Variation and Heath Tile go hand-in-hand. We rate each of our glazes with a number, indicating its likelihood to exhibit a range of texture and tone. A low variation rating (1 or 2) means that the glaze is fairly consistent. Glazes with a high variation (3, 4, or 5) show very high tonal and hue shifts. These shifts can be from one tile to the next; they can also be within a single tile.
For glazes with a variation of 3, 4, or 5, it is recommended to order several samples of the same glaze to accurately depict the effect the variation will have on the installation. No matter high or low, all variation is worthy of celebration.
Yes. We offer two clay bodies: white and brown (also referred to as Manganese). Each plays an important role in the character and variation of an installation. Generally speaking, and depending on the translucency of a glaze, white clay provides a neutral background and emphasizes color variation; and brown clay imparts earthy richness.
Each clay has distinct characteristics, including the amount it shrinks during firing. We do NOT recommend using both clay bodies in a single installation, since the differences between the two may unnecessarily complicate the installation process.
We’re currently prototyping a third clay body: Recycled, made from clay and glaze scraps generated in the manufacturing process. It’s available with select glazes in the Stan Bitters collection.
Most glazes are either matte or glossy. A small assortment are textured matte, unglazed, and glossy crackle finishes. The finish can have an impact on the installation — for instance, we recommend sealing textured matte, glossy crackle, and unglazed tiles, both before and after grouting.
A glaze's finish is inherent to its make-up; the result of chemistry and formulation. For that reason, it's not possible to change the finish of a glaze.
Thanks for asking. Since 1967, when Edith Heath, forever tinkering, began cutting shapes into extruded sheets of clay. This experiment became Heath Tile. Over the years, we’ve upgraded some machinery and continued improving the making process, however every single piece of our tile is made right here in San Francisco, California.