A mug is more than a receptacle for hot water. A plate is not just for holding food.
At least, that's what two new stores remind us.
Last week, they graduated into a stylish storefront in Old Oakland's Popuphood. Their tools for coffee, cocktails and dinner range from hashi (chopsticks; $15 for a set) carved from reclaimed wood to sandy-textured, stacking teaware from Hasami Porcelain.
Sausalito's beloved Heath Ceramics opened a new factory in Mission in late June. Although it will be several months before tile production begins there, the open, light-drenched showroom already displays Heath's full array of dinnerware.
Visit to run your fingers over the sensuously matte finish on the new, slate-colored Chez Panisse line ($24 to $125), as well as a temporary exhibition of Akio Nukaga's work, which melds curvaceous, Modernist shapes with rustic Japanese techniques.
Starting tomorrow, you'll also be able to drink espresso at Heath's Blue Bottle Coffee kiosk: Form and function unite in a cup.