Typically, only brides and event planners have strong opinions about dinnerware. But Sausalito-based Heath Ceramics has developed a devoted following over the years for its high-end but unfussy table settings. After eight months of real estate hunting, the clayware company signed the lease this summer on a 60,000-square-foot Mission compound, endearing itself to its youthful new neighbors with a Blue Bottle Coffee–slinging café and a retail store. This month, the remodeler’s Wonkaland expands yet again with the addition of the Tile Factory, a gleaming central workshop and showroom designed to put at ease those of us who might more readily associate glaze with doughnuts. Through floor-to-ceiling windows, browsers can watch the complete creative process, from the making of the clay to the firing of three massive kilns, or they can linger in the interactive design space arranging, Tetris-style, tiles in 80 glazes and 25 shapes. Unlike appointment-only designer showrooms, Heath caters to at-home DIYers as well as pros.
2900 18th St., at Florida St., 415-361-5552, Ext. 13, $16.50–$77 per square foot.