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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



10th Year


     For March the Handmade Tile Association went out to the country to hold its meeting at Margy Jean Balwierz Studio.  Margy's studio is in a fabulous Western Wisconsin setting with nature surrounding her studio and home in every direction.  Margy's work reflects her surroundings with a whimsical rich colors of flowers, landscapes, animals, funky people and her happy sprit .  Margy has been an artist her whole life but coming upon tile making is a relatively new venture for her.  Taking a class from well know ceramic artist John Turula she found a medium that transformed her painting background into an exploration of clay and tiles.Margy studio tile images
As always it is amazing to see how each tile artist style is very distinctive from all other tile artists work.  Tile seems to be one of the few art or craft mediums that shows these distinctions.  What makes tile artists so distinctive will be the topic for the HTA Facebook group discussion for April.  Chime in with your thoughts. 
      In April we expect to have all of the final information for the National Tile Conference up on the website for you to register and to tell interested parties to attend.  The program is looking very good with some great speakers and workshops. 
In This Issue
MN Tile Festival Registration Now Open
Two Perspectives...Intertwined...Two Perspectives
Tile Collecting
Minneapolis and St. Paul Home Tour
Next Meeting
Welcome New Members
HTA member to be awarded at Coverings
Early Registration for National Tile Conference
Thank you to our volunteers for December
Facebook and Linked In.
National Juried Tile Show
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 a
part of it.  Early details will be on the MN Tile Festival facebook page.
Two Perspectives...Intertwined
Two Perspectives ... Intertwined
Opening reception with the artists: Saturday, April 25th 3pm to 7
Gallery Show runs: April 25th through June 20th
Clay Squared to Infinity hours: Mon. through Sat., 11am - 5pm.
Admission is FREE.Two Perspectives...Intertwined image

Clay Squared to Infinity will showcase the mother daughter team of Norma Hanlon and Kirsten Walsted-- tile artists who have been collaborating since 1996. Both have evolved from making individual fish tiles to a complete array of handmade Bas Relief tiles as art and for installations.
Two Perspectives...Intertwined will show the growth of these two women and how they are taking a traditional craft and pushing the boundaries of how to view tiles as art through abstract conceptual imagery and story telling about Mother Earth.
The artists will speak informally about their new artwork at 4:30 p.m. at the opening reception on Saturday, April 25 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Tile Collecting
Walter Petrowski a tile collector extraordiare up in Duluth and a friend of the HTA found this tile at an antique shop.  He did a little research with our friends at the Tile Heritage Foundation and Chris Blanchet, a tile book seller in England. Chris said there was one like it in the Pavilion Brighton Museums.  It is one tile from a set made by Maw and Co, depicting scenes from the poem by Longfellow " The Hanging of the Crane".  Chris says they are very rare - in collecting tiles for 30 years he still hasn't managed to find one to add to his collection. historic tile image
The tile dates from c1880. The tile still has the Broseley mark on the back so it must predate their move. We have no idea who designed the tiles, although it is possible that C O Murray had a hand in it - he specialized in literary scenes, but all the known tiles by him (signed examples) are transfer printed. Four tiles from the series appear in an 1883 Maw and Co catalogue, illustrated in Julian Barnard's book: "Victorian Ceramic Tiles" (plate 27) - pattern numbers 1377 - 1380. This does not include this tile and the set possibly has more designs as the tile depicting Longfellow himself is pattern number 1384. maw and co back of tile imageThe Longfellow tile is also illustrated in J & B Austwick: "The Decorated Tile" p29 together with the original plaster model. The Austwicks state that there are 6 designs in the set, but as far as he knows no-one has a complete set! The Brighton Museum has pattern number 1380. The series was produced in several
colourways, the Austwick one is in brown.

It is very difficult to put a value on a tile that has not come up in auction for many years, but Chris suggests  200.00 for insurance value. This is based on the rarity and collector market for such a tile.
Minneapolis & St. Paul Home Tour and Tile

North Prairie Tileworks and Mercury Mosaics both are part of homes featured in the 2009 Home Tour.  North Prairie Tileworks has a fireplace surround at 2029 Queen Ave. S.
Mercury Mosaics has a shower installation and some kitchen backsplash accents at 214 Wheeler St. in St. Paul.
Both homes are featured, coincidentally, with nice video of the projects, in the "Home Tour Preview Show" for which the link is below.

Margo Ashmore, Coordinator
Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour
and LINK Newsletter, at NRP
612-673-5103 - cell 612-867-4874 - April 25 & 26, 2009
Next Meeting

For the month of April we will have a special presentation by Gary Erickson a tile artist and professor of ceramics at Macalester College. Gary has been traveling to Jingdezhen China a ceramic city and studying their ceramics. He has made a video and images from the tile village of unloading 4x8' and 1/4" thick porcelain tiles as well as some decal decoration.  men unloading kilnThe video of two workers simultaneously throwing 400 lbs of clay. He has artifacts he has brought back from Jingdezhen.  He has also been making some large 2x2' imprint tiles with Chinese underglaze decals inspired by his trips to China. It will be a great presentation.

April 27th
Where: Gary Erickson Studio
3338 University AVe SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Above Art and Architecture and Cupcake
Directions click here

Time: 6- 8 pm

Studio Tour
Presentation on Chinese Ceramics
Marketing Plan of the MN Tile Festival and how you can participate
Tile Festival registration
Tile Festival Postcards will be available
early registration for Tile Conference with updates
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
Quick Links
Welcome New Members
The HTA newsletter is going to start a new highlight in the newsletter to showcase our new and renewing members.  It will have a link to their website if they have one. The goal is to get to know our membership a little better and thank you all for being members.  To be fair this first list is
everyone who registered in 2009.
Super Member
Untapped Resource Inc Sheryl VanderPol

Business Members
Handmade Tile Studio Carol Hegedus
Mosaic on a Stick,LLC Lori Greene
Emily Dyer

Friend Members
Keep it Simple
Paula Karl
Kristine Burton

Kathryn Luther

Thank you!
HTA member to be awarded at Coverings
April 21 - 24th

For those of you planning on attending Coverings this year HTA member David Aichinger was selected by Tile Letter magazine saying that he
won the grand prize for residential tile installation for the nautical bathroom.  Congratulations! David does custom mosaic installations.  Click here to see an image of the project on his website. 
The award ceremony is scheduled for Thursday April 23rd at 5:30 pm at the Coverings expo in Chicago.  He will be awarded a trophy and $1,500.  Also national recognition for residential design as a grand prize winner
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

Thank you to our volunteers
 Thanks and keep up the great work.  If you have time we have projects.  Please contact the HTA
to get the scoop.

Thanks to Linda Mix for working on our filing for March.

In April the HTA is looking to have someone enter all the people who have requested directories into the mailing list.

We need a person to help market our Facebook and Linked In pages.  You can do this from home.  If you are interested please contact Josh to find out the details.

We are looking for  eight volunteers for the MN Tile Festival
We need four volunteers for 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.

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

National Juried Tile Show

The Edina Art Center is pleased t.o 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.



Call For Entries Link

ASI logo

potters council logo

Tile Heritage Foundation logo and link

Edina Art Center logo and link