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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



10th Year


      Two major issues are effecting ceramic artist as we get into
2009. First artists using commercial glazes in their work are seeing between a 1/3 and 1/2 of the glazes available being discontinued.  Second is that the Dawson Kiln Setters went out of business.

Starting with the glaze issue.  Any glaze that contains a fritted lead and cadmium, are the ones being targeted for discontinuation immediately.  There does not seem to be a clear statement on any of the glaze manufacturers' Duncan, Amaco, and Mayco sites about the issue. The HTA contacted Midwest suppliers MN Ceramic Supply and Continental Clay.  Both are dealing with the situation first hand and are waiting for the replacement colors to come in.  Reasons for the change over seem hasty since there are not replacements of the glazes and nothing is stated on any of the glaze manufactures web sites about the issue. If anyone has answers please contact the HTA so we can update our membership. 

If you are an artist who buys glaze only occasionally please consider finding out how things are changing and make sure the glaze you want is still available. 

The second issue is the Dawson Kiln Setters, this is the red box connected to your kiln that holds the cones and fires the kiln.  It appears from the statement on Orton company website that on September 17th of last year Dawson was not making kiln setter parts any more.  Based on stories from ceramic kiln dealers due to the switch over of ceramist buying computer kilns the kiln setter sales plummeted and Dawson just shut down without telling anyone.  It took weeks for anyone to get through to find out what had happened. Orton is trying to purchase portions of the Dawson business so ceramic artists who do not have computer kilns can still repair their electric kilns.  More info about this situation in an article below.

The HTA has created a Linked in and a Facebook profile page to allow HTA artists to discuss these situation and others.  Please read more info down below about how you can get involved.
In This Issue
HTA on Facebook and Linked In
NKBA meets the HTA
Kiln setter info
Three artists grants and Fellowships
Get your 5 hours of volunteering done
Tile Showroom Garage Sale
Continue to
Thank you to our volunteers for December
HTA Calendar
Emerging Artist Opportunity
SAMA Conference Update
HTA on Facebook and Linked In

The Handmade Tile Association now has a Facebook and a Linked In profile.  Anyone can join.  The goal of making both of these profiles is to be able to update members on events and happenings on a more real time basis. We also hope to reach new people both artists and patrons. 
Since the HTA has posted its profile on Linked In we have gotten over a dozen new artist and non artist members who can read our newsletter and ask questions about tile and mosaics. 

The Facebook profile is interactive in different ways from Linked In mainly because of the ability for artists to submit images and how it interacts with all of your friends.  The HTA has two pages- one for the HTA the other for the MN Tile Festival.  So far this has gotten a different set of fans from Linked In. 

In both cases we invite all of our HTA members to become fans or members of both HTA Facebook and Linked In pages.  They both have great potential to bring new people to the MN Tile Festival as well as getting more artists and members to communicate with each other.  Note you will need to become members of each to be able to access the information.

Click here to see the Facebook profile of the HTA

Click here to see the Linked In Profile of the HTA

Click here to see the Minnesota Tile Festival on Facebook
NKBA meets the HTA February 19th

The National Kitchen and Bath Association NKBA has contacted the HTA and wants us to host a presentation for their members. 

tile festival patrons buying tiles

NKBA wanted to do it at Clay Squared to Infinity since the largest amount of HTA members show at this space in MN.  The meeting is scheduled for February 19th from 5 to 7 pm.  The HTA will be doing a power point presentation called "The end of white tile as we know it"  This is a presentation we have done for ASID and the Kansas City Bungalow Club and were very well received.  The presentation will utilize the tiles, and tile installation from HTA directories in the archives.

The HTA will have a combined meeting with the NKBA February 19th.  We encourage artists to come and meet with the 50 expected kitchen and bath designers.  The NKBA has a gift bag program that the presenter is asked to give a gift and or literature to the designers.  Each designer will receive a directory, both of our maps, and any artists wishing to bring or send 50 brochures or tile reminders please send them to the HTA office

Handmade Tile Association
34 13th Ave NE
Mpls, MN 55413

MN Tile Festival registration will start at this meeting.  Artists can pick up directories.  Most of all meet and smooze with designers.

The HTA needs a projector to show the power point presentation and a screen wall.  If you have one or know where we can get one please contact and help us out.  Thanks
Kiln setter info
Below is a statement by the Orton company that makes cones for kilns on the issue of the Dawson kiln setting equipment.

