The San Francisco Airport Museums has mounted an extraordinary exhibition titled “California Tile” in
the airport’s North Terminal, the one servicing United Airlines. The tiles, loaned by collectors Riley
Doty, Shannon and Norman Karlson, Jerry Kunz, and the Tile Heritage Foundation, are displayed in large
Plexiglas cases that line the sides of the concourse just inside the jet-walkways. Accenting the actual
tiles are a series of enlarged, digitally-enhanced, images of individual tiles, mounted vertically, each
nearly 5 by 5 feet, that draw one’s attention to the colorful, historic objects.
When you first approach the area, you’ll be overwhelmed by the beauty and majesty of the imagery. If,
as a passenger, you miss the walk through and board the jet-walk by mistake, you’ll be met with a series
of photo enlargements of historic tile installations from the Bay Area and beyond that are mounted on the
interior wall. The photos are all from the Tile Heritage slide library (it’s incredible what computer
technology can do to enhance an ol’ slide!)
The tiles themselves are arranged in their cases both by theme (e.g., Ships, Castles, Flora and Fauna, etc.)
and by company with Batchelder, Catalina, Claycraft, D & M, Muresque, and S & S being featured while several
other tiles are thrown in just to keep you guessing. In fact, each and every tile is properly labeled, and
each display case has a storyboard explaining the particular grouping. In addition, there are several cases
where Spanish, Moorish and Portuguese tiles are displayed, these serving as inspiration for the early
California tile makers.
Due to national security concerns, only ticketed passengers on United Airlines can see the exhibition. These
regulations may be loosened before the exhibit is dismantled in January 2005. But as it is, hundreds of thousands
of people will pass through the display walking to and from their United flights in the next 8-9 months, and that
is an amazing number!
Our special thanks to Abe Garfield, Blake Summers, Tim Taylor and Barbara Geib, all of the San Francisco Airport
Museums, for their incredible work and obvious fondness for the medium, and to Julia Murray for her efforts here
at Tile Heritage formally accessioning the objects for the exhibition.
Keeping The Craft Alive
The summer workshop series presented by Tile Heritage got off to a grand start the first weekend in May.
Tile artist and THF director Irene de Watteville offered “Magical Majolica at the Beach” at her home/studio
in Solana Beach, California. Nothing can state it better than the words of one of the participants:
“There is nothing better than taking a workshop with delightful Irene!!! And the special qualities of her
artistic environment are many—her tilework, the charming clutter of her workroom with fireplace and Provencal
curtains, the beauty of her patio view, her breezy garage! I must not forget her great teaching assistant artists,
Yvette and Sheila, and very interesting participants, many of whom are great artists themselves. Thanks!! Donna”
In Austin, Texas, Christie Rodgers presented “Mosaic Mélange for the Outdoors,”
“Christie Rodgers opened up her heart and her home/studio for complete strangers to come and learn the art and craft of tiling. It was great to learn cutting, adhering, casting and art techniques from Christie. The only negative thing I could say is it was not long enough!!!. Thank you for sponsoring this workshop. Denise”
“Keeping The Craft Alive” continues through the summer. Click on “Workshops” on the THF Home Page for all the details.
Tile Partners for Humanity
Ally Fertitta, Executive Director, reports that TPFH has just received 501(c)3 nonprofit status and now has the ability to
grant tax relief as Tile Partners for Humanity and also grant relief for donations reaching back to February of last year.
(To date, material donations have gone through HFH since TPFH couldn’t grant relief.)
Here’s the scoop on new projects: HFH of Orange County, CA, is building five homes in Costa Mesa, CA. New TPFH partners
Orchid Ceramics and Custom Building Products are providing materials. HFH of Greater Indianapolis (IN) is building 25 homes
this September as a fall blitz build. We will tile between 335-350 sf in each home for a total of 8,600 sf. Louisville Tile
and Crossville Ceramics will collectively supply tile for the project. HFH of Eagle and Lake Counties, CO, (Vail Valley
outside of Avon) has requested tile for one home currently nearing completion; Daltile agreed to donate that particular
tile. HFH of Charlottesville, VA, will tile ALL of its homes this year thanks to the collective support of Virginia Tile,
Laticrete and a local contractor who has agreed to donate labor. And HFH of Pensacola, FL, has requested tile for a number
of its upcoming houses. They currently have 15 underway, in different stages, and said they’re fine to begin tiling within
a month or two.
If anyone wants to participate in these projects by supplying tiles, supplies or volunteer labor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.tpfh.com for more information.
THF member Lillian Sizemore, a professional mosaic artist in San Francisco, has just published A Guide to
Mosaic Sites San Francisco, a colorful and handy booklet for both visitors and residents of the Bay Area.
Designed to fit nicely into one’s back pocket or purse, the 36-page booklet contains detailed maps of eleven
neighborhoods, each with numbered sites; all of the sites are fully described and many are pictured. For an order
form go to www.sfmosaic.com or send a check for $20 (includes first class postage) to Lillian Sizemore,
P. O. Box 31899, San Francisco, CA 94131.
And in case you missed the note up above, on the THF Home Page, click on “Calendar” and “Workshops” for the most
up-to-date information as well as the newest “Tile of the Month”!