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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter



10th Year


     In April we meet at Gary Erickson's studio in Minneapolis.  Gary has been traveling to China's ceramic city
Jingdezhen and learning how the Chinese have been making ceramics for over 1000 years.  He showed us a very intriguing video of the practices of how the ceramic workers make large scale pottery and tiles. Starting from pounding down the feldspar to make the clay to the process of throwing, assembling and glazing monstrous 15' pots and large scale tiles.  Some of the tiles Gary showed on the video were 4'x 8' the size of sheetrock!  They were flat and flawless. 
All of us watching were surprised at the working conditions of the ceramic factories where the workers trimmed pottery in the greenware stage instead of the leather hard stage.  Lots of dust and no standards for safety seem to be applied.  Gary told us that the clay workers did not see themselves as artists more as workers. They did not go home and work on their clay sculptures after there 10 hour workday 6 days a week.  A different mentality then western thinking. 
Gary has been going over for the past two years to Jingdezhen and is preparing to go back in a couple of weeks.  His big find that he gave us a demo on was ceramic underglaze decals. He said the U.S. has overglaze decals but he has not found any underglaze until his trip to the ceramic city.  Gary has been experimenting with the decals to see how he can apply them to different forms and distort their original intent to make his artwork.  Gary is working to find galleries to show his new tile work.  It was a great presentation and showed a different side of the Chinese ceramics then what we see and read about.

In This Issue
Registration open for tile conference
MN Tile Festival registration filling fast
Bloomington Art Center Show Info
Northern Clay Center Sales Gallery Opportunity
Next Meeting
Welcome New Members
Art A Whirl.
Mosaic Tree
HTA member to be awarded at Coverings
Thank you to our volunteers for December
National Juried Tile Show
Registration open for tile conference
The national tile conference is now open for registration
Past Present and Future
September 18-20, 2009 | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hosted by Handmade Tile Association and Potters Council
 tile conference web image for your website

Featured Ceramic Artists
Learn From the Experts
This conference will bring together a diverse group of presenters and artists to discuss and work on issues surrounding handmade tiles and mosaics for the 21st century. As the tile community becomes more of a national community, we have a need to continue to engage each other and help develop new talented artists to the field. The tile conference will focus on the main challenges many tile artists face in developing their tile art, as well as developing new skills. Read More click here.

The past two conferences have been sold out.
Register early and Save $75 ends June 26, 2009
Don't delay Register Today!
MN Tile Festival registration filling fast

The 2009 Minnesota Tile Festival registration forms have been sent to over 200 artists and the applications are coming in fast and furious.  We have only 4 outdoor spaces left and 20 inside table spaces left.  This is good from the HTA perspective but for those who like to procrastinate we advise don't do it this year.  With the national tile conference going on at the same time we are getting a lot of new artists so if you have plans to do the show register today! Click here to download an application

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 ASI 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.
Bloomington Art Center Show Info
Submited by Leann Johnson To all Handmade Tile Association members:

The Bloomington Art Center (BAC) has confirmed that HTA is part of the "Art in the Home" show in their Inez Greenberg Gallery. A big thanks to the members who submitted photos and information that went into the exhibition proposal!

We'll be sharing the space with a woodworking group. This is considered a home show, so decorative tiles, fireplaces, tables (or other furnishings), trays as well as formal art are all good pieces for consideration.
Each artist can submit up to 2 pieces up to a 6 x 6 x 6 foot space; if you need more space, please contact Rachel Flentje at or at 952-563-8570 to discuss options.

If you're interested in participating, here's what you need to do
and send no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1: Completed Exhibition Contract (attached). Each artist gets 50 postcards. Be sure to include a check if you want more postcards (at 20 cents a piece). Be listed in the 2009 HTA Directory. (If you're not listed
currently, please contact Josh at
or 612-781-6409 to be included in the 2010 directory.)

Please send the following no later than 5 p.m.
on Monday, August 17:
Completed Exhibition Program-Promotional Photos
sheet (attached) Images of work that will be in the show.
(Do not send images of work that will not be in the show.)
The images can be slides, photos, or digital files. If sending digital files, they must be 300 dpi (resolution), 3 x 5 inches (physical size) and in either JPEG or PDF format. 

These images will be used for promotion. BAC will send press releases through their newsletter, Sculpture Magazine and Ceramics Monthly. If you have newsletters, local newspapers or other publications to whom you want press releases sent, please include with your images: 
Name of the publication 
Press deadline 
Department or editor name
Publication address 

By submitting these images, you grant BAC permission
to use them for promotion.

