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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



10th Year


     On February 19th the Handmade Tile Association gave a presentation to 55 designers of the MN Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).  The presentation called "The end of white tile as we know it" was very well received by the overflowing crowd at Clay Squared to Infinity.  Many of the designers had heard of the HTA but had not had an opportunity to meet the artists and were very enthusiastic to see so many handmade tiles in one location and to know how many great options there are available to them. 

The audience was quite diverse from kitchen and bathroom designers,  tile showroom designers, plumbing fixture representatives, and appliance showroom representatives.  During the presentation the HTA addressed some of the common questions designers ask about - how affordable are handmade tiles, can you mix and match with commercial tile, how long does it take for handmade tile to be made, how much should we consider budgeting to use handmade tile and mosaics? 

The gift bags were a huge hit and the HTA wants to thank the dozens of members for sending us your fabulous literature and tiles to give to the attendees.  NKBA members were very excited to get their bags. We are sure your work made an impression.

Thanks to all of our HTA members who came and helped set up, answer questions, and clean up the event.  Attendance included Deb LeAir, Nancy Froseth, Ione Roland , Tina Schowalter, Marcia Glancy, Margy Jean Balwierz, Emily Pueringer. Marty Pearson, Susan Piazza, Sheryl Tuorila, Roger Mayland, Kirsten Walstead, David Aichinger, Layl McDill and Josh Blanc.

The chain reaction.
This presentation to the NKBA did not appear out of just one phone call but more by the power of the group dynamic,
serendipity and persistence.  I want to take an extra moment to thank HTA members Mercedes Austin and Christine Nelson for setting the ground work for this opportunity to get the HTA in front of this audience.

Mercedes has done a variety of presentation to designers over the past couple of years and she has always handed out the HTA directory as part of her program.  In that process she presented to Lisa Trnka and talked to Christine Nelson while she was working at NKBA office.  Mercedes sent them postcards last winter to the Bloomington Art Centers show of the "Art of the Home" that many of the HTA members participated in and they were more fully introduced to the HTA.  They made a point to go to the MN Tile Festival and find out what the HTA was all about.  Christine has even had a table to offer her design services and this year will be speaker.  Over many conversation the idea of the HTA making a presentation to the NKBA took shape and with the 10th anniversary of the HTA directory and the HTA 10 show at Clay Squared to Infinity the cards all fell into place. 

So keep handing out the directories because what you do today to promote the HTA can have a chain reaction that sets up scenarios that will benefit hundreds of people and yourself. 
In This Issue
MN Tile Festival Registration Now Open
Welcome New HTA Sponsors
The Nature of Tile Call for Entries
Next Meeting
Facebook and Linked In.
Tile at the Home and Garden show.
Thank you to our volunteers for December
Ceramic Teacher Opportunity
Tile project?
Early Registration for National Tile Conference
MN Tile Festival Registration Now Open

The 2009 Minnesota Tile Festival registration is now open.  Click here to download an application. There are only 40 total inside and outside spots available.  The show is a first come first serve basis. The Minnesota Tile Festival will be held Saturday, September 19th, 2009, from 10 - 5 at the American Swedish Institute.  Deadline for applications is August 20th.

MN Tile Festival postcard image

The 8th annual Minnesota Tile Festival is a one-day event for those who love tiles, make tiles and collect tiles. in the building and on the grounds of the American Swedish Institute.  The institute is centrally located in Minneapolis.  The MN Tile Festival attracts 1000 tile and mosaic patrons annually.

The 2009 MN Tile Festival will be held in conjunction with the National Tile Conference "Tile and Mosaics, Past, Present, Future" presented by the Potters Council and the Handmade Tile Association.

List of partnering groups
Potters Council - Tile Heritage Foundation - Edina Art Center
Mosaic on a Stick - American Swedish Institute
Handmade Tile Association - Christien Nelson Design

Next month we will detail the marketing plan and how you can be apart of it.  Early details will be on the MN Tile Festival facebook page.
Welcome New HTA Sponsors

The Handmade Tile Association would like to introduce two new official sponsors of the HTA programing.  The Tile Heritage Foundation and the Edina Art Center.  Both have been long time supporters of the organization but we have made it more formal this year with the national tile conference Handmade Tile and Mosaics Past, Present, Future.

Tile Heritage Foundation logo and linkThe Tile Heritage foundation has agreed to become our Tile History Resource Sponsor. They will facilitate the HTA directory cover selections for the members to vote on.  They also will help find writers and write themselves in the directory annually.  The THF has already been working with us on these concepts, we are just making it more formal for both sides.

Edina Art Center logo and linkSecond sponsorship is our friends at the Edina Art Center becoming an event sponsor who are playing a huge part of the national tile conference this September by letting us hold the conference at their facility.  It will be a great setting with nice studios and great atmosphere with the park right outside their doors.  The EAC is also sponsoring the National juried tile show The Nature of Tile featured in the article below. 

Both are great additions to the HTA relationships with the community and we welcome their continued support.  We hope that all of our members get a chance to check out each organizations services and opportunities to participate in their programing. 
The Nature of Tile Call for Entries

The Edina Art Center is pleased to announce a special exhibition in celebration of the National Tile Conference and the eighth-annual Minnesota Tile Festival, which takes place this fall.
The exhibit, titled "The Nature of Tile," is calling for entries for a National Juried Tile Exhibition to be held at the Center from Aug. 31 through Sept. 19.
Submissions are due Aug. 1. Contact Sandra Shaughnessy at 952-903-5788. Email

The Nature of Tile, a juried exhibition, will present a wide range of artists' interpretations of tile as a contemporary art form. All mediums welcome: clay, glass, mixed-media, etc. The national exhibition will run Aug. 31-Sept. 20, at the Edina Art Center.

