When we plan our seasonal collections, the theme and colors that shape the ceramics also become a map for our collaborations with makers of all kinds. We work with weavers, glass-blowers, printmakers, and many others to build out a seasonal collection that includes as many fresh and beautiful home goods as dinnerware. And here they are! A few of this summer’s stellar makers.
Heath and Kaymet were born around the same time, in the late 1940s, though more than an ocean apart. Kaymet products were first produced at a factory on Kennington Lane, near the Elephant & Castle, London. Their aluminum bowls, trays, and trolleys are made by hand, start-to-finish in the UK. For the summer collection, Kaymet made trolleys in two colors—soft green and bright yellow—which are not only charming on their own, but beg to be adorned with cool drinks and crunchy snacks, and wheeled out into the sun.
Rooted on the coast of Maine, Swan’s Island is an American maker of yarns and textiles. They use vintage industrial looms and handcrafting techniques to make blankets, throws, pillows and apparel. For Heath’s summer collection, Swan’s Island designed an abstract patterned knit blanket with pops of bright green and jade against rich, raisiny browns. Michele Orne, Swan’s Creative Director, explains how the blanket was made: “Half of the colors in this blanket are made with yarn from upcycled plastic bottles and recycled cotton from garment manufacturing off-cuts. The other half are organic and Egyptian cottons. The color palette reminds me of a walk in the Maine woods in the summer.”
Our friendship with Carla Fernandez goes way back to an incredible fashion installation she brought to our San Francisco showroom, wowing every visitor. Both an artist and fashion designer, Carla’s work is inspired by traditional techniques from her native Mexico, across various regions and craft disciplines. She works with Mexican artisans to produce her pieces. This summer’s collection includes small ceramic flowers, handpainted in colors that reflect our summer palette. Each flower has a wooden stick attached so that they can stand in a vase, as single accents or a ceramic bouquet.
Designer Christina Weber runs Studiopatró out of San Francisco, where she makes and sells handwoven and printed textiles for the home. The Studiopatró works for Summer Seasonal emerged from a special collaboration between Christina and her sister, which began simply as creative play on a warm Northern California getaway. The pair painted linen in bright, citrusy hues, then cut the fabric into wide strips and wove them together. “It was a labor of love. Each painting became its own piece. We cut warp and weft strips from the same painting and then wove them in order. It had to be created with such detail, pulling each thread in order to cut each strip, then weaving, sewing, and fringing. It’s unlike anything else we’ve done.”
House Industries is a design studio celebrated for their incredible fonts, lettering, and painting styles. Many Heath fans know them because of the house numbers we produced in collaboration for many years. It’s a pleasure to return to the creative table with them for Summer Seasonal with a set of tea towels printed with Heath’s location names, in a font with an amazing story. Andy Cruz, House’s founder, began by building their AZTEK letters as large, solid-wood sculptures, then created them out of Heath tile. The 8-bit graphic style lent itself perfectly to the sharp geometry of tile, and then took on a softer side when printed onto tea towels for kitchen and home.
A textile artist originally trained as an architect, Carolina Jimenez creates woven fiber works that are framed for hanging. Each is titled like the beginning of a story—and indeed, Carolina’s pieces are always representative of a memory or an encounter from her own life. She describes her inspiration for this summer’s collection like this: "At low tide, you can gaze into different worlds, each nestled next to another. Remnants of these mysterious worlds wash ashore. Ropes of kelp unfurl, waiting to be dragged back out to sea. Treasures beneath my feet. Ridges in the sand and stone… What is here today won't be here tomorrow—this stretch of neither land nor ocean. What is ocean now will be land soon, what is land will be ocean again. "