Alabama Chanin x Heath Ceramics Dinnerware Collaboration at Natalie's Home

A HANDMADE FRIENDSHIP: ALABAMA CHANIN x HEATH CERAMICS

For over a decade, we’ve had the joy of collaborating with Cathy Bailey and Robin Petravic, the visionary husband-and-wife duo behind Heath Ceramics. For the newest Heath Ceramics x Alabama Chanin collection, Natalie, Cathy, and Robin set out to create two new hand-etched designs that represent each company’s heritage and work in the preservation and celebration of craft. Through this creative process, the “Echo” and “Seed Stitch” designs came to fruition and served as the foundation for the collection as a whole. 

Using Dogwood button-craft thread and White organic cotton jersey, Alabama Chanin artisans created a fabric swatch that was filled and scattered with “seed” stitches—a traditional mending stitch that is often used to extend the lifespan of well-worn clothing and quilts. This swatch served as the reference point for Heath’s artisans in translating the motif from stitch to etch.

The Seed Stitch Etched Salad Plate

The Seed Stitch design is only available in the Salad Plate and is etched by hand onto an Opaque White glaze.

Making of The Camellia Etched Dinner Plate

“Cathy had the idea of etching the glazed pottery like we do with our stitching, one stroke at a time. That just landed and stuck because it was such a brilliant translation of everything that we do into what Heath does.” —Natalie Chanin

“Echo” reimagines a historic technique developed by Edith Heath, the visionary ceramist who founded Heath Ceramics with her husband Brian in 1948. In this design, rotations of the potter’s wheel create freeform lines that resemble lengths of thread.

The Echo Etched Dinner Plate in Indigo

Hand-etched by Heath Ceramics Artisans in Sausalito, California. Also available in the Barnes Dinnerware Set.

The Echo Etched B&B Plate in Opaque White

In keeping with her approach to textile design and affinity for combining contrasting textures, Natalie loves nesting this plate with the Seed Stitch Salad Plate.

The Magnolia Dinnerware Set

The essentials for a curated table setting in Opaque White. This five-piece set includes the three signature etched designs from the collaboration: Camellia (Etched Dinner Plate), Seed Stitch (Etched Salad Plate), and Echo (Etched B&B Plate).

The Echo Etched Deep Serving Bowl Bowl in Wave

This collaboration introduces a signature “Wave” blue colorway that is available in limited-edition accent pieces designed to complement the Indigo and Opaque White color palette. Wave is inspired by the eponymous colorway from Alabama Chanin’s Spring/Summer 2022 Collection.

The Echo Etched Shallow Salad Bowl in Indigo

Hand-etched by Heath Ceramics Artisans in Sausalito, California. Measures 13″ in diameter and 2.75” in height. Capacity of 111 fluid oz.

Natalie at Home

The Seed Stitch Etched Salad Plate and Echo Etched Salad Plate, displayed on Natalie’s mantle alongside photographs and objects tied to places and times past at her home in Florence, Alabama.

The Echo Etched B&B Plate in Wave (+ Natalie’s biscuits)

A homemade biscuit is a thing of simple beauty. For Natalie and so many who were raised in the American South, biscuits have come to represent comfort, warmth, and sustenance. There is a significance in working the dough by hand, and in the transformation of these simple ingredients—broken apart and folded under a gentle pressure so that they can come together again in a new form.



Recipe for Natalie’s Alabama Biscuits


Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided (look for an unbleached all-purpose flour with about a 8.5% protein or less)

2 teaspoons baking powder (use homemade if you can—recipe below*)

1 teaspoon salt (use a bit more if you like a salty biscuit)

1/4 lb. cold unsalted butter

3/4 cup whole milk



Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425°.

2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour with the baking powder and salt and whisk thoroughly (or sift together).

3. Cut in cubed butter using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. (You may also use your fingers for this step by smearing the butter into the flour.)

4. Add milk and stir gently until a soft dough forms.

5. Use remaining 1 cup of flour (without baking powder and salt) to lightly coat a Biscuit Cloth or clean work surface. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Sprinkle more flour as needed on cloth and dough to keep from sticking.

6. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough 1/4-inch thick, fold in half, then roll out to 1/4-inch thick again to laminate (or flatten) butter into layers. Repeat several times until the butter is all flattened and the dough feels springy to the touch. Southern tradition says to handle the dough as little as possible to get a soft biscuit. My favorite biscuit is flaky and has a bit more structure. To achieve this, I roll and fold the dough approximately 6-7 times to create laminated layers.

7. Finish by rolling out dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a lightly floured 2-1/4-inch round cutter, stamp out biscuits as close together as possible.

8. Pat the dough scraps together, laminate the dough together again, and stamp out more biscuits. Transfer the biscuits to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure that the sides of the biscuits are touching to get additional rise from your dough.

Classic biscuit makers will tell you to skip this step; however, I was taught to be thrifty and use every bit of the dough. If you prefer to not use the leavings of the dough, shape gently into rounds or bake as-is.

8. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden brown. If you find that your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pan at 5 minutes. Stay close to the oven and watch the baking process as biscuits can quickly over-bake and become dry.

9. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.

10. Add butter and jam. Enjoy.



*Homemade Baking Powder (from Scott Peacock)

1/4 cup cream of tartar (organic preferred)

2 tablespoons baking soda

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