Edina call for entries image and link



Requirements: Submit up to three images of available work. Images may be submitted by mail, with slides, CD or electronic media via e-mail (300 dpi jpeg). Please label slides or CD and include a corresponding image list with artist's name, title, size, sale price and media. All images must represent the actual artwork to be exhibited and must be for sale.

Entry Fee: Entry fee is $25 for up to 3 entries. Pay online, or by check payable to Edina Art Center. Entry fees are non-refundable. Payment of the entry fee signifies the artist's acceptance of the rules and conditions of the exhibition.

Prizes and Awards to be announced soon!

Aug. 1 - Entry Form, Images & fee due

Aug. 10- Notification of acceptance

Aug. 20 - Postmark deadline for shipped artwork Aug. 25- Hand-delivery, noon - 8 p.m.

Sept. 20 - Reception, 4-6 p.m.; Art pick up, 6-8 p.m.

Sept. 27 - Return of prepaid shipping
For more information, contact the Art Center at or 952-903-5780.
Next Meeting

The HTA tries to visit as many tile and mosaic studios as possible.  We also try to not be isolated just to the city.  This month Margy Jean Balwierz has invited us to visit her studio in Baldwin Wisconsin to allow people who do not live in the metro region to get a little country living and hospitality. 

Wednesday March 11th
from 6 to 8 pm

Margy jean Balwierz Studio
N 7107 County Rd N
Baldwin Wisconsin

Studio Tour
Update on the National Tile Studio Tour
Continued MN Tile Festival registration
Calendar update

Pot Luck


From Minneapolis   94 East to Baldwin (19 miles, exit 19) South / Right on Hwy 63 Go about 7 miles Pass 29 West to River Falls and continue south on 63/29 for another mile to HWY 29 East / Left on towards Spring Valley a gas station-cafe, the "Red Barn" on the left at the turn Go about one mile to N Turn South / Right on N N only goes south, towards El Paso Go exactly 2.5 mi on your odometer It's the next driveway after a "curve ahead sign" Go slow if slippery Mailbox on left, driveway on right Setback in wooded lot 

We are looking for venues to have meetings for
2009 and 2010.  If you would like to host a meeting please contact the HTA to set one up.

If you are not in the Minnesota region consider creating a meeting of tile and mosaic artists in your area.  The HTA can promote your meeting through this newsletter and on the website, Facebook, and Linked in. It is a great way to learn and promote tile ideas.

Josh Blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC

ASI logo

potters council logo

Tile Heritage Foundation logo and link

Edina Art Center logo and link
Quick Links
Facebook and Linked In
The HTA is now on Facebook.  Our goal is to have tile and mosaic artists talk tile post images of their newest work, tell us about tile openings have some fun and promote tile events to your friends and people you don't know. 

Click here to see the Facebook profile of the HTA

Tile at the Home and Garden show
Three HTA artists are participating in the Minneapolis Home and Garden show.
David Aichinger , Mercury Mosaics and Lakota Tile

Show Dates & Hours
March 4th 2:00 pm 10:00 pm
Thursday March 5th   10:00 am-10:00 pm
Friday March 6th   10:00 am-10:00 pm
Saturday March 7 
Sunday March 8   10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Home and Garden show $3 coupon link

Thank you to our volunteers
I want to take a minute to say thanks for the responses to our volunteers for the HTA web link swap.  Every month someone steps up and takes on the tasks and jobs of the HTA.  This is helping me coordinate more marketing concepts instead of doing office tasks.  Plus it keeps our expenses down.  Thanks and keep up the great work.  If you have time we have projects.  Please contact the HTA for to get the scoop.

In March the HTA is looking to start working on getting people lined up to be volunteers for the MN Tile Festival and the Arts and Crafts show the following weekend. It seems early but we need to start getting people on the list and get more help marketing the show. Please contact the HTA if you can commit to help with the MN Tile Festival.

Ceramic  Teacher

The Minnetonka Center for the Arts is seeking a dynamic ceramics instructor to join our faculty.  The successful hire will teach beginning through advanced level ceramics classes with an emphasis on hand-building.
  Candidates must be well-versed in both functional and sculptural hand-building techniques, be capable of teaching a wide range of aesthetic, conceptual and technical aspects and be familiar with all ceramics studio practices.  Knowledge of historical and contemporary art themes and issues as they pertain to ceramics is required.

Send resume and letter of interest to:
Cindy Vargas
Adult Program Director
Minnetonka Center for the Arts
2240 North Shore Drive
Wayzata, MN  55391-9347

Tile project?

The HTA received a request from a tile artisan who is looking for a manufacturer that could produce tile for him.    
If you are interested, his original email and contact info are below.
I'm trying to find manufacturers (anywhere) interested in collaborating with us. My partner sculpts and presses large three dimensional Bas relief tiles and uses a 50 ton tile press to make masters from, but we are more of a design company and don't want to get into glazing, manufacturing and distribution. Do you have any suggestion as to how I would obtain a directory of manufacturers who do this type of work (using heavy industrial presses and are up to the challenge mentioned above) and may be interested in having production ready masters turned over to them for production? Or perhaps there is someone that knows most of the manufacturers and their operations (if they operate heavy presses for ceramics).

James Ward
Eric James Design LLC
1521 Portia St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Early Registration for National Tile Conference

Register early for the National Tile Conference and save some money. 
Click here for the application.

HANDMADE TILE & MOSAICS September 18-20, 2009
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Featured Artists:

 Carol Rose Dean, Barbara Keith, Shelia Menzies, Carrie Anne Parks, Joe Taylor, and Louis and Allen Voigt