The Heath Ceramics Factory Tour in Sausalito has been on my bucket list since we moved to the bay area. I fell in love with Heath the first time I came across them in the Ferry building. I just love the sturdy handmade feel that each piece has. For now I’m an admirer from afar – a resident salary in the most expensive country in the world doesn’t allow me to own $30 plates. I’m more on a box of ikea plates found in a box on a sidewalk kind of budget right now (seriously, that actually happened).
More photos after the jump!
The factory tour let me dream about someday owning my own Heath collection and gave me even more of an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into each Heath piece. Our tour guide was funny and lovely and walked us through every step of the process. She was a Heath fangirl in her own right, talking about trying to buy vintage Heath pieces on Ebay and weaving a lovely story of the history of Heath Ceramics.We learned that the clay to make the pieces is made right in house in Sausalito, through a series of mixers and clay presses that form the clay into slabs. All the molds for the ceramics are made in house as well. No pottery wheels here – a common misconception. The niece of the Heath’s still creates each seasonal glaze right there in the factory.
The picture below on the left isn’t showing a display shelf – it’s the kiln! A huge metal cover drops down over the pieces and raises the temperature up to *** Fahrenheit. There are so many quality control steps that only about 80% of pieces make it to consumers. Of those, a small number are sold as 2nd and 3rd quality.If you find yourself looking for a fun day activity in the San Francisco bay area where you’re also learn something – this is perfect. As a bonus, it’s great if you’re on a budget as the day won’t cost you anything, unless you walk away with an armload of souvenirs. Plus they serve coffee and treats!
See it for yourself:
Heath Ceramics Factory
Working Factory Tour: Friday at 11:15 AM
Weekend Factory Tours Saturday & Sunday at 11:45 AM & 2:30 PM
400 Gate Five Road
Sausalito, CA 94965
415 332 3732 ext 13