E-News for Spring 2011

Here’s What’s Below
“O Best Beloved” Wins
“Literary” tile show in Tacoma

Lewing’s New Direction
Mosaic Art NOW 2011
Palm Trees in New Jersey?
Share Your Stories
Jenny Dowd Wins THF Prize
Kaszas Bath for Birds
True’s Mosaics in Haiti
Flint Faience Preserved
Tunisian Tile Treasure
An Air of Optimism Permeates the Industry !
E-News Printable Version


O Best Beloved :  Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child
THF Prize Winner

by Sallie Herling, Herling Studio, Bellevue, Washington
The story of “The Elephant's Child” by Rudyard Kipling takes place along the banks of the Limpopo River in Africa. In the story the curious baby elephant gets too close to the crocodile who pulls and pulls on his short nose until the baby elephant has a "really truly trunk" just like the elephants that we see today. This story comes from the book "Just So Stories" which are wonderful read-aloud stories first published in 1912. These stories were read to
Sallie Herling over and over as a child, each one addressing the listener as "O Best Beloved." Dimensions: 9" x 9", 9" x 16", 9" x 9" with velvet underglazes on cone 6 stoneware.



Artisan Tile NorthWest presents “Literary” Tile ShowThe Handforth Gallery Tile Show, “Literary,” was held at the Tacoma (Washington) Public Library,February 24th through April 12th 2011.
Participating artists were Debra Bacianga, David Blad, Laura Brodax, Mary Lynn Buss, Barbara Clark, Carol Dean, Maxine Dunkelman, Paula Gill, Sallie Herling, Kimmi Kerns, Dianne Kimball, Jeremy Leveque, Jack Lewis, John McCuistion, Steve Moon, Allison Moore, Karen Morris, Yuki Nakamura, Renee O'Connor, Irene Otis, Jaki Reed, Claudia Riedener, Maria Root, Alair Wells.
The prizes were awarded by three independent jurors. The Tile Heritage Prize of $100 was decided by the jurors to be awarded to the “Best in Show,” namely Sallie Herling’s elephants (see above). The Tile Heritage Prize is “awarded to the artist whose tile in the jurors’ opinion best represents the ceramic traditions in America." The First Prize was given to Maria Root for her “Ravens and Crows”;



Second Prize to Steve Moon for his “Dead Authors”; and Third Prize to Barbara Clark for “Fox and Grapes.” Our congratulations to all of the participants in the show!
Artisan Tile NorthWest is a non-profit artisan group of Pacific Northwest tile makers. Their mission is to promote the art of making tiles in a variety of materials. They meet on a regular basis to inform and educate themselves about tiles, their making, application and history. Since 2004 they have organized an annual tile festival, second sales and open studios
.Each year they produce a “Guide to Handmade Tile Artists of the Northwest.” Also see Matt Nagle’s review in the “Tacoma Weekly”









Lewing’s New Direction
China paint — fired at the lowest end of the ceramic firing range — offers potters the chance to get consistent, durable and predictable color in their decoration. Any effect you can get from paint or ink, you can achieve with china paint. It  is the one place where the world of paint interacts with the world of fired clay.
Paul Lewing, trained as both a studio potter and a painter, brings more than 40 years of expertise to this inspiring and informative DVD. You’ll learn the basics of the technique and move through various exercises to develop skills and confidence.
‘Click’ to purchase or call or call 866 672-6993.





Mosaic Art NOW 2011
Now in its fourth printing, Mosaic Art NOW continues its tradition of promoting the international understanding and appreciation of contemporary art by showcasing some of the most exciting artists working in the medium today.
Featuring the Exhibition in Print:  A special 36 page section curated by renowned gallerist Bernice Steinbaum of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, noted mosaic artist and author Emma Biggs and artist, critic and commentator for the BBC Matthew Collings. 
Selected from a field of over 150 submissions from around the world, 8 artists are represented by three of their works shown in full and detail photographs PLUS revealing Artists Statements and in-depth work descriptions.  This is a world-class contemporary mosaic exhibition.
ALSO stories about great new work from Gary Drostle, Lynn Moor, Jacqueline Iskander and Rachel Sager plus tributes to Mosaic Art NOW and Mosaic Rocks! founder Bill Buckingham.
$19.95 plus shipping.  Supplies are limited. To order
“Click” or call 800 983-4820.


Palm Trees in New Jersey?
Things rarely go as planned... I started a tile palm tree for my partner's car dealership in 2003. The drawing and one or two of the unglazed fronds were packed up when I went off to culinary school and gave up my studio.
When I was ready to get back to it, the dealership began experiencing early stages of demise and then was sold (including the palm tree wall)  during the bubble burst of 2008. Shortly after that, my partner Robin called me from her small Chevy dealership and said she had a wall for the project.
I resumed making tiles and completed the project, a 15' x 10' palm tree with the oasis itself made of sayings about traveling in July 2010.
Abby Hoffman, Sacred Tile

Sacred Tile is a small company making ceramic art tile in South Brunswick, New Jersey. Tile artist Abby Hoffman celebrates and uses century-old tile making techniques to create art pieces for a variety of settings.
Sacred Tile custom work brings to life words, motifs and images in the form of murals, backsplashes, decorative molding, tile tables, furniture inlays, and wall hangings. Oasis Chevrolet is located at 1292 US Hwy 9 in Old Bridge, New Jersey.

