Utah: A Farewell Letter

Sep 26, 2019 • Connie Matisse

Utah: A Farewell Letter

Utah: A Farewell Letter

An explanation as to why we are retiring out dusty, dessert red.

Hey readers—Connie here.  A less sales-y, more information-giving update from East Fork.

Utah is no more.

At least for the foreseeable future.
  Before I get to the why, the need to know is simply that we've had to put a halt on the production of our pots in our Utah glaze (shown above!) and don't currently have plans to redevelop and relaunch it.

Due to the minimally processed nature of our glaze and clay materials, we're accustomed to seeing variety in the saturation, hue, and iron content of our pots.  But earlier this year, Utah started seeing a pretty substantial mission drift, varying from kiln to kiln and shelf to shelf from a rosey, taupey peach to a streaky, rusty brick. Utah Mugs were coming out of the kiln with brown rings around the insides that looked like coffee stains. One recipient of a set of four Utah Mugs even thought that we'd sent her our dirty dishes! Oof.

As our Glaze Chemist, Kyle Crowder, points out, the materials in Utah make the glaze suspension really finnicky—it tends to run thin and, when it does, shows way too much of the dark clay body beneath it. We've been trying to stabilize Utah for the last several months and it's just not happening.  It's coming out too pink or too dry.  Too glossy or too streaky. Every minute Kyle spends getting Utah back on track is a minute they can't spend on developing new colors to introduce to the line.  And so last week I made the hard call to pull the plug. 

As the Chief Creative + Marketing Officer at East Fork, part of my job is to develop our color strategy.  My dream for next year and years to come is have the ability to launch two seasonal colors in both April and October, while consistently stocking 4 to 5 Core Colors that everyone can rely on being available year-round.  Right now those Core Colors are our old standbys—Eggshell, Morel, and Soapstone. 

A question for you:
If we were to add two new "neutrals" to that Core Collection, what would you want to see? I'm not a gray/black person myself, but are you? Does a warm white and a rusty chestnut sound appealing as year-rounds? Respond to this email letting us know what you're dying to see come from the East Fork color universe in the future.  I promise, we're listening.

Apologies to all lovers of our Utah glaze.  We'll miss the images of desert rocks, glowing bonfires, dusty sunsets it conjures up.  But Utah looks good with so many colors, so if you're feeling stuck on how to expand on a collection you've been building with Utah in mind, Marissa and Savannah (our CX goddesses) would love to make suggestions.  I personally LOVE Utah with Celery and Morel.  There are still plates available in Celery, and Morel is our consistent golden child who plays well with most colors and hasn't given us any issues this year.

Yeesh, didn't expect this to be a novel.  Thanks for reading and understanding. 



Comments (6)

  • Kelly Birdsall

    I wish so so much that you would do another run with Malibu! When we first started our set there were only a few pieces left in that shade and I didn’t move fast enough, so we missed out!! If Malibu is off the table then something in the lighter blue family would be so nice to see. Thank you!

  • M in Boston

    Have to agree with Trina. Malt was a really gorgeous neutral glaze that I would love to see added to the core collection!

  • Kelli

    I would love a warm white and that chestnut you mentioned doesn’t sound bad either!

  • Maggie

    Love all the colors you guys do! I’m a big fan of neutrals and earth tones, but also love primary colors and BLACK! I think black would make a great addition to the core colors because colorful, fresh food looks so vibrant and delicious on a black plate. It would be a great color to build a home collection around because the versatility of color offers so many opportunities for fun combinations. It could tie together a color palette or balance one of the lighter tones like eggshell for a more dramatic contrast. Plus, it would look super boss with vintage metals or the lue brass you guys push. Love you guys!!

  • Alan in Boulder

    Hi, I am a NEW part of the East Fork “user family.” The website, company history, read articles and associate profiles were a delight to read. I have been on th long hunt for tablewear that fits the mood of my lodge-feel home in CO. Earthy but with the right shape, size, colors. Sophisticated but in an unobtrusive, non-fussy, understated way. Pottery Barn, Williams, West Elm, local kitchen shops across the country … too commercial, no story, busy patterns that distract from great food. After 10 years, I found the right one – East Fork. Like the “just-right” leather jacket I found after 10 years of looking and looking, not willing to accept “whatever” just to have something. I got two eggshell dinner plates from a local shoppe and will build from there.

    The personification of Utah Orange and its imminent passing was rather cure. In regard to colors, my opinion is your line is about vintage, lasting durability, timelessness. For that deeply earth tones match much better than vivid trend colors whose “shelf life” may be 2-5 years before you tire of it. Those colors certainly have their (emotional) place in our lives. But there is something of a mild dissonance with such colors like olive, orche yellows, (ummm, those were popular in 70’s until we could not longer stand them!). So my recommendation is to be a master of earth colors. A great once is highly nuanced in base and harmonic undertones …. not too much nor too little ….and saturation that is just right. I’m sure you’ll come out with appealing winners.

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