Legendary ceramicist Edith Heath’s first pottery gig was making hand-thrown dinnerware out of a studio at Gump’s, a retailer in San Francisco. That was 1945—the same year she and her husband, Brian Heath, would go on to establish Heath Ceramics, Inc. In just two more years, they’d open a factory across the bridge in Sausalito, making their name synonymous with tableware and architectural tiles of the highest caliber. To this day, the company sets a high-water mark for all things kiln-fired.
In Edith Heath: Philosophies, a new volume from Berkeley Design Books and Information Office, a stable of contributors and experts pulls focus on the elements that shaped Edith Heath’s life and work. A historical timeline, essays, images, and in-depth commentary all add to the picture. Art historian Mara Holt Skov writes, "What began with Heath’s love of forming an ancient material into pleasing and functional shapes grew into a larger mission to bring the benefits of good design to as many people as possible."
In post–World War II America, that sentiment rang loudly. Today, it’s still ringing. Below are just a few moments from the new text, now available for preorder and out April 29.
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