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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter


12th Year  


Our meeting in February was at Crystal Kitchen Center in Crystal, MN.  Our host Jolynn Johnson and Carol Kornak gave us a tour of their beautiful space. It is a huge showroom featuring vignettes of a variety of kitchens from European, Arts & Crafts, Modern, Tuscan, Lodge, loft, Asian and even Outdoor kitchens.   

Jolynn explained that most of the time that they get to use handmade tiles or other artists is when the client asks for artisan made products. She likes getting information on artisan work to consider for their files. Our discussions evolved from how they work as designers into how both designers and artists rarely get to meet and talk about projects. They welcomed this meeting and were very surprised and happy how engaged the group was. This is the first year Crystal Kitchens Center has been a part of the Handmade Tile Association.  We hope that meeting like this will inspire artist around the country to contact local kitchen and bath centers, set up presentations and joint meetings to get to know each other better and see if they can collaborate more.  


Attendance at the meeting:
Host: Jolynn Johnson and Carol Kornak 

Nancy Froseth, Leann Johnson, Mercedes Austin, Carri Carlson, Stephanie Kaczrowski , Sheryl VanderPol, Rebecca Rayman, Roger Mayland, Norma Hanlon, Josh Blanc and Lisa Trnka. 

In This Issue
Early registration saves money at Minnesota Tile Festival.
NKBA meets the HTA
Questions about Marketing
Consider tenant rep for next space search
The Art A Whirl Program
Join us on Facebook
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
March Jobs
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
Early registration saves money at the Minnesota Tile Festival
MN Tile Festival LogoEach year the Handmade Tile Association offers a discount to artists and designers who can commit to doing the show before May 1st. We hope you will take advantage of the program. You can save over $25 per booth space by registering early
Click here to purchase your space on line.

Click here to download a printable application.

Vendors can pay by check or online by clicking here. Please note if you purchase your space on line you will be charged a credit card fee for the service.

Artist registered
Kuilema Pottery, inc
Duluth Pottery
Christine Nelson Design
Stephanie Kaczrowski
Mad Zebra Tile
Clay Squared to Infinity
NKBA meets the HTA
NKBA logo and linkOn March 17th the National Kitchen and Bath Association MN Chapter NKBA will have their monthly meeting at

Clay Squared to Infinity 



The Secrets of Handmade Tile.   Josh Blanc, Carri Carlson and Lynn

Stryker will  Present

I.   What is handmade tile?

II.   Affordable - How to incorporate into any project and lower costs.

III.  Who works with handmade tile?

IV.  Where is handmade tile used?

V.   Why is handmade tile used?

Two years ago the NKBA did the similar program called "The End of White Tile as we Know it" and it was the most attended event ever for this chapter of the NKBA. 

The NKBA has a take away bag of goodies for all attendees. Any member of the Handmade Tile Association who would like to send or deliver one item to be put in the take away bags are welcome to. Please consider either your brochure or a small tile to remind these designers of who you are.  Each NKBA attendee will also be given a HTA directory and one each of the tile maps.

Please send or drop off you take away goodie by March 15th to

Clay Squared to Infinity

34 13th Ave NE

Minneapolis, MN 55413

612-781-6409 if you have questions


The NKBA is offering HTA artists free entry to the program. Artists are also encouraged to attend.

Non members  

$25 for members before Monday March 14; $35 after March 14

$35 for nonmember before Monday March 14; $45 after March 14

$15 for students before Monday March 14; $25 after March 14


RSVP Kristin Warner, MN Chapter NKBA Treasurer 



Questions about Marketing
  At the last meeting Lisa Trnka of Trebuchet Communications asked if any of the HTA artists have any questions they would like answered concerning Marketing issues.  Lisa said she would take the requests and do an monthly article on one of the question each month.  So if you have something you have be interested in understanding better on how to work with the press, how to write a better press release, website, etc. please submit your questions to Lisa and she will start a monthly topic on the questions at hand.  


Consider tenant rep for next space search

Most businesses rent their space rather than own.  That means you have a lease. A few years ago by accident I met a real estate rep who asked me about when my lease was up and said she could renegotiate my lease for me and it would be no cost to me. She was able to get me three months worth of free rent for signing an extension to my original lease.  As well as streamline our lease so we had less liabilities.  Tenant reps are real estate professional and they know both sides of the operation  Here is an article on some important tips if you are getting ready to negotiate your lease.
Consider tenant rep for next space search

by Barb Ankrum of Cave and Associates 651.482.9668

Originally printed by  Upsize Magazine May 2008 

 VERY FEW SMALL businesses hire a tenant representative to help them find the right office, retail or industrial space. But small companies can benefit from such a relationship as much - or more than - large ones.

Often a small-business owner doesn't want to delegate the job. Or, they may feel the modest scale of their needs precludes them from representation. But the truth is tenant reps are equipped and eager to help virtually all businesses - often free of charge. And by handing off the process to a pro, small-business owners in particular end up saving many hours - up to 10 hours a week - on a search process that can last anywhere from two weeks to six months. Those are opportunity costs that can quickly add up, and keep owners from daily duties related to their core business and competencies.

Following are four ways a tenant rep can benefit small

 Barb Ankrum
Barb Ankrum


1. There are often no costs in hiring a tenant rep. Businesses generally are not billed for a tenant rep's services. The eventual landlord will usually pay any fees or commissions in exchange for a good-credit, qualified tenant.

A tenant rep is a licensed real estate professional through the state of Minnesota. Companies can check a tenant rep's individual qualifications at Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors (MNCAR), online at You may also obtain professional references or a listing of previous clients can help a company assess the rep's success and experience with your type of company.

