is that it scratches permantently from cutting on it with a normal dinner knife and it makes a grating sound when silverware is scraped against it.

Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques

Hi Grace,

I’m a full-disclosure/play it safe type of Modernist dealer, and I want to pass some basic info to your readers.

When it comes to POTTERY that will in ANY way be used to store, heat, or serve food or drink, you must make sure they are low/zero lead content. Examples that are the most dangerous: Italian pottery (in general), Mexican pottery, and most South American or other southern potteries. HIGH LEAD! Do not fear them for decorative use, but avoid them for any functional purposes.

Why lead paint is so controlled but not pottery that could be used for consumption is beyond me.

Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques



Do you know that Heath Ceramics have this lead issue? I don’t want people to think that this implies this warning for Heath products if it is not in fact true.



wow, these are gorgeous! I am really, really loving the yellow+neutral color palette .

heather moore

Me again. How funny that you should post about Heath just after my Spoons apron – I’m about to send off an order of my aprons and teatowels to them next week, to sell in their factory shop!


These ceramics are so soothing for the eyes! I am off to look for more of their work, can’t get enough.

Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques

NO no no! I did NOT say Heath has this problem! I don’t know Heath. This was just a general warning to those who had no idea the threat exists out there in ceramic land.


i love my heath dishes. i noticed that one is lightly scratched, but otherwise they’re extremely durable. no chips, no breaks, fingers crossed.

i am a little worried about lead now! grace, if you find out more, can you let us now?


Is it wrong that, at first sight, I saw those picnic bags and thought, “Ah! The cutest handbag EVER!!” Is it? Because they absolutely would be. In a perfect world, Heath would make handbags too. Or I could just buy one and repurpose it. Thats okay, right?!

Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques


I have heard from Catherine Bailey at Heath. Amonst other things, she said: “All newer Heath glazes are lead free, but we do still produce some historic glazes that use small amounts of lead, all fall well below the FDA requirements.” I’ve suggested she publish her entire letter to me with Design Sponge, as it is informative for the public. I agree 100% with what she had to say. Catherine: Send Grace your letter to me! :) (You may also send my response to you.)

I hope all of this helps. We want everyone safe and informed.

Ronn Ives/FUTURES Antiques

Shira & Olive

We registered with Heath and love our dishes- they also have a very user friendly registry with a list on line of who gave you what and what that person’s contact info is. This is so so helpful when you are writing thank you notes! I love them!


If you love these heath picnic bags and want to see more of her stuff–check out the designer’s website who makes them: sherry stein is the designer http://www.ssteindesign.com. She is an amazing designer based in Santa Fe!


These bowls are gorgeous. Have you yet wandered into Clayworks on Ninth in the city? Some of it can read a little Back-to-the-Land, but they have glazes you want to bury your face in. I love that this place still exists in the neighborhood.

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