It’s no secret that we (heart) Heath Ceramics. And we are fortunate enough to have one HEATH collaboration under our belt (with a new design coming in May).
Our collaboration plates and dishes are a daily treasure in my home. My daughter sighs, “I want to eat on the star plate this morning.” “Star plate for a star student,” I reply.
HEATH was founded in 1948 by Edith Heath. “She was a talented ceramicist with a great respect for craft and material, and a strong point of view on the product that her company would make — simple, good things for good people.” Over 65 years later, the company is still dedicated to that same simple, functional (and beautiful) line of products.
My friends Cathy and Robin took over in 2003 and will soon be celebrating a decade at the helm of this company with an amazing history.
Dinnerware and tile are staple products under the Heath Ceramics name, but visit their website or store front and you will find an array of merchandise and collaborations in textiles, home accessories, glassware, and more.
If you ever find yourself with a surplus of strawberries after picking, puree the extra and make a delicious summer cocktail. Any excess puree can also be stored in the freezer for future use; however, strawberry cocktails are popular at my house and there is rarely much leftover puree.
Experiment with any ripe fruit as you progress through the holidays. We’ve previously posted strawberry cocktail recipes: Homemade Strawberry “Fruli” and strawberry-tarragon simple syrup with Prosecco. This recipe from our ‘Celebrate America’ catalog, shared again below, combines watermelon juice and orange bitters. Garnish with blueberries on rosemary stems for the perfect combination of tart, spicy, sweet, and bubbly.
Some five years ago, Martha Hall Foose visited Florence, and made the best strawberry cobbler I’ve had to date. Strawberry season came a little early this year. In early May, my patch began producing. I’m hoping that the plants will continue bearing through the coming weeks so my son, Zach, can make his classic strawberry cobbler for our 4th of July celebration.
We originally shared his recipe in our ‘Celebrate America’ catalog.
Looking forward to the upcoming holiday…
When I was working on our Heath Ceramics collaboration, we worked with colors rooted in the Southern vernacular and my upbringing in the 1960s and 70s in Alabama. When I look at the dishes, I see parts of my childhood in the shades of red and blue.
The chosen red is appropriately called red clay, as it was inspired by the color of Alabama soil. This miraculous color used to bring tears to my eyes as I would fly in from my time living in Europe. As a child, our summer clothes were stained with the color. The bottoms of our feet were permanently red clay colored after the temperature reached 78 degrees. Gillian Welch’s song “Red Clay Halo” cannot say it any better:
All the girls all dance with the boys from the city,
And they don’t care to dance with me.
Now it ain’t my fault that the fields are muddy,
And the red clay stains my feet.
Being a barefoot child who played in the garden, I knew this color intimately. This is the color of hard-working farmers and farm wives; it is the story of a community.
Southern musicians have written about Alabama’s red soil for decades. EmmyLou Harris’ “Red Dirt Girl” is another iconic example.
A traditional southern barbecue will almost always have the option of pork, whether in the form of pulled pork sandwiches, slow-cooked ribs, or smoked pork butt. Our July 4th pork dish may be a little more formal than those options, but it is actually very easy to prepare.
Our pork loin was sourced locally and roasted with fresh herbs from my garden. It looks even more delicious in a Large Serving Dish by Heath Ceramics. The dish helps hold the moisture, keeping the pork moist and allowing the flavors to emerge. I love the red color in contrast to our White and Navy Center Stripe Table Cloth.
“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.” –George Washington
The flag is the centerpiece of American cultural imagery. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s, the flag came to mean so many different things: pride, controversy, rebellion, commitment, more, so much more…
It has taken me decades of living, working, and traveling the globe to understand my own relationship to this symbol of our great nation. I have grown to love the flag in all its incarnations – as a reminder of where I come from, our collective history, and, of course, of the wise and honest standard to which I believe we are raising our repair.
Thanks to Garden & Gun for making our dinnerware their Editors’ Pick for the June/July 2012 issue.
Beautifully hand-crafted pieces.
Perfect timing for summer parties and entertaining.
Even better timing for my summer tomato sandwich diet (recipe included).
The etched salad plate is the perfect size for a single, delicious sandwich and I’ve got tomatoes in my garden almost ripe for the picking.
Alabama Chanin for HEATH Ceramics is available for purchase from our Home + Table section or from Heath’s website.
Cathy Bailey of HEATH Ceramics has frequented this blog for a number of years as a friend and a colleague. After loving her work (and her) from afar, we were fortunate to collaborate with HEATH Ceramics to produce a line of table and dinner wares that were launched last fall.
Cathy (her husband, Robin), and I share much of the same passion about design, craft, and local production. Next week, Cathy and I will share the stage at the Standard Talks. This coming Tuesday, Alabama Chanin presents MAKESHIFT: Shifting Thoughts on Design, Fashion, Craft, and DIY, our first event in a series of many as we continue a conversation on the intersection of design, fashion, craft, and DIY.
Heath Ceramics: An impressive view from within from Heath Ceramics on Vimeo.
Spending the past couple of days in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve seen firsthand the “making” spirit that defines the unique culture and character of life here. Alabama Chanin feels very connected to–and inspired by the creativity, craftsmanship, quality, and local manufacturing in this community.
Watch Monocle’s video which highlights some of the craftsmen and advocates that are pushing the maker movement ahead: SFMade, New Resource Bank, and HEATH Ceramics.
From Make, Do, Change:
“ …that creativity is very strongly back to appreciating good craftsmanship and quality in physical objects, and the idea that making products and working with your hands is something to be respected…”
-Robin Petravic, of HEATH Ceramics.
Our local bakery – called Sugarbakers – makes the most beautiful cakes. I personally think of them as “old-timey,” because they remind me of my childhood birthday cakes with white buttercream frosting and plenty of scallops and swags.
Here is a beautiful cake they recently made for me for a special occasion using a “stitched” Anna’s Garden pattern on the top. I think that this would make such a beautiful wedding cake (or birthday, or shower, or anniversary).