Paul and I started a recent tradition that we like to do every Sunday. Early in the morning we bike to a nearby neighborhood to enjoy a great cup of coffee, eat something delicious like a scone or toasted bagel, then walk around the farmers market. Lately this little excursion has taken us to Go Get ’em Tiger, a rather unique coffee spot in the heart of Larchmont, mid-city’s hidden suburb. While waiting for my morning cappuccino I like to browse their shelves which are always packed with great varieties of coffee, except for one shelf which is reserved for some rustic and beautiful cups. These mugs, by Ben Medansky, always catch my eye because they mix the grainy texture of a hand thrown piece of pottery with the delicate shape of a small cup for tea. These little artisan home goods are just the beginning of my ceramic love as of late. Recently I wandered into the large Los Angeles outpost of Heath Ceramics. If I could pinpoint one place to indulge in any ceramic obsession it would have to be this place. The window shelves are stocked with various sizes and colors of bud vases, the back wall is lined with place settings that could put any wedding registry to shame, and the back has tile options for the chicest of homes. I think I pulled Paul in several directions at once pointing out everything I could possibly wish to buy…I even picked up a tiling brochure to layout the pattern of our imaginary home. Heath Ceramics definitely raised the bar in artisan ceramic goods; they look simple, but closer inspection reveals impeccably smooth finishes, muted earthy tones, and unique shapes.
I was introduced to their summer collection which is full of the greens, greys, and mauves that are popular for the season. The smooth bowls would pair perfectly with the more rustic cups found in Ben Medansky’s collection. Add one of Heath’s wooden serving planks to round out a perfectly artisan inspired table. I’ve collected a few of their smaller bud vases in fall colors, but the fresher ones for summer are already on my wish list for displaying fresh flowers.
My ceramic love and the trend itself has definitely expanded and now clicking through sites like Etsy reveal an incredible world of crafted goods. A white hand thrown plate set from Vitreous Wares adds an intentionally mismatched feel to the home, while the turquoise bowls and horizon cup set from Julia Paul Pottery give a minimally chic look to the counter. I’m a little hesitant saying this on a page that references Heath Ceramics among other great ceramic artists, but my morning coffee stops at Starbucks have revealed a few grey, bronze, and stone glazed cups that look rather rustic for the coffee giant.
Images on white background courtesy of Jeffery Cross for Heath Ceramics