Closer To Clay: Introducing the 2023 Winter Seasonal Collection
By: Vickie Wu | Sep 26, 2023
Twice per year, we explore, play, and create new work that captures the feeling of a moment in time. These experiments come to life in our seasonal collections, through a select assortment of pieces.
When Edith Heath began making dinnerware in the 1940s, she sought a clay nobody had ever used. Utilizing local materials, with energy efficiency and elemental beauty in mind, she created a formula representative of the region, whose chemistry influenced the appearance of the glazes applied to it—thus, making clay part of the palette, whether seen or not.
This collection celebrates her signature California clay body, which we still use today—a fine-grained, warm brown texture that only gets better with age. Winter Seasonal is for those who can’t get enough texture and feel at home where patina lives—surrounded by stone, wood, woven, and leather.
Over the past 75 years, Heath pieces have stood the test of time have become modern heirlooms being passed down from generation to generation.
Inspired by pieces from the Archive, Closer to Clay bridges our history with our current era, capturing the feeling of this moment in time. We’re excited for you to bring them into your homes, and celebrate Heath’s 75th anniversary.
“I’ve always wanted to design a collection about browns and neutrals, as a challenge to my assumptions of what makes a seasonal collection at Heath. Celebrating our singular clay set me on a course of discovery and excitement—a lesson on taking a closer look at what’s in front of you.”
There’s nothing quite like holding the earth in your hands. This collection is about natural materials, their texture, beauty, and patina. Like all Heath goods, Closer to Clay weaves into your life, reflects day-to-day use, and endures for generations.
Applying texture on the potter's wheel—carving, brushing, dripping, sponging—led us to squeeze a fine, spiraling glaze line we call Thread. Signifying a thread from past to present, it’s graphic, tactile, and deeply satisfying to the touch and equally so to the eyes. Each piece, unique to all the rest, thoughtfully and masterfully applied by our glazers hands.
The glazes in this collection—Myrtle Green, Kitchen Green, Antique Green, Levain, and Tomato—are inspired by moments across Heath's past. Glazes with translucency allow the clay to peek through, or glazes with natural oxide speckles that echo the texture of the clay.
Seasonal collections bring collaboration. Fellow makers in Heath’s orbit weave the season’s palette, texture, or technique into their craft—interpreting its gifts their way. The result is a variety of custom goods that complement the season’s collection.
This season, from Sabah in El Paso, Texas, custom Baba shoes sprayed to mimic Heath’s faded glazing technique. Textiles from Madda Studio, out of Oaxaca, Mexico, are handmade from centuries-old tradition, upcycling remanent waste from other processes and utilizing them in others. Studio Prepa in Nagano, Japan, made sculptural objects and lighting from recycled beer-bottle glass. In our hometown of San Francisco, Studiopatro crafted one-of-a-kind runners from deconstructed heavy woven linen.
These collaborations, and more, nurture artistic partnerships and help us share the beauty they produce with our community and their homes.
This year marks a major milestone for Heath—75 years since our founding by Edith and Brian Heath. We’re using the anniversary as an occasion to look back and ahead as we plan for longevity. The Winter Seasonal Collection plays a special part in this anniversary year, as it represents the artistry, experimentation, and unconventional approach that defines Heath dating back to 1948.
Like the seasons, these come and they go. Available from Heath for six months, with you for a lifetime.