Please deliver artwork to BAC at 12:00 noon on
Saturday, January 9, 2010 with:

Completed Exhibition Loan Consent Form (attached).
If you're a BAC member, there's a 25% commission.
(BAC isn't charging us to be in the show; if you're
interested in supporting BAC by becoming a member, go to & Donation.htm.) 
If you aren't a member, there's a 35% commission.
If the piece is not for sale, BAC still needs a value (minus a commission) for the sake of insurance. 
Updated resume (unstapled) 
Artist statement
Calendar summary:
Monday, June 1: contracts are due (and indicate if you
want additional postcards)
Monday, August 17: images, and additional press
release addresses are due
Saturday, January 19: deliver artwork to BAC with
loan consent form, resume and artist statement at 12:00 noon
January 15-March 12, 2010: exhibition dates
January 15: Opening Reception from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
March 13: Pick up artwork from BAC starting at 9:00 am
Northern Clay Center Sales Gallery Opportunity

Sales Gallery Jury in June Northern Clay Center will conduct its biennial review of the artists in the Sales Gallery this June 2009.  The review allows for both a consideration of work by new artists, and a reevaluation of work presently in the Sales Gallery.  Three to six clay artists may be added to the roster of artists represented by the NCC Sales Gallery during the year and/or for the Holiday Exhibition.  A panel of NCC staff and one or two non-staff individuals who are knowledgeable about ceramics, art, design, and retail will jury the work.  Interested artists should visit the NCC Web site for detailed application requirements, deadlines, and the Sales Gallery Application Form.

Applicants must submit the following materials to the Clay Center by 5 pm on Wednesday, June 24, 2009:
    A completed Sales Gallery Application Form
    A current resume or vita (no more than two pages)
    An artist statement (no more than one page)
    Information about other sales representation
    Up to but no more than ten digital images of current work, with detailed information about the work including dimensions, materials, firing method or finish, and price
The application materials listed above may be submitted electronically, to

Click here for the entire prospectus and application
Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be at Minnesota Clay

7429 Washington Ave S Edina, MN 55439
952-884-9101 x104

A tour of the facilities
Show and tell - Bring a new tile work to show us what you have been up to.
Updates on Bloomington Art Show
Updates on the National Tile Conference
Registration of the MN Tile Festival

Pot Luck

Coming from the East & 35W: Take 494 W to 169 N. Follow 169N to Valley View Road (Valley View is the first exit traveling North on 169). At the stop light take a left on to Valley View Rd. At the second set of stop lights turn left on to Washington Ave. We are located on the left hand side of the street, look for the white brick building between the buildings that have the red roof covering their docks.

Coming from the West: Take 494 S/E to 169 N. Follow 169N to Valley View Road (Valley View is the first exit traveling North on 169). At the stop light take a left on to Valley View Rd. At the second set of stop lights turn left on to Washington Ave. We are located on the left hand side of the street, look for the white brick building between the buildings that have the red roof covering their docks.

Coming from the South on 169:Take 169 N to Valley View Rd. (Valley View is the first exit after passing 494). At the stop light take a left on to Valley View Rd. At the second set of stop lights turn left on to Washington Ave. We are located on the left hand side of the street, look for the white brick building between the buildings that have the red roof covering their docks.

Coming from the North on 169: Take 169 S to Valley View Rd. (Valley View is the last exit prior to 494)  At the stop light take a right on to Valley View Rd. You will take an immediate left on to Washington Ave. We are located on the left hand side of the street, look for the white brick building between the buildings that have the red roof covering their docks.

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

Business Members
Carter Holliday Art Studio & Gallery

Cirrelda Snider-Bryan
MargyJean Balwierz

Cotton Lake Tile

Thank you!
Art A Whirl

Art A Whirl imageThe 14th annual Art A Whirl is upon us on May 15th, 16th, and 17th.  Over 600 artists participate and a dozen of the HTA members are part of the show.  The HTA would love to mount a HTA show for 2010 if you are interested in being part of that go to Art A Whirl this year and see how it works and contact the HTA with ideas.  We will discuss them at the next HTA meeting.
Mosaic Tree

Stacia Goodman completed this huge mosaic tree is finished and was installed last week at Kenwood Elementary School.  The part from the floor to the yellow banner is about 7 feet high.  The students made the leaves. The kite in the tree ties in with other actual kites that hang in the school's atrium.

mosaic tree at kenwood elementary

The snake at the bottom is made from erasers and dominoes; the owls are crayons and pencils; the inch worm is coffee mug handles; the butterflies have track and field medals in their wings; the kite has pencils and glue stick caps; the bunny has earrings for eyes, etc.

Two Perspectives  Intertwined
Gallery Show runs: April 25th through June 20th
Clay Squared to Infinity hours: Mon. through Sat., 11am - 5pm.
Admission is FREE.

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 image
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.

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 Josh Blanc for handing out directories at the Living Green Show visitors attended the show and over 300 directories were handed out.

Sandra Shaughnessy, Sharon Neff, and the Potters Council handed out HTA directories at NCECA

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

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.

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