How to Thrift Shop for Vintage Heath Ceramics

Shopping thrift shops, flea markets and property gross sales will be overwhelming. With the sheer quantity of stuff, how are you aware the place to begin? How do you see gems amid all of the junk?

As an expert reseller who has been combing by means of thrift shops for the higher a part of 30 years, I may help. If you’re prepared to chop your buying time in half, rating greater bargains or stroll away with brag-worthy finds you possibly can flip for money, learn on.

From hard-to-find home items to resale money-makers, every little thing featured in my “Thrift Shop Like a Pro” collection qualifies as a BOLO (“be on the lookout” for) merchandise. When you discover it, purchase it!

Featured discover: Vintage Heath Ceramics

Heath Ceramics was based in 1948 by Edith Heath and her husband, Brian Heath. Trained on the Chicago Art Institute and the San Francisco Art Institute, Edith was the potter.

The couple launched the corporate shortly after Edith’s dinnerware obtained the eye of Gump’s, a luxurious housewares retailer based mostly in San Francisco.

Behind the scenes, Brian managed the enterprise and helped design new tools to automate manufacturing with out sacrificing high quality.

Together, Edith and Brian made Heath Ceramics an internationally identified model identified for high-quality trendy dinnerware in addition to architectural tile.

Shortly earlier than Edith’s demise in 2005, Heath Ceramics was bought by the design staff of Robin Petravic and Catherine Bailey. Through collaborations with new artists and an expanded product line that features wallpaper and linens, the corporate remains to be going robust.

Why purchase it?

Edith Heath is a midcentury icon. Her designs are deceptively easy, the results of exacting requirements and an unbelievable understanding of the properties of various clays and glazes.

Her work is a part of the everlasting assortment of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Practically talking, Heath items are extremely simple to reside with. Glazes are pretty impartial and the clay formulation the corporate used produced sturdy tableware that may final for generations. If you’re fortunate sufficient to bump into an entire set, take into account making it your day by day dinnerware.

And if you’re thinking about reselling for revenue, Heath dishes make needs come true.

This giant serving bowl not too long ago bought for $250 on eBay and these 4 dinner plates bought for $125. On Etsy, this hand-thrown studio bowl is priced at — prepare for it — $8,500. If that doesn’t get your thrift-shopping juices flowing, I don’t know what is going to.

What to search for

No must guess whether or not you’ve discovered an genuine Heath. Vintage items are well-marked with an impressed brand on the underside.

The most typical model options an all-caps “HEATH” with the descending line of the “T” dropping decrease than the wordmark to create an “L” form. A small inverted triangle rests on the horizontal line of the “L.” Though there’s little data to assist us deconstruct the brand, I imagine the “L” and triangle mixture is supposed to evoke a bit of pottery resting on a desk or potter’s wheel.

Pro tip: On factory-made items, the impressed HEATH mark is commonly obscured by glaze that swimming pools throughout the firing course of. Confirm the maker by inspecting the underside floor from totally different angles. Shifting gentle helps catch delicate particulars of the brand.

Heath studio items are usually marked by hand with a easy incised “HEATH” in all caps. If you’re not paying consideration, you can simply dismiss the “signature” as that of a highschool artwork scholar or newbie potter.

Though all classic items are useful, Heath collectors notably prize the next:

  • Studio items: Studio items are handmade one-off or restricted version designs. Identify them by the roughly inscribed wordmark talked about above.
  • Serape items: Heath’s Serape line incorporates a putting blue glaze that was created by mixing three glazes along with Heath’s Moonstone glaze. Quite uncommon, Serape items can promote for triple the quantity of different manufacturing items.
  • Buttons: Dubbed “kiln fillers” by Edith, ceramic buttons have been a short-lived extension of Heath’s product line. Examples are so uncommon that I used to be unable to seek out worth estimates.

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