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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



A lot has happened this month affecting the HTA with lots of interesting information for the membership.  One of the biggest was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) visited two HTA members in July that we know of.  Some fines have been issued and we want to make sure everyone is aware that OSHA can show up at your studio with out notice at any time.  The complete story is written about below. 
Our first ever survey has been sent to you every member with e-mail link to complete it.  You have till August 5th to complete this survey.  It should only take you about 15 to 25 minutes.  We believe it will be a very helpful guide to help us plan for events, issues and goals. If you did not recieve an e-mail link to the survey please contact me and I will resend the link.
We are also down to the last moments of registering for the MN Tile Festival.  The outside booths are almost gone so if you are hoping to get one register quickly.  Our PR for the festival is bearing fruit with daily request to get reminders to attend the festival.  We are looking to break 1000  people and we hope even if you can not do the show or attend due to distance this year you can keep promoting the show through your website and social networking sites. 
Lastly we have a few members developing an annual tour of mosaics and tile which will also be detailed below. As I said l at the beginning lots of information to talk about. 

In This Issue
OSHA and what you need to know.
Twin Cities Tile Tours
Festival PR Going Strong
Next Meeting October 14th
Last days to register for the MN Tile Festiva
Alma Music and Art Festival
HTA 10
Deb LeAir Gallery Show
Art of the Tile
Season on St. Croix is moving
What it costs to hire yourself
OSHA and what you need to know
An OSHA officer stopped in unannounced to North Prairie Tileworks (NPT) and Clay Squared to Infinity (CSI) in July.  Roger Mayland owner of NPT said he was surprised but did not feel he had anything to hide.  The officer spent the day with NPT studying how the staff worked and reviewing the safety and health issues and practices.  Roger said one of his staff had a mustache and when he used the mask while doing general work they were sited for a violation of over $1500.  Through negotiations and a showing of working to resolve the problems he was able to get the fine down to under $600.
CSI had the same officer stop in and did three periods of reviews of the site.  CSI was only sited for lead on the premise but since no signs of it being airborne which is OSHA's main concern. The OSHA  representative  said there is no standard for what is an acceptable lead level so CSI could not be fined on that issue.  CSI was also sited for not having a health and safety manual before the visit and they have to have one completed 25 days after the visit.  On the plus side CSI had no levels of carbon monoxide which the agent said was the first time ever that happened and she did the test twice on two separate occasions.  Also no silica dust was present which was OSHA's main reason for doing the review. 

Here is the big issue that all HTA artist studio members need to aware of.  Health and safety are important issues for anyone working in tile and mosaics. OSHA has a list of health and safety requirements that you should be following whether an officer shows up at your door or not.  The rules apply to you even if you do not have employees.  They are good common sense rules and it make sure to save yourself stress and potential fines by taking the time to read up on mandatory rules.  Each state has specific rules to be followed. The MN OSHA agent told CSI that Minnesota has some of the toughest standards in the country.  They also have a free consultation process that you can have your space assessed without fear of being fined. THE HTA HIGHLY RECOMMENDS THIS TO ITS MEMBERS.  Safely Grants are available to improve your studio for health and safety I was told up to $10,000. 

For me as the owner of CSI there was a lot of anxiety with the visits from OSHA about am I doing every thing right.  I had never really thought OSHA would inspect my shop and I had never been to the OSHA website to know what I should be doing by law.  Luckily for me I had major helping points.  One when the officer came to my shop she did not think she was able to enter and do an evaluation because we did not have enough employees to do so.  After consolation with her office she came back the next day and found out she could.  She did a walk through and found nothing wrong but was concerned about the lead in our glazes and wanted to study how we used them and made an appointment to come back when one of my employees was working.  This extra time allowed me to research what I needed to really know before she did her full evaluation.  While at Continental Clay I mentioned the OSHA visit and they told me NPT just had a review.  I immediately called Roger to get the scoop.  His experience helped me better prepare and I was able to avoid some of the pitfalls that caused the fines he was assessed.  Thanks Roger.
For the most part I was doing a lot of things correct but there are always improvements that need to be made.  The labeling of everything so anyone in my studio knows what is potentially hazardous and what is not is a very important issue to OSHA.  If you have employees you must have written out guidelines and material safety data sheets MSDS that must be posted.  The biggest challenge for any business is to know all the requirements you must follow but no one tells you about.  Workers Compensation is based on the same principles if you hire employees you have to carry the insurance but no one tells you that when you apply for your tax ID #.  OSHA is the same on ignorance is not accepted and you can be fined for it.  Please take the time to understand what is expected of you as a business owner and it will ensure you will not have anxieties over any OSHA visits.  Plus you will know you are making sure you, your employees and visitors are really safe in your studio. 
Our next meeting on October 14th at Clay Squared to Infinity will have a OSHA informational component to it.  You will get a visual what to do and how to make your studio up to code. 
Twin Cities Tile Tours

