E-News for Spring 2012

Here’s What’s Below
"Hearth-Side Dreams"
Tile Treasures in Port Townsend
Manresa Castle
Jefferson County Courthouse

U.S. Historic Tile Installations
Spring with Tile Heritage
“Grape Wall of Lodi”
“Daily Life in the Early 1900s”
Guidelines for Submitting Stories
Partners in Health
Current E-NEWS in PRINT (PDF)

"Hearth-Side Dreams"
Here is a Batchelder tile frieze, salvaged by Ron Endlich and myself from a 'teardown' home in Kirkland, Washington. The vintage 6-inch Batchelder corbels were an amazing find at a local antique show. The Tile Restoration Center in Seattle made the field tiles using the corbels to color-match. I took artistic license and installed a vintage Batchelder 'logo' tile with a peacock in the small 4-tile grouping on the right side. The hearth tiles are salvaged vintage Pewabic.
Ken Nelson

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Jefferson County Courthouse
In 1890 the Jefferson County Commissioners approved the construction of a courthouse on Jefferson Street in Port Townsend, Washington overlooking Admiralty Inlet. They then selected Seattle architect Willis Alexander Ritchie, who won numerous competitions for county courthouses and other public buildings during the early1890s.

Ritchie chose the popular Romanesque style for this project, estimating the cost at $150,000. He brought in the deep red, smooth bricks from St. Louis and 786 tons of sandstone from Alaska.
Corridor walls were enhanced with wainscoting, while the floors in the entry and in the two main halls were adorned with geometrically arranged quarry tiles in eight different sizes and in four different complementary clay colors. The source of these tiles is unknown.

The most majestic feature, the bell and clock tower, rises to just over 124 feet with the bell chiming every hour on the hour. The building was completed in 1892.

PT Court 3
Jefferson County Courthouse, Port Townsend, Washington, 1890-1892

U.S. Historic Tile Installations
Board member Riley Doty was delighted recently to discover a trove of interesting historic tile material on a website maintained by THF member Michael Padwee of Brooklyn, New York. Riley asked Michael to write a few words about this ever expanding resource and received this reply:
"About two years ago I discovered the historic landmarks website. The owner encouraged me to start a website about my interest—historic tile installations. I knew of a few installations existing in the New York area, and others that had been destroyed or had disappeared. I decided to research the installations, organize them by state, and share the information I found. One goal of this website is to locate and describe those installations that still exist but may not be well known, publicize them, and bring them to the attention of those who are interested in the preservation of historic tiles. Another goal is to document installations that have been destroyed and publicize the loss of our artistic heritage. I've received positive feedback and information about other installations from website visitors and hope that THF members will help also."
Here is a link to Michael's web site where 65 to 70 tile installations are described thus far
: https://sites.google.com/site/tileinstallationdb/. Michael has also just started a blog, "Tiles in New York" as an adjunct to the website: http://tilesinnewyork.blogspot.com/.

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Learn more at https://sites.google.com/site/historictileinstallationsn/nj_newark--wpa-morris-canal-murals.
Special thanks to Michael Padwee for his inspiring research.

Spring with Tile Heritage

Sheila Menzies, representing Tile Heritage as a guest of the Laguna Clay Company, attended the 46th annual NCECA conference in Seattle during the final week of March. Attendees are primarily ceramics educators and their students from throughout North America and beyond, all 3- 4000 of them, many on the leading edge of their profession and the others eager to learn. There are an intoxicating number of local ceramic exhibitions as well. ATNW (Artisan Tile Northwest ) presented the only tile exhibit.

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Tile Heritage, an NCECA member, engages educators and students, encouraging them to keep the (ceramic tile) craft alive! In addition, Joe Taylor and Richard Mohr lectured on historic tiles at pre-NCECA events sponsored by Historic Seattle to a spirited group of THF members, local tilemakers and preservationists.

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Coverings International Tile Expo: We returned in early April from an energizing week in Orlando, where Tile Heritage serves as a co-sponsor. In addition to every imaginable type of tile and stone, we found a few unimaginables on the expo floor: a live kangaroo(!) at Maniscalco - Australia and real Swarovski crystal panels at the Winkler-Steinmetz -Austria booth. TCNA link
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"Grape Wall of Lodi"
Located at Vintner's Square, Hwy 12 and Westgate Drive in Lodi, California, this 65' long by 5' wide sculpted tile mural in high-fired stoneware features five “windows” into nature, each inspired by the historic beauty of an area that was being threatened by development. According to ceramic artist Susan Dannenfelser of
Dannenbeck Studios in Lafayette, CA there is “lots of wildlife, particularly stunning are the Sandhill Cranes, the beautiful mountains, and the old fashion way of growing grapes using head pruning rather than the espalier method.”
The work was commissioned by Dale Gillespie, who was then with G-REM/the Geweke organization. "According to Dale, the piece is supposed to look really good at night--but I have never seen it past about 5:00 p.m.!" the artist reported. " Dale left the organization in the middle of the project, and it was amazing that it got finished at all. The hard work of Robyn Burror, who was then Stockton's Public Art Manager, was the main reason the piece got finished. She asked several artists to make presentation materials for the site and then Dale chose his favorite." The massive project, completed in 2006, was installed by Kirk Beck and Riley Doty.


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“Daily Life in the Early 1900s”
From Stacey Farley
Here is a small project I just finished in the new Westfield (NJ) Historical Society. The photographs around the fireplace represent “Daily Life in the Early 1900s” and the images are from the society’s archives. I make the tiles from porcelain clay and transfer the photographic images via silkscreen. The tiles are hand-tinted and fired a total of three times at different temperatures. The end result is a frost proof tile which is useful in the public exterior work that I often do at train stations, etc.  I am in the process of producing large tiles, 11" x 11", with landscape images of the Hudson River.

I always read your THF news with great interest.  Many thanks for your good work in keeping the craft alive.

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Guidelines for Submitting Stories and Images to THF
We love hearing from you! Here’s how to share your projects, installations and great resources with the rest of the Tile Heritage community. We also encourage all calendar listings for events, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, symposiums, auctions and sales.

Directions to submit articles and images to Tile Heritage to share (permanently) at the THF website in E-News, Special Features, Education, Clay in the Classroom & Community etc:
—> Please keep the text limited to one to three short to medium-sized paragraphs. A longer story with images can certainly be submitted as well. We do embrace that, and we will create a link to the full text of longer articles or place them in Special Features.
—> Please submit a digital image for each paragraph you write (if available).
—> Images should be jpegs approx 4x6 inches at 150dpi. Please do not embed images in Word.docs.
—> If your text includes links to other locations, Youtube or other videos, please be sure that the links are complete and work before submitting them to us for publication.
Note: Articles and images will not be posted right away at the THF website. We also may have to edit your words or print fewer pictures of a project. We will communicate with you though and thank you for your submissions. Longer articles with more images can also be directly linked to the origin of the material or linked to “the whole story” via a pdf posting at the THF site.

…. this is YOUR organization, YOUR repository for your tile, mosaics, terra cotta, and architectural ceramics installations--pictures and stories for posterity with the Tile Heritage Foundation.

Current E-NEWS in PRINT

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