San Francisco/ Sausalito
Heath is a design-led manufacturer of ceramic dinnerware and tile. Our entire process takes place within our two Bay Area factories, from design through production to sales. This keeps us responsible for every aspect of our company, from product to business. Heath was founded in 1948 by wife-and-husband duo Edith and Brian Heath, and is now owned and operated by Cathy Bailey and Robin Petravic, also a married pair, who have led Heath to become an employee-owned company with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, social equity, and design that supports those values.
Based in California, we have four showrooms, two factories, and a robust online business that includes registry. In addition to the central pillars of ceramic dinnerware and tile, the company also sells goods from other craftspeople who share our values, and with whom we create lasting relationships. Their products include well-made goods for the home, such as linens, glassware, cookware, and decor.
Heath has three primary locations, located in Sausalito, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Our Sausalito building is the original factory designed and built by the Heaths in the 1950s, which now houses our dinnerware manufacturing facility, a showroom, administrative offices and our Tile Shed, where overstock tile is sold to the public.
In San Francisco, we occupy a large portion of a LEED-Certified building in the Mission District, where we have our tile manufacturing, a large showroom, administrative and design offices, the Heath Clay Studio, and the Heath Newsstand. This building also houses several other tenants with whom we share a strong love of making and craft, including Tartine, Aesthetic Union, and fiber artist Windy Chien.
We have a small showroom inside the Ferry Building and another showroom in Los Angeles, where a small Clay Studio also operates.
We have several production models across our different lines. All are unified by an emphasis on slow, intentional, design-driven production. Some pieces, such as Design Series, are one-of-a-kind and made by hand by our Clay Studio Director, Tung Chiang. In our Clay Studio, we use a combination of casting and hand-finishing on the wheel. In our manufacturing facilities, dinnerware and tile are produced using a combination of molds, simple machinery like the jigger and jolly, and hand-application of glaze and finishing details.
We aim to be intentional with what we produce, and small- batch production allows us to explore and continue developing new and improved glazes, production techniques, and processes in parallel. The foundation of our production model comes from Edith Heath’s original vision, which was centered around sustainably designing high-quality, locally hand-made products that would last for generations. Over 75 years later, it’s clear that her approach was sound and stable, with many Heath products still in use three generations on.
Heath’s manufacturing process is a combination of many techniques, which include semi-automatic forming, cast in mold, and hand-thrown on a pottery wheel. Once shaped, they are fired, glazed, then fired again. Each product is touched by many hands, it takes 15 people with a combined 157 years of experience to make a Large Mug!
The core of our main clay body is sourced locally in California and formed in-house. Edith Heath’s original clay recipe—which we still use today—is intentionally formulated to conserve energy in its firing, requiring a lower kiln temperature to achieve a high degree of durability. Sourcing locally sustains our connection to creative founder Edith Heath, who found satisfaction in the coarse and earthy clay specific to California clay.
Our seconds and overstock tile and dinnerware are an excellent example of products being diverted from the waste stream. All are sold through our Sausalito showroom and make their way into architectural and design projects, instead of being discarded into landfill.
Heath’s local factories and retail model mean we have never required any packaging for our dinnerware product. Even when we ship, we use recyclable paper-based packing material. We are one of only a few companies who proudly pack all of our products using ExpandOS—100% post-industrial waste packing material that’s 100% petroleum-free and recyclable—in place of styrofoam peanuts or other petroleum-based packaging materials.