Thursday, August 03, 2006

me and Edith Heath

K. over at hopingforhappyaccidents wrote about collections yesterday, and mentioned that she collects Heath pottery.

I collect it too. Also I love to think and talk about the collecting behavior and why certain people are drawn to certain things. My Heath collection started a few years ago when I saw this cup and saucer in a thrift store for .25.

When I saw it, it made me think of that book, The Chess Garden by Brooks Hansen, and the character (whose name escapes me) who lives in a tower and collect objects that are "the" one of their kind. Like the ladder that holds the essence of what a ladder is and should be. I saw this cup and I thought wow, this is "the" tea cup.

I went home and researched Heath and found that it was made by a ceramicist named Edith Heath, right near here in Sausalito.

I went back the next day and found a covered casserole dish and a few small plates! Then I had a collection. Over the next few years I've picked up plates, luncheon plates, lots of studio mugs and bowls and ramekins and ashtrays and three creamers and two pitchers and some large serving bowls and platters and every time I find a piece it brings me this strange joy. Other thrift shoppers pass it by as just some kind of boring old stoneware, but I think it's exquisite. I love the earthy colors and the glazes and the shapes (especially of the coupe style stuff).

Here is most of my collection:

The down side to thrift store Heath collecting is that you just take what you find, so I have a wide variety of styles and colors. I only had three pieces of my favorite color (brown outside, pale speckley blue inside) and one of them broke!

The up side of course is that nothing shown here cost more than $3.00 except for the large brown serving bowl that was a gift from Scott.

What do you collect?


Blogger lisa solomon said...

what a nice collection..... i can never get quite as specific w/ my collections.... gwen does though [bugheart]

4:27 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I know exactly what you mean about that 'one' of something. I've never read that story, but my mind always thought about that idea as the 'aristotelian ideal' but to be honest, I'm probably getting my greek wrong. So what was the question? oh right:

Bicycles. And operating systems.

Bicycles because, shuah! They're bicycles! But I only collect lugged-steel, french and american bicycles. If having 6 is a collection. I also collect bicycle parts that appeal to me, either because of their beauty, or their supreme excellence at what they are (Campagnolo derailleurs? Beautiful! Shimano Tiagra Aero levers? Best levers I've used!). It's especially cool when you can get both function and beauty in one (honey brooks saddle with oversized rivets comes to mind), something that bicycle parts seem to achieve with greater frequency than other things.

I also collect operating systems. But that's simply a symptom of a 'grass-is-greener' problem I have with computers. Currently I'm running winxp, os x, and several flavors of linux (ubuntu, kubuntu, suse) on 3 or 4 computers. I haven't found The One that will do all I want it to. At the moment Linux is the closest.

Hmm..I guess I also collect Old stereo amplifiers, but I'm done with that now since I got the one I really wanted.

And maybe fans, well I have a collection of fans, but I don't really buy fans anymore.

5:08 PM  
Blogger michelle f said...

does yarn count? i collect so much stuff... i collect virgin mary stuff. mostly figurines, prayer cards and paintings. i collect keys. coins. clocks. old photographs. old autograph books.

I have this handmade key. It's about 3 1/2 inches long folded up. It's quite rough and primitive, but it probably did the job. I like it even more because i don't know what it went to, i don't know if they made a lock also or if it was a replacement. It's very worn, so it looks like it got a lot of use.
That's definitely "the" key.

10:52 PM  

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