Artist’s Statement:
“Tooth Pg. 1” is the first in a series of tiles chronicling my questions about the Tooth Fairy. Here the tooth exists as a specimen, waiting to be studied in a pre-trophy state.
Jenny Dowd
Dowd Wins Tile Heritage Prize at Feats of Clay
Jenny Dowd, art instructor and administrative assistant at the Art Association of Jackson Hole, captured the attention of juror Donna Billick at Feats of Clay XXIV for her “Tooth Pg 1.” The annual competition and exhibition is hosted by Lincoln Arts & Culture Foundation.
 














Bath for Birds in Balboa Park, San Diego
I'm sending a handful of photos to you of a mosaic/clay art project I recently completed that was dedicated Saturday, March 19th at the Balboa Park Zoro Butterfly Garden during the park-wide "Science Day" event at the park.
The Zoro Garden was first established for the 1935 Balboa Park's Pacific International Exhibition. If you Google it, you might be surprised to learn the garden was represented by a nudist colony at the time! Now the garden is known more commonly as the Zoro Butterfly Garden, which is located just to the east of the Prado Building.  
It was definitely my privilege to have this opportunity to showcase my art at such a historic park!  I don't normally do much mosaic work, but I have yet to learn how to say  "no" when it comes to creating art with tile. 
Patricia J. Kaszas,  Artist,
Patricia’s Tile Design





Mosaic Art Makes a Difference in Haiti
Here’s a quick update on the mosaic project I was working on in Jacmel last year with
Art Creation Foundation For Children (ACFFC):
Over four trips to Haiti I trained 75+ youth and artists in mosaic making techniques for both murals and small, salable objects, eventually stepping out as facilitator and becoming more of a consultant/ advisor and cheerleader as the mosaic wall progressed. We dedicated the almost 300 foot long Jacmel Memorial Mosaic Wall on January 12, 2011, the anniversary of the earthquake.
What has tangibly grown out of this project is that a core group of ACFFC kids have launched a mosaic team that has to date received two architectural mosaic commissions in Jacmel, have started documenting their work for future portfolios and the kids have made over 60 mosaic bottles, which will be on display at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival this spring and sold through Brandaid.
I am really excited about my next project in Haiti, which will be with public health organization Partners In Health. This group has been doing good work in Haiti for almost 25 years and I am proud to be working with them. PIH is in the process of building one of the largest hospitals in Haiti (in Mirebalais) that will serve the destitute poor in Haiti's central region. I’ll be bringing mosaic artwork to the hospital, offering a creative respite for hospital patients, visitors and staff; and several teenagers from Jacmel who are part of the core ACFFC mosaic team will come to Mirebalais to assist me and to learn advanced techniques.
We have a major fundraising effort going on to raise funds for the creation of the hospital mosaic projects through the Artwork Fund for Mirebalais Hospital. We are currently about a quarter of the way to our funding goal and we are actively seeking sponsors and tax-deductible donations for the Mosaics at Mirebalais
Laurel True, True Mosaics Studio


Flint Faience Saved in Royal Oak
Similar to the tile preservation effort that took place recently in Cranford, New Jersey (
see E-News for February 2011), a group of concerned parents, teachers and administrators in Royal Oak, Michigan worked diligently for over a year to save the fireplace mantel tiles in a local elementary school that had closed its doors and reinstalling them in another school nearby. Experienced tile preservation expert, Larry Mobley, performed his magic once again, carefully extracting the Flint Faience tiles, cleaning the tiles and then resetting them, this time in the Jane Addams Elementary School.

From Diana Barrer, who spearheaded the preservation effort: “It is with great pleasure that I send you these photos of the reinstalled Flint Faience fireplace at Jane Addams Elementary in Royal Oak, Michigan. Although the school board did not approve of the reinstallation of The Story of Little Black Sambo tiles, we were very lucky to find replacement Flint Faience tiles of the exact size from another closed
Royal Oak Elementary school that were saved by one of the district's maintenance workers a few years ago. As always, we could not have completed this project without the superb craftsmanship of Larry Mobley and the ceramic expertise of local ceramic artist, Laurie Eisenhardt.  We also had the support of our principal, Judi Juneau, the school board and our generous PTA membership which raised the money to save this historic artwork for the children of our school.
“We have also completed a beautiful drinking fountain installation at the school. There was extra Flint Faience tile from the 1920s that Larry combined with new tile from Royal Oak ceramic artist, Laurie Eisenhardt. The bullnose tiles, the small squares and the giraffe are from Flint and the decorative tiles surrounding the giraffe are Laurie’s new "Sunflower Series" tiles.  We installed this above a drinking fountain upstairs at school.”
A documentary titled “Royal Oak Schools’ Historic Tile Treasures” was completed in 2010 and is available on DVD as well as online. Click here!
All in Royal Oak and at Tile Heritage hope that this video will inspire others to preserve historic tiles in their communities.