Whether yours is a start-up company or an established business, be prepared to provide financial and/or business plans, bank references and previous landlord information if applicable. Realistically, landlords and building owners shy away from companies that may be shaky or default on a lease. Like you, they're guarding their finances.

2. Tenant reps are usually well-connected. They keep abreast of the newest listings, and can connect small businesses with additional resources, including movers to transport property; lawyers to review lease contracts; lenders to help with loans or lines of credit to cover rent; construction companies to do the space build-out; and office-furniture dealers to acquire new or used desks, chairs, dividers and so on.

Even after the ink on the lease agreement has dried and the deal is finalized, tenant reps can play a role in sourcing mission-critical equipment, such as merchant credit-card processing terminals, telephones or computers.

The truth is, there are often hidden costs involved with a new lease. Any initial quote provided by a landlord covers rent per square foot. But it may not include additional costs, such as taxes, utilities, operating expenses, and the responsibility for mundane chores, such as light bulb replacements and daily maintenance. When you factor in these side charges, the cost differential can run into hundreds of dollars.

Tenant reps help clients figure out the actual, total cost of a lease, so small businesses can get a detailed realistic picture of the required financial investment and make an informed decision on the property.

Tenant reps also accurately assess square footage needs, in the present, as well as the future. Small-business owners may be so preoccupied with finding a solution to their immediate needs that they fail to take into account any expansion and renewal rights. This is a crucial issue for small businesses: They need wiggle room literally and figuratively. Since they are likely to outgrow their space much more quickly than their larger counterparts.

4. Tenant reps do all the legwork. Each real estate transaction can be a tedious process that is rarely resolved in one sit-down, face-to-face meeting. Tenant reps coordinate all the details - dirty and otherwise - so you don't have to.

They survey the market, locate suitable spaces and schedule each physical tour. Good tenant reps have all the necessary knowledge and the resources to review and evaluate each offer, weighing the pros and cons of each building. And when it comes time to make a proposal to lease, they make all the necessary contacts and handle the contract negotiations.

The entire process, start to finish, often involves dozens of back-and-forth phone calls. When the responsibility and huge time commitment is taken off their hands, small-business owners opportunity costs are kept to a minimum.

If space exploration is in your future, find a tenant rep that knows your geographic area. Start your rep search process three-to-six months before your planned move. Go to fellow business people in your network.

Check out commercial real estate companies in your area and ask if they provide tenant representation. Get references and contact them. Unless you're a real estate expert, you'll find that tenant representation can save you time and opportunity costs, and eliminate financial surprises down the road.

The Art A Whirl Program

Art A Whirl DirectoryOver the past couple of months Mercedes Austin and Sheryl VanderPol have been meeting and discussing how the HTA can have a presence at Art A Whirl for 2011. May 20th - 22nd in NE Minneapolis, MN. They have set up a space and here is the list of participating artists ART A WHIRL 2011 

Becky Rayman of Mad Zebra Tile
Leann Johnson of Lea Way Designs
Wendy Penta of Stone Hollow Tile
Emily Dyer of Emily Dyer Ceramics
Miriam Shuros of Miriam Shuros Studio
Roger Mayland of North Prairie Tile works
Nancy Froseth of Tierney's Tile
Kirsten Walstead & Norma Hanlon of Somi Tileworks
Josh Blanc of Clay Squared to Infinity
Emily Dyer of Emily Dyer Ceramics
Miriam Shuros of Miriam Shuros Studio
Mercedes Austin - Mercury Mosaics
Sheryl VanderPol - Untapped Resource
Deb LeAir Ceramics
Deirdre Hjelle - Hjelle Studio  


The space is located on the 4th floor of the Casket Arts Building.  


Thanks to everyone for being apart of this show it will be a great way to meet lots of new patrons and introduce them to the Handmade Tile Association. 

More updates will be at the next meeting on March 8th 


Join us on Facebook
The Handmade Tile Association is doing regular updates and we invite our members to post new projects and artwork they have completed. 
To join the Handmade Tile Association fan page click this icon Find us on Facebook

Handmade Tile Association Meeting 

March 8th
When - Tuesday 6:30
Where - Potek Glass 

2205 California St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Studio 612. (612) 281.7243



Conversation with 3 tile setters. 
Tour of glass studio with demo
Art A Whirl update
Register for 2011 Minnesota Tile Festival

We are looking for venues to have meetings in 2012.  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
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March Jobs
5 Hours button
Get your 5 hours in!  

We need a membership renewal person! 

This job is a once a month reminder to members who's membership is due to renew their membership. You can do it from home the HTA sends you the list of who needs a reminder and you send out the reminders.  The HTA does the rest.  

I can help Click here to tell us what you can do 

Thanks to

Susan Shaughnessy for coming in two times in February to do office work. 
Thanks to Mercedes Austin and Sheryl VanderPol for organizing the Art A Whirl program 
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
Spotlight on artists for 2011.  Please send us any new images, information or news that you would like to be highlighted by the first of your month to the the HTA.


March 2011- FK Art Glass, Deb LeAir, David Aichenger Tile Co


April 2011- D'Arte Designs LLC, SoMi Tileworks,  C Wilson


May 2011-  Bella Vista Tile, Hjelle Studio, Jim Boles Designs


June 2011- Mad Zebra Tile, Pewabic Pottery, Red Step Studio


July 2011 - Terrapin tile, Tina Schowalter, Bon Ton Designs


August 2011- Ceramic Chinn, North Praire Tileworks, BA Schmidt


September 2011-Earth Wood and Fire, Margy Jean Balwierz


October 2011- Tile Restoration Center, Weaver Tile, Swan Tile


November 2011- Sheryl Tuorila, Stone Hollow Tile, Emily Dyer,


December 2011- Untapped Resources, Suzanne Crane Fine Stoneware, Mercury Mosaics

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