Sunday, May 10, 2009

Heath Ceramics

The time is ripe for Spring Cleaning! We here at the Light Telescopic, eager as always to find the most spectacular, most inspiring, and most special things this big, wide world has to offer, are equally aware of the importance of editing. The fewer less-than-inspiring elements we surround ourselves with, the more we can really appreciate the things which really move and delight us. The world is full of so many options, all vying for our attention, that amassing things has become the easy part, and paring it down to the truly meaningful objects, passions, and people can be a real challenge.

Do I digress?

Today saw me engaging in an all-out Spring Cleaning Catharsis, in the middle of which I was presented with an irresistible invitation from my roommate: a quick trip to Sausalito to the Heath Ceramics factory Open Studio.

Heath Ceramics, family-owned until 2003, has been manufacturing beautiful, hand-crafted ceramic tableware and tile in their Sausalito studio since the 1950s.  Using Midcentury potting traditions, their kitchenware is all fired and hand-glazed here in the Bay Area, using locally-sourced materials, lending each piece its one-of-a-kind finish.

Beyond the Heath aesthetic (rustic yet elegant, organic yet geometric), one other thing I really admire about this company is their clear commitment to sustainable design: the pieces are not cheap-- but the cost covers quality materials, local manufacture, and fair pay for their workers.  And the company's ongoing commitment to traditional Midcentury Modern design ethos: efficiency, functionality, and beautiful clean lines, ensures that their wares are investment pieces.  Employing thoughtful design and careful manufacture means that these pieces will stand the test of time: a truly "green" concept.

But enough about politics... did I mention they are gorgeous? And how they feel so nice and earthy and cozy in the hand?

And here is some Heath Tile... rustic yet refined:

Being surrounded by good design for the afternoon definitely infused my Spring Cleaning efforts with renewed energy. Even so,  I did end up picking up a little present for myself anyway: this cool 60s-style ashtray.  Already at home on my nightstand and making itself useful as a catch-all for change, hairpins and jewelry.

Note to Whitney: Ashtrays as decor items... do I smell a future post?  I'm handing this one over to you, can't wait to see what brilliant ideas you come up with!


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