E-News Fall 2016

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Founded in July 1987 Tile Heritage will celebrate its 30th anniversary next 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!



the monarchs and milkweed that have made the Tech Center a certified Monarch way station, and Lindbergh’s plane which was powered by Standard Oil fuel for its historic crossing.” (Find the plane in the image below).
“The 12” tiles (364 in all), made to order at
B&W Tile Company in Gardena, were bisque- fired to cone 1 and glazed at our Richmond studio using Duncan Concepts underglazes fired to cone 05. It took nineteen firings in a Skutt electric kiln, approximately twenty-four tiles at a time, each firing sixty-two hours long to minimize stress. Only eight tiles broke in the process, but some were fired twice to gain occasional improvement. Each tile was carefully numbered and labelled on the reverse side. The piece measures approx. 7’ x 52’ and took a year from start to finish.

“I had generous volunteer help from Robin Cooper and invaluable assistance from my wife Susan. Thanks also to Jos Sances and John Toki for technical advice. Rick Alexander and Air-Rick Sory from Tile West in Novato did a fantastic job installing the work. I always appreciate people who know what they are doing. Makes me look good."

“For the design, I worked from many reference photos garnered from my own files and from Google images, assembling it all in an imaginary landscape. Typically, I make a small painted maquette and use a traditional grid system to scale the design.
“This was an employee- driven project. My thanks to all at the Tech Center who made this happen. The tile mural is incorporated into an interior plaza and is not visible to the public. However, I wanted to share this project with friends and colleagues, and these photographs will have to suffice.”

John Wehrle was born in San Antonio and raised all over Texas. Never a gifted athlete, he compensated by becoming the best airplane drawer in the fourth grade. He later studied art at Texas Tech and after serving in Vietnam as “combat artist,” he attended Pratt Institute. “As you can see from my website (see troutinhand.com), I am primarily a large scale painter, but every so often I like to make something I think might outlive me.


Fall 2016 E-News in print as a PDF

Prior to 2010 E-News


Donna Billick, Miss BEE Haven
Co-Founder Retires after 20 Years

Internationally-known ceramist and mosaicist, Donna Billick, together with her friend and colleague UC Davis Entomology Professor Diane Ullman, founded the Art/Science Fusion Program, representing a new paradigm for education for the 21st century. The basic concept demonstrates that teaching and learning are essentially experiences of sharing. There are patterns, harmonies, symbols, and perceptions that are shared across borders and disciplines, where knowledge and wisdom unite and define who we are. The program creates accessibility and inclusion for people that would otherwise fear science, or fear art, and reaches for expression within the classroom that creates value and a shared meaning system. This new and innovative classroom learning experience creates collaborations between different kinds of students and the community. The learning outcomes for the students are extended to life-long learning opportunities for the public.


The initial project was a “Tree of Life” installation on a new campus comfort center at University of California Davis. The 17’ x 11’ ceramic mosaic of a Valley Oak tree and its associated insect fauna was created in 2006 by Entomology 1 students, arboretum staff, community members and elementary school children.


The Scrub Jay (below) can be seen collecting and storing acorns for later use. The jay often hides more acorns than it needs, and those that are not retrieved and eaten have a chance to germinate and grow into a new tree. The jays therefore provide a valuable service as distributors of acorns which help to propagate the species.


The Art/Science Fusion Program is part of a broader, developing initiative: the UC Davis Arboretum GATEways Project, which offers a transformative vision of the role of the university with the Arboretum as the connecting point between the academic enterprise and the public. The GATEways Project aims to create an open, accessible campus that supports lifelong learning for the community and enriches student scholarship. Within the physical GATEways, the students’ artwork is featured prominently and permanently.


Fall 2016 E-News in print as a PDF
Prior to 2010 E-News

Tile Heritage Prize
Designed to encourage participation in juried exhibitions, the
Tile Heritage Prize is awarded to the artist whose tile, in the opinion of the juror, best represents the ceramic traditions of North America. The prize itself is monetary and includes a year’s Centurian membership in the Foundation and placement in the Member Tile Gallery online.
At the Juried Show, a feature of Artisan Tile Northwest’s Handmade Tile Festival in Seattle, November 5-6, 2016, juror
Nadine Edelstein chose the winner of this year’s Tile Heritage Prize: Paula Gill. Red Step Studio, for her “Stormfront, Rialto Beach.” 16” x 12”, paper clay with underglazes, fired to cone 03.

From the artist, Paula Gill:
“In 1997 I rented a small clay studio in a friend’s unheated North Seattle garage in trade for walking her two dogs twice a week. We both thought we were getting the best deal. At the end of a year of wheel throwing dinnerware, slab rolling tiles, hand-building birdbaths and decorative one of a kind bowls, I hosted a show in my living room and invited, literally, everyone I knew. I decided that whatever sold the most would be the focus of my new fine crafts business. Needless to say, tiles won! And I have made countless hand-carved and painted terra cotta and white clay tiles ever since."

“I currently sell mostly online through my Etsy shop and my website redstep.com. I am represented by Collective Visions Gallery in Bremerton, Washington and White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon. I also do a lot of custom work for customers wanting unique pieces for fireplaces, kitchens and bathrooms. I have been selected to create several large multi-tile pieces for public buildings and 1% for the Arts projects. My largest commission to date was to create 236 unique tiles on the theme ‘Healing with Nature’ for patient rooms in the UC Medical Center in Irvine, California.”

Juror: Nadine Edelstein. A resident of Vashon Island, Puget Sound, Washington, Nadine is a licensed tile and stone contractor as well as a mosaic artist. Often in collaboration with her clients, she designs and embellishes interior and exterior spaces with ceramic, stone and mixed media materials.
Tile Design by Edelstein.



Batchelder: Tilemaker is the first local exhibit dedicated solely to the life and work of this extraordinary artist and educator. Ernest Batchelder. Exhibit curator, Dr. Robert Winter.

Ernest A. Batchelder was an author, designer, educator, artist, and tilemaker who settled in Pasadena in the early 20th century. Batchelder: Tilemaker celebrates the recent donation to the Museum of a collection of Batchelder tiles and archives by leading Batchelder authority, Robert Winter, PhD, who also serves as exhibition curator.


Pasadena Museum’s Batchelder YouTube Video

Full Exhibition details are available at the Pasadena Museum of History website.

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Tile Heritage Services and Resources Link

Fall 2016 E-News in print as a PDF

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. . . to Tile Heritage anytime to preserve and protect the ARCHIVES for POSTERITY!