• Welcome to our virtual tour

    Welcome to our virtual tour

    Every aspect of our tableware production, from clay-making to kiln-firing, is done right here in our Sausalito factory. The building was built in 1959 for Heath Ceramics. It was designed by the mid-century architecture firm Marquis & Stoller in collaboration with Edith Heath.

  • Peek Into Our Factory

    Peek Into Our Factory

    See how we make our dinnerware.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Making Heath Clay

    Making Heath Clay

    All of our clay is made on-site. It’s mixed with water, extruded, and cut into pieces in preparation for the forming area.

  • Forming a bowl

    Forming a bowl

    This process is called manual jiggering. An inner profile of a form is pulled down and spreads the clay into a rotating plaster form. Water is sponged on to each piece to smooth the surface. Our automated jigger machines make bowls by spreading clay into a spinning plaster mold.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Forming a plate in the 1950s

    Forming a plate in the 1950s

    This in an archival photograph showing a plate being formed in the 1950's on a manual jiggering machine.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Brian & Edith Heath Foundation/Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley

  • Forming a plate today

    Forming a plate today

    This plate is formed on an automated jigger machine. It will remain on the mold until it dries.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Mold making

    Mold making

  • Mold Making

    Mold Making

    Using a wax cast to craft the custom molds.

  • Slipcasting complex forms

    Slipcasting complex forms

    More complicated and hollow forms are made by slipcasting. Liquid clay (called slip) is poured into plaster molds (that we make on-site). The clay dries for 20-30 minutes, the remainder of the liquid clay is poured out and a "wall" of clay that has already dried remains. Considerable work is still needed to finish the piece as the mold leaves lines of clay "flash" on the piece, and a lot of skill is required to make it look as the design was intended to look. 

  • Pouring slip into the molds

    Pouring slip into the molds

    Liquid clay (slip) is poured into the mold until it fills to the top. After a wall thickness dries, the remainder of the slip is poured out, and can be reused in the next pour.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Removing cast forms from mold

    Removing cast forms from mold

    After sitting for about half an hour the clay is firm enough that the cast forms can be removed from the molds. More drying is required before the pieces can be trimmed.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Slipcast vases drying

    Slipcast vases drying

    The vases need to be trimmed and wiped in order to remove the mold seam.

  • Adding handles to cups

    Adding handles to cups

    Each handle is slipcast and the cups are jiggered separately. The cup handle is then applied by hand.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Trimming


    After drying, the edges of the plates are trimmed.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Wiping


    Each piece is wiped with a wet sponge to smooth the surface.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Forming details

    Forming details

    Many details require an addition step. Here, a lid is pulled off the wet clay when it is being formed. This handle is for a casserole lid. There is no mold for this piece, so each finished lid has its own character.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Sponging


    After trimming, the final step before glazing is wiping down the piece with a wet sponge. This smooths the surface and gives it a hand-finished texture.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Moving ware to glazing

    Moving ware to glazing

    Trimmed pieces are placed on wheeled carts and moved to the next process. These pieces are trimmed, dry and ready for glazing.

  • Raw materials, stored for glaze making

    Raw materials, stored for glaze making

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Ware ready for glazing

    Ware ready for glazing

    Once dry, the ware is ready for glazing. We keep some stock of all our pieces in greenware (unfired) so that we have them ready to glaze when we need them.

  • Stored Greenware

    Stored Greenware

    Ready to be glazed and fired, when needed.

  • Glaze making

    Glaze making

    We make all of our glazes in house. We mix and test the ingredients in preparation for our glazers.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Glaze testing

    Glaze testing

    Glaze tests are created by hand to determine the desired application and its gram weight.

  • Glazing


    Glaze is applied to the pieces by hand with a spray gun.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Wiping


    Glaze is wiped off the edge of a piece to expose the clay underneath.

    Photo credit: Mark Allen Johnson

  • Waiting to be fired

    Waiting to be fired

    Formed, trimmed and glazed pieces wait to be fired on a ware cart.

  • Kiln loading

    Kiln loading

    The pieces are stacked like a puzzle, using kiln furniture, into our top-hat kilns.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Ready to fire

    Ready to fire

    One of two natural gas-fueled dinnerware kilns (called top-hat kilns) loaded and ready to go.

  • Adjusting the temperature

    Adjusting the temperature

    The kilns are adjusted by hand using valves and pressure gauges.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Firing


    The temperature is monitored with a pyrometer throughout the firing cycle.

    Photo credit: Jeffery Cross

  • Our kilns

    Our kilns

    Our kilns were custom built by Brian Heath, when the factory opened in 1959. Today we can fire approximately 400 pieces in each kiln per day. Our kilns fire for about 8 hours and reach a maximum of 2100 degrees. Each firing cycle takes 24 hours.

  • Monitoring the kilns

    Monitoring the kilns

    Pyrometric cones are placed throughout the kiln and used to monitor the 'cooking' time from inside the kilns.

  • Finished ware

    Finished ware

    Finished ware, just out of the kiln.

  • Recycling scraps

    Recycling scraps

    Scraps are mixed and worked back into useable clay.

  • Enjoy!


    At last, our pieces are enjoyed by you in the comfort of your own home.