E-News Autumn 2013

SL Lighthouse
Here’s What’s Below

Spring Lake Plaques Preserved

Flint Faience Fireplace
Finds New Home

What Goes Around Comes Around
Cecil Sanders’ Pomona Tile

“Airfield Dreams”
by Marlo Bartels

Capitalize the Founders Legacy

Founded in July 1987 Tile Heritage celebrates its 26th anniversary this year. Supporters like YOU... members, major contributors, industry sponsors, generous grantors... everyone... have made possible the continued fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission to Document and Preserve tile history in the U.S., both past and present. THANK YOU! Comments about E-News? Share them for posting!

SL Fish

Spring Lake Plaques Preserved
Architect/engineer E.H. Schmeider seized the moment in the late 1920s to add these appealing decorative terra-cotta plaques to the design of the North End Pavilion in Spring Lake, New Jersey in 1931. We have yet to discover the maker.
Spring Lake, an oceanside haven for the wealthy, mushroomed in growth during the last quarter of the 19th century. Huge hotels were built along Ocean Avenue, attracting visitors principally from New York and Philadelphia, many of whom took up residence for the entire summer.
. . . READ MORE . . .

Permission to reprint these Spring Lake NJ images has been granted to Tile Heritage from the photographer.
© Frank H. Jump http://www.fadingad.com/fadingadblog/?p=7134  author of Fading Ads of New York City (History Press, 2011) & Fading Ad Blog. http://www.fadingad.com/fadingadblog

Printable Version E-NEWS FALL 2013

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Flint Faience Fireplace Finds a New Home
Larry Mobley
Well, we finally reinstalled the Flint Faience fireplace in Cranford, New Jersey. The tiles came out of the Solomon Schechter Day School, the former Roosevelt School, in Cranford three years ago while the building was being demolished. The fireplace and animal tiles were in the kindergarten classroom; others were on the stairway and entrance to the school, which had been built in 1927. Because of the demolition in progress I saved what I could.

The photo without the raised hearth (above) is the original fireplace from the school. In September 2010, I had four days to remove the fireplace and extra tiles. We found the 3x3 animal and blue field tiles under multiple coats of paint in a border around the classroom. Extra 6x6 gold tiles and chair railing were removed from the front entrance stairway.
(See E-News February 2011.)

I then brought the tiles home to my studio in Cohoctah, Michigan to clean them. I didn’t work on them fulltime but my time would add up to about five days. This was part of my original contract. Cement and grout were removed from the tiles, which were cleaned with 7 n One Tile Cleaner from ESP Sales. 
. . . READ MORE . . .

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What Goes Around Comes Around…
Last spring Don Sbicca in Monrovia, California contacted Tile Heritage with some decorative tiles he wanted identified. What differentiated Don’s request from others received at THF was that his tiles were not only familiar but related back to the Foundation’s earliest days and the unearthing of one of the largest privately held collections of historic California tiles ever amassed!

Back in 1985 Don and his wife had added on to their home and were in need of tiles. Somehow they became aware of a deceased "tile guy" who had lived nearby, and they went to have a look. A young man was emptying four small warehouse buildings just down the street; he lived in northern California and was a tile setter himself. He had many pallets of field tile as well as other pieces in large quantities he was shipping up north. The couple ended up buying the salvage rights to the remaining mess of tiles in the four buildings. Among the debris Don found a small box tucked away in the back corner. In it were 26 Pomona 4 ¼” tiles depicting three different hand-painted gulls in flight. Not having found any field tile to match, they kept the tiles in the box… for 28 years!

Pomona 1-post

Regarding the tile collection itself: Henry Krier, an eccentric tile contractor, who developed his reputation during the 1920s and ‘30s, stockpiled leftovers from his jobs in the warehouses adjacent to his home in Monrovia. Henry Sr. died in ’67 at age 80; his son, Henry Jr., the “tile guy” referred to above, had carried on the family business. (See “The Legacy of Henry Krier” by Lynn Downey in Flash Point, vol. 2, no. 3.) The young man from northern California was Richard Baratta, whose father Rick was a beneficiary of the Krier estate.

Realizing the artistic and historic value of the collection, Rick chose the tiles for his portion of the settlement. And after tiling two houses in the Sacramento area, Rick contacted Tile Heritage to determine what to do with the bulk that remained!

As for the gulls, they “flew” into our lives upon meeting the late Cecil Sanders at his home in Grass Valley, California in the late 1980s when we were actively engaged in tape recording the “seniors” of the industry. He had worked as a designer at the Pomona Tile Company in Pomona for about five years in the early 1930s, producing these birds in flight among other decorative motifs. At 79 years old at the time he was as spry as a young kid, aghast that anyone would be interested in his short life as a tile maker!
(See “Profile: Cecil Sanders in Flash Point, vol. 1, no. 4.)
What goes around comes around. It’s been quite a “flight.


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“Airfield Dreams”

Artist Marlo Bartels imagines himself laying in a field of California poppies and lupine, gazing up through the fragrant foliage of orange groves, a familiar experience for many in and around Brea, California, many years ago.
Today that memory has been rekindled by “Airfield Dreams,” an Art in Public Places project on the site of a 1920s airfield in Brea, southeast of Los Angeles. Completed in June of 2013 the work was nine months in the making and includes 32-feet of undulating seating featuring the portraits of famous barnstormers along with six 12-foot, three-sided columns of colorful mosaics.
http://www.marlobartels.com Marlo has been producing and installing permanent wall pieces, sculpture, murals and functional art since 1977. He works with ceramic tile, terrazzo & stone; shaping, forming and glazing the clay elements by hand. With the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., he has developed new techniques for fabricating furniture and sculptures, using tile facings on ferro-cement with polystyrene substrates. His work includes sculpture, indoor and outdoor walls, fountains, floors and functional art and features durability and low-maintenance. Colors are myriad, non-fading and resistant to graffiti.

Bartels 4

In “Airfield Dreams” the blue and white tiles are a mosaic of Marazzi; the 3 5/8" x 7 5/8" tiles around the base are Endicott, expressing a 'terra cotta rainbow©'; and all of the flowers were custom, made by hand in Marlo Bartels’ studio in Laguna Beach, California.


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Your contribution is valued and essential
for a THF web-accessed index!

We have an additional two year Archiving Fulfillment plan with budgets outlined for 2014 & 2015.
(Details are available in a formal Strategic Plan document. E-mail for details
: foundation@tileheritage.org)
To date Sponsor, Member Gift and Grant FUNDING accomplishments include:

• Digitizing and forming a searchable database for the sizable slide and photography collection
of over 42,000 images.
• Digitally recorded, accessioned and archived historic tiles that have been donated to Tile Heritage
over the past 26 years, representing a collection numbering over 4,000 different American tiles.
• Accessioned and archived the historic tile catalog collection of over 600 items as well as the collection of over 2700 historic and contemporary periodicals.
Now our full focus in on the ephemeral (historic & contemporary tile industry documents) files that contain roughly 40,000+ items. Work is underway, under the direction of a volunteer professional archivist, THF staff and other volunteers preparing the material for a database and an internet accessed finding­-aid index.

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Tile Heritage Foundation P.O. Box 1850, Healdsburg CA 95448
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Email: foundation@tileheritage.org

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