5.11.2014

thrifted: Heath Ceramics salad plates

secondhand Heath Ceramics, plate bottom imprint

This is why I shop at Goodwill (GW). Yesterday, after browsing for used books at the 6th Avenue GW, some for me and some for students, over in the housewares section I discovered two pristine Heath Ceramics Rim Line salad plates.

Heath's 9.5" salad plate is really the size of a typical dinner plate of yesteryear—if we're talking average vintage sizing. (The Heath Rim Line dinner plate is 11.25", for comparison.) Since we all know—or should know—that smaller plates make for smaller portions and thus smaller waistlines, there's no good reason to eat off platters.


Heath Ceramics salad plates & square handmade plate via Goodwill

For the record, each Heath Rim Line salad plate retails new for $31. That's what "Made in U.S.A.," specifically in California, costs these days. But at GW, the blue Moonstone plate was just two dollars and the solid black one a mere dollar—and they aren't even seconds. They were likely priced so low because they hadn't come in at the same time (different color tags), or as part of a set, and they didn't match, unless someone had snagged more Heath pieces earlier and hadn't spotted these. (GW sells not only objects but mysteries.) Though I checked and double-checked and rechecked the entire dinnerware section, these were the only Heath pieces I found. In contrast to the flashier blue one, the black one (my favorite) was likely priced lower in part because the Heath imprint is barely visible on the underside, the glazing covering both top and bottom. But we're talking the difference between one and two dollars here, no reason to quibble.


black salad plate underside with faint Heath imprint

The square patterned plate in the trio is a signed and dated ('84, obviously) handmade plate, on blue-color-tag sale for a dollar, that I'll use as a dessert plate—no need for chocolate drizzle! I like mixing my unmatched Heath pieces with one-off hand-thrown pottery. The trick is to limit the color palette, so everything feels cohesive. (This new blue one skews my own color palette but was too pretty to pass up.)


secondhand Heath & handmade plates in drying rack

So it was a good thrifting day, especially since I hadn't found a used Heath piece in over a year and needed more dinner plates for entertaining since I only had three. I'm still kicking myself for not buying up the whole amazing lot of Heath plates, bowls, and accessories found over in Beaverton in the fall of 2009. Win some, lose some. But yesterday was a win. These dishes only needed a quick soak in the sink for the price stickers to slide right off and a little scrubbing with Bon Ami to brighten them up, good as new.

And remember, you, too, can join the Small Plate Movement!

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