Westerville, Ohio - September 17, 2008: Orton knows that many of you are concerned that you will not be able to get replacement parts for your Dawson Kiln Sitter and that you will be forced to purchase an expensive alternative. There has been much speculation and rumors about the status of the Dawson Kiln Sitter and replacement parts.
Orton is taking positive action to work with the owners of Dawson to acquire the necessary assets to continue the production of the Kiln Sitter and provide the industry a long term, reliable source of parts for the Kiln Sitter. This process and the ramp up of production will take a few more weeks to complete. Orton will strive to make the process as efficient as possible so that you can get replacement parts as soon as practical. A public announcement will be made as soon as parts are available. Monitor the Orton website to be the first to know. The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation manufactures and supplies pyrometric cones, kiln vents, electronic temperature controllers and firing supplies to the ceramic industry worldwide.

UPDATE (11/13/08): The Orton Ceramic Foundation announced today that they expect to have select repair parts for the Kiln Sitter and replacement units available mid to late first quarter 2009. Availability of some items will be dependent on obtaining final UL listing.

MN Ceramic Supply wrote that they have been advised that Cone Supports, Sensing Rods and Ceramic Tube Assemblies will be available around March 15th or possibly a little sooner. 
Complete assemblies available shortly after that.
We understand the offering of parts will be somewhat smaller than previously available, so it may take a little more time to retro-fit a kiln sitter than before, but should be possible.
Three artists grants and Fellowships

Northern Clay Center invites you to apply for one of several artists grant opportunities for ceramic artists in 2009.  Please see below for further information.  Contact me directly to discuss the application process, eligibility, etc.  I'd be happy to meet with you in person to discuss our grant programs!
--Sarah Millfelt
Deputy Director for Programs
Education and Artist Grants Director
Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue E
Minneapolis, MN  55406
Phone:  612.339.8007x302
Fax:  612.339.0592

1.  Jerome Ceramic Artists Project Grant Program:


2.  2009 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Ceramic Artists:
DEADLINE:  Friday, April 24, 2009 by 5 pm.


3.  Fogelberg Studio Fellowship Program:

Get your 5 hours of volunteering done
The HTA has a volunteer jobs for February and March.

We need a person to help with filing and organizing to keep us organized for 2009. If you have some extra time please come on in and Josh will set you up.

Not in the local area and you want to volunteer?  Consider making a proposal to a gallery to have a show of the Handmade Tile Association members.  Contact the HTA to find out how you can get images and develop an effective plan to get the HTA out to more people.
Remember if you can put in 5 hours of volunteer time you will get a free year link on the HTA website.  A $180 value. 

Josh Blanc
We are looking for venues to have meetings for
2009.  If you would like to host a meeting please contact the HTA to set one up.

Josh Blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC

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Quick Links
Thanks to our advertisers
Thank you to all of our advertisers supporting the HTA 10th annual directory. We could not do it with out you!   

Continue to
Help Distribute HTA directories
We had many members distribute directories to our list last month but we still have more places.  Please contact the HTA and see if you can get the directories into these locations.
Convention Centers
Bloomington Art Center
Minnetonka Art Center
Phipps Center for the Arts
Hopkins Center for the Arts
Lakeville Center for the Arts
Owatonna Center for the Arts
Lillstreet Art Center
Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts
Pewabic Pottery
American Museum of Ceramic Arts AMOCA
Moravian Pottery and Tileworks
California Heritage Museum

Thank you to our volunteers for January
Diana Lein took on the job of creating a history book of the HTA past 10 years.  She compiled all the newsletters in to an album, made a book on all our events.  She also framed each cover of everu year of the directory and the tile festival that is now prominently displayed outside the Handmade Tile Association office.  Thanks so much to Diana for creating a great album available to any member who wishes to study our past. 

Thanks to Stephanie Kaczrowski for delivering directories to the Northern Clay Center, Woodland Fireplaces and Edina Art Center.

HTA Calendar

The calendar committee has been busily working on developing a plan to create an HTA calendar of artist members.  They will be showing off the two concepts at the next HTA meeting on February 19th.  Come and find out how you can participate.
calendar image
Emerging Artist Opportunity

In May 2009, Ceramics Monthly will feature the works of emerging clay artists. Anyone who has been actively pursuing a career in clay for less than ten years may apply. In an effort to keep the quality and variety at a high level, we ask you to encourage the emerging artists whom you know to apply.

To be considered, you will need to submit up to five professional-quality digital images (300 ppi resolution on CD, plus a full-size color print of each image), with complete descriptions of the works, contact information, artist's statement and résumé. Submissions can be sent to Emerging Artists, Ceramics Monthly, 600 N. Cleveland Ave., Suite 210, Westerville, OH 43082. The deadline to apply is February 20.

Ceramics Monthly
600 N. Cleveland Ave., Suite 210
Westerville, OH 43082
SAMA Conference Update

Reaction to the San Diego conference has been amazing!  Workshops and tours are selling out each day, so if you've been on the fence about attending or signing up for additional activities please remember that Registration closes March 6th (Hotel cut-off is March 2nd).