Norma Hanlon and Kirsten Walstead of SoMi Tileworks have put together a tour of historic and contemporary tile and mosaic installation sites throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The tour will feature visits to Lakewood Cemetery Chapel which has a magnificent interior or Italian glass mosaic installed in 1910, the American Swedish Institute with its historic Swedish tile stoves, the College of St. Catherine Chapel which features amazing arts and crafts style tiles made by Ernest Batchelder and various other tile and mosaic installation sites. This tour will be a benefit to help create a scholarship fund to aid new and emerging tile and mosaic artists become an active part of  the Handmade Tile Association.

lakewoodTwin Cities Tile Tour
Saturday October 25, 2008  
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

As part of the tour participants will go to the SoMi Tileworks Studio for a hands-on tile making experience.  You will learn about the studio's tile production methods and have the opportunity to make a bas-relief tile of your very own.  The tiles will be fired and glazed and mailed to you approximately two weeks following the tour day. 
A box-lunch will be furnished for each participant.  The cost of the Tile Tour will be $135.  HTA members receive 10% off.  To register, please call Norma Hanlon, SoMi Tileworks at 612-824-3325.  You may also register by email at  Payment can be made by check or credit card.  Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards can be accepted.  Invite your friends and spread the word this is a great educational program that will help create new tile aficionados. 

Tile Festival PR Going Strong

This year with Sabra Waldfogel as our PR director she is making in roads into new territory.  Her connections to the Arts and Crafts groups and writing skills has gotten us some new  PR and a different perspective on the event.
New this year is the Tile Festival website reminder button.  People visiting the website can sign up for a reminder e-mail all year round.  So far we have over 40 people signed up and almost every day one or two more people register for it.  40 people might not seem like much but consider that these are people that have already marked their calendar and are planning to come.  Once the print and radio announcements and ads go out we will get many more.  Last year we had over 80 people print off our $1 off coupons and use them at the festival.  Our second largest marketing tool in only its first year.  Plus these people will be on our list forever now to build from. 
We are working on advertising on radio and the Internet.
Posters are in and you can help get them out. come to the HTA office and pick them up.  If you are out of the area request some to be sent to you.  Contact
Next Meeting October 14th
Next meeting will be at Clay Squared to Infinity.
34 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
612-781-6409 for directions

When - October 14th
Time - 6 pm to 8 pm
Pot Luck

OSHA standards - review of how to get your studio up to par
Review of MN Tile Festival
Second to last day to submit for the 2009 Directory.
Talk about HTA 10 show
We are looking for venues to have meetings for 2008 l If you would like to host a meeting please contact the HTA to set one up.

Josh Blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC
Quick Links
Last days to register for the MN Tile Festival
tile festival 08
Less than 15 days left to register for the MN Tile Festival.  We have seen a mad rush since the last newsletter from artists to register.  But don't worry we have space left both inside and out.  Don't miss out on the coolest tile show in the Midwest.  Click here to Register today!
Alma Music and Art Festival
Alma show
Sunday August 31st 2008
Alma Beach Park, ALMA WI
1 mile north of Alma just off HWY 35 Image created by HTA artist Tina Schowalter
She will also be at the show selling her tiles.  
HTA 10

As you all know the HTA is turning ten in 2009 and to kick off the celebration Clay Squared to Infinity is creating a show call "HTA 10" 
It will take place on New Years Eve.  This will be a catered party food and drinks with cash awards, music and finishing off with fireworks.  It will not want to be missed. 
Artists wanting to participate must advertise in the HTA directory for 2009.  More details will be available in the September newsletter and all current members will receive an application in the mail in late August or early September.
If you are interest in sponsoring an award contact Clay Squared to Infinity to talk about options.
Deb LeAir Gallery Show

Deb LeAir will be having an art show at Phipps Center for the Arts.  In the Overlook gallery, July 12-Aug. 17  Four other artists have the other galleries.

deb leair tile
Art of the Tile
Contemporary Handmade Tile Invitational curated by Karin Kraemer
Art of the Tile
at Ripple River Gallery

July 16 to August 17. 

  27591 Partridge Avenue, Aitkin, MN 56431

Phone: 218-678-2575 e-mail:
Season on St. Croix is moving
Seasons On St. Croix a suporter of the HTA for many years is moving on Saturday August 2nd 2008 across the street to
401 Second St
Hudson, WI 54016
Please note the only address change is the building number.

What it costs to hire yourself
We just recently found out that in the Twin Cities the prevailing rate to hire someone for an exhibition to help with setup, great visitors, and breakdown is worth per person $20 an hour, minimum of $100.  When friends or family of exhibitors volunteer their volunteer time gives true value to the Festival.

What your time is worth at least $50 an hour when they individually invite folks to attend the event, send out reminders about event, and tell their story to the media.  $50 an hour is what we would have had to pay if we had to employ someone to do public relations and marketing for another event we were involved with.  The cost after supplies could have been a minimum of $250. 

When looked at, it is big pat on the back, for those whose who do what they can to help with the Festival.  If we had to hirer someone to do the work of an individual we could easily exceed $250 per person.  Those who do their own PR and/or volunteer are fantastic!
Nick and Rosie Heille MN Tile Festival Coordinators
3460 Garfield St NE
Mpls MN 55418

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