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Exclusive Member Tour of Heath Collective in the Mission District, San Francisco

Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:00am-12:30pm

Heath Ceramics Factory

2900 18th Street @ Alabama

San Francisco, CA 94110

Cost: Free for Members.

Become a member today to attend the Heath Ceramics tour free and enjoy many benefits and discounts to year-round educational programs and events.

Heath Ceramics

In the heart of San Francisco’s Northeast Mission neighborhood, and at the center of a creative campus that houses the Heath retail showroom and viewing court area, is the Heath tile factory.

Tour members will get a sneak peek of the workings from various points in the building, manufacturing and design rooms including the historic ‘Boiler Room.’

The Boiler Room functions as part gallery, part store and part installation. Originally used as a commercial laundry, the Boiler Room is now home to artists from around the world. Currently, Playmountain East is showing a year-long installation of Japanese artists and makers.

At the end of the tour, members are welcome to gather at Tartine Manufactory. Tartine was recently highlighted on CBS News’ ‘Real Foods’ series about its freshly milled flour packing nutrients back into fresh bread.

Heath's Legacy

(courtesy of Heath Ceramics, www.heathceramics.com)

Heath Ceramics was founded by another husband and wife team, Edith and Brian Heath.

When they moved from Chicago to San Francisco in the early 1940s, Edith—who’d had little formal training in the area—began making ceramics. In 1944, she held a one-woman exhibition at the Legion of Honor, where her work was noticed by Gump's, a respected design store in San Francisco. They commissioned Edith to create an exclusive dinnerware collection for them, and when more retail orders started coming in, the couple officially founded Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, California in 1948.

In 1959, their business expanded into the factory which still houses our dinnerware manufacturing today. The building was designed in collaboration with the Heaths and Marquis and Stoller Architects.

Edith designed her pieces for a single kiln-firing, at a lower-than-normal temperature, thus saving energy while producing a remarkably durable product. Her work led to advances in clay and glaze development, securing Heath a unique place in ceramic history, along with design awards including the Industrial Arts Award from the American Institute of Architects. Many of Edith’s original pieces are a part of the permanent collections of museums such as MOMA and LACMA.

Current owners, Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey, saw in Heath the potential for a holistic business model, one that integrated designing, making and selling.

The pair bought Heath Ceramics in 2003 and quickly set about revitalizing the company. They boosted productivity; streamlined offerings and created new products; collaborated with artists, mavericks, and companies whose vision complemented theirs; and began carrying products from independent makers.

They expanded too, opening showrooms in Los Angeles and in San Francisco’s Ferry Building, and a new tile factory and showroom in San Francisco’s Mission District in 2012. Along the way, they gained legions of fans as their products found their way into hotels, restaurants, museums, and homes worldwide. They've even won some prestigious design awards, including the Cooper Hewitt's National Design Award in 2015. 

That same year, Robin and Catherine authored Tile Makes The Room, which explores tile’s integral role in good design in projects across the world.

Most importantly, all of Heath’s products are handcrafted by skilled artisans in small runs in the Bay Area. And Edith and Brian Heath’s vision of making good things for good people—the right way—lives on.