Tunisian Tile Treasure
Where does one find historic tile treasures? Certainly wandering the streets of our urban centers, especially those areas developed during the years prior to the Great Depression, would be a good place to start. Many historic homes built during this period are now museums or listed in the Register of Historic Places and open to the public, like
Casa del Herrero in Santa Barbara, for example, designed by architect George Washington Smith.
George Washington Smith, noted architect in Montecito during the 1920s, designed homes throughout California in the Spanish Colonial Revival tradition, using red clay roof tiles, terra-cotta pavers, and colorful decorative tiles as accents to the stark white stucco interior walls and inner courtyards. Smith seemed to prefer tiles from Tunisia, which were available through tile dealers in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 1984 Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, purchased a 17,000 sq. ft., 30-room, hilltop mansion in Woodside, California designed by Smith in 1925 for copper mining baron Daniel Jackling. Jobs lived in the house for a decade before leasing it for several years. From 2000 on the building remained vacant, unprotected, and subject to vandals’ abuse. Ultimately, Jobs wanted the house removed, hoping to build a smaller residence on the coveted site. Despite the efforts of local preservationists to block the demolition, a permit was finally approved in 2010, and the wrecking balls went to work on February 14, 2011.

In the meantime, Brian Kaiser, tile historian, collector, and preservationist, negotiated an agreement with the demolition company to carefully remove the Tunisian tiles, some 3 to 4 thousand of them, those that adorned the mansion’s walls. The task was a dirty and tiring one, and with a deadline looming, Brian invited Riley Doty to assist him during the final three days.
As unfortunate as it is to lose a building of such historic significance, at least the historic tiles have been salvaged and will someday be valued and admired once again.
No word yet on whether Steve Jobs will be wanting ceramic tiles for his new abode atop Mountain Home Road.





An Air of Optimism Permeates the Industry !
There’s no better place than
Coverings to capture a sense of what’s going on in the tile industry worldwide and more specifically here in the U.S. A sense of optimism that we haven’t experienced in years pervaded the 4-day convention in Las Vegas in March, and the mood was contagious. Noticeable within the American pavilion in addition to the high level of gaiety were many new and exciting product lines, evidence that tile makers have been using the slowdown of the past several years to creative advantage. Special thanks to the Tile Council of North America, NTCA, CTDA and the other sponsoring organizations for hosting Tile Heritage at this important annual event.

Coverings provides an opportunity to meet, greet, discover and share both products and ideas. The demonstrations and educational programs that are offered each day from 8 to 5 tend to serve every possible interest. And as large as the convention is, and for the thousands of people who attend, there is also a clear sense and recognition of how small and tightly-knit the tile industry is in the United States.
At Tile Heritage we are frequently asked by artists and artisans about the appropriateness of Coverings for them, and specifically whether booth space on the convention floor would be a worthwhile investment. The answer? If you need to ask, you need to attend a show, walk the floor, talk to people, take in a seminar or two. It’s free!]



Link to E-News prior to Spring 2010





TCNA Honors Dick Baiter with Tile Person of the Year!
Tile Council of North America (TCNA) presented its prestigious Tile Person of the Year award to Mr. Richard Baiter at Coverings 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The award given to Mr. Baiter was a beautiful tile mural handcrafted by Brigid O’Connor of Artfind Tile (Wooster, OH).
Leaving the banking industry in 1978, Baiter purchased the Quarry Tile Company in Spokane, initiating himself into the world of tile. “Dick’s service to the tile industry is immeasurable,” commented TCNA Executive Director, Eric Astrachan. “In addition to his long-time service on TCNA’s Board of Directors and as TCNA’s treasurer, his idea to create art tile in a fast-fire kiln truly bridged the gap between handmade and mass produced tile. This contribution helped fuel the resurgence of art tile in the U.S. by making it more affordable and widely used.”
The award itself, O’Connor’s 30" x 24" tile mural was titled “Daffodil Cascade.” She explained, “Dick Baiter was an early and much-appreciated supporter when Artfind started in 1992. I chose this mural for several reasons. Just as the daffodil is the harbinger of spring, Dick was one of the first to greet me each spring at Coverings and support my work with a purchase. As spring signifies rebirth, Dick helped in the reemergence of art tile through his dedication to the ideals of quality and craftsmanship and his support of the many tile artists at Coverings. I picked this theme of nature and daffodils as my gift to Dick for his many
years of support.”

And we tip our collective caps to Dick Baiter, friend and longtime sponsor of the Tile Heritage Foundation.
Read more . . . .


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