hta banner for website
Handmade Tile Association Newsletter


12th Year  


Our meeting on May 2nd was the largest HTA attended meeting ever! Over 32 artists, designers, tile setters, the press and the public were there to discuss marketing and meet Mpls.St.Paul Magazine senior editor Melinda Nelson.  Melinda had a round table discussion with everyone on the differences between marketing and advertising.

Mpls/St.Paul Magazine cover and link
Follow our Sponsor and the stories of handmade tile in Mpls/St.Paul Magazine. Click here.
She said the best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy. All of these elements must not only work independently but they also must work together towards the bigger goal.

Advertising is a single component of the marketing process. It's the part that involves getting the word out concerning your business, product, or the services you are offering. It involves the process of developing strategies such as ad placement, frequency, etc. Advertising includes the placement of an ad in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and of course the Internet.

Melinda told the crowd contact the media personality or designer you want to work with on a regular basis. Tell them how much you like their work and how you would like to work with them. It does not have to be fancy but it should be flattering. Positive engagement almost always works.  For Melinda she likes a photo and a couple sentences of where and what the work about. Make sure to have your contact information and you do not need to follow up numerous times to make sure she got it one time is enough.

Thank you to Trebuchet Marketing for setting up this great speaker. The HTA heard lots of positive comments.

Host - Woodland Stoves - Peter Solac
Special Guest - Melinda Nelson - Mpls/St.Paul Magazine
Catered by Glaciers Cafe - Thanks to all his staff and Sebastatin Galdames and Jack Kaczrowski for helping out

Jan Hohn, Joe Kerber, David Aichinger, Malcolm Potek, Laura McCaul, Emily Dyer, Mercedes Austin, Kurt Anderson, Deb LeAir, Leann Johnson, Margy Balwierz, Roger Mayland, Kirsten Walstead, Stephanie and Jack Kaczrowski, Wendy Penta, Nancy Froseth, Lynne Stryker, Christine Nelson, Alex Chinn, Rebecca Rayman, Tina Schowalter, Josh Blanc, Lisa Trnka, Jana and Sebastatain Galdames, Ashley Lange, Maggie Brennan,

In This Issue
Sales and Marketing at the Minnesota Tile Festival
Art A Whirl Recap
Gallery Show Opportunity
Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!.
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
June Jobs
Pizza and Tile Opportunity
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
Sales and Marketing at the Minnesota Tile Festival

tile festival postcard
Start branding your work register for the Minnesota Tile Festival today
The MN Tile Festival has 23 artist, designers, tile setters and organizations registered so far. We have room for 60. So just over a third way there. Registration ends August 15th.

Why should you consider doing this event?
Marketing experts say it take up to 8 times of seeing your ads, your work at shows, brochures, Internet etc before they make a purchase. The MN Tile Festival is one of those venues where the public and the designers discover how amazing and large the handmade tile and mosaics community is. Designers and the media what to know what new trends are emerging. Collectors want to see amazing tile art that will be shown and is available for sale, people working on tile projects want to see all the options available to them.  No other organization gives tile the exposure this event creates all for under $200. Make sure you are represented.

How to measure success at the Minnesota Tile Festival
Many tile artists sell work at arts festivals which only focus on day of sales. Some artists do trade shows which focus on future sales and branding. The MN Tile Festival is a little of both. Every year the HTA get a full range of responses that artists have a good to great sales. Many artists tell us they got follow up projects after the event. This is why this event is unique because the MN Tile Festival delivers on both options.

SmileHow to take advantage of the MN Tile Festival crowd
There is always room for improvement. Ask yourself some basic questions. If you are trying to foster day of sales make sure all of your work is marked with a price,  every tile should have a hanging device, have a range in price points to get sales from all type of buyers. Get photos of your tiles in environments so people can image how it would look in their home. Make it easy for people to choose your work.

If you working on fostering projects (kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces etc) make sure you have photos of past projects, get a brochure made of your work and your process.  Develop installation guides and product information to hand out. Do you have samples they can take home to review? Good literature can prove to them you know your product and the process, this will give them confidence that you are the tile artist they want to work with.

Drive home the point of how you make your tilesMN Tile Festival logo and link.
People like to see how your work is created. It develops a strong memory. Be prepared to stand all day and smile. Watch your body language don't let things get you down; patrons can sense negativity and it can affect your sales and even if they want to talk to you.

Be apart of this amazing opportunity. Get a booth and build your company name and continue to develop your following, make money and help people Discover American Art Tile

Click here to purchase your space on line.

Click here to download a printable application.

Art A Whirl Recap

Art A WhirlMercedes Austin and Sheryl Vander Pol took on a huge task of putting together an HTA group show at Art A Whirl in the Casket Arts Building. Twelve artists participated and over 2500 people saw the groups display. over 300 HTA directories were handed out.
The most repeated response heard: People were impressed by HOW MANY tile artists were there.

What can we improve next year?
From the feed back the HTA members who did the show they said get larger signage about the HTA.  There was some confusion when some artists brought non tile items to show and sell and we only want to show tile related products and art. More photos of projects completed by members to show context and range of work. Make sure artist who participate know that Art A Whirl is a unique show where the public gets informed about the great art in NE Minneapolis and what is being made and can be a good sales show but not always.


Gallery Show Opportunity

TicketsThe Jon Hassler Theater is looking for 4-6 tile artists, on a "first-come" basis. Deadline: June 10th.  The Handmade Tile Association has been invited by the Rural America Arts Partnership to show our work October 20th thru November 20th.   The gallery is in the Jon Hassler Theatre Building, approximately 90 miles SE of the Twin Cities, in Plainview, MN.  (See .)


The gallery is outfitted with a modern hanging system for work that has a wire on the back.   They insure each exhibit individually with "all perils" coverage and will need an inventory of each piece of artwork and its value.   The art exhibit will run concurrently with the play at the Jon Hassler Theater, "Don't hug me I'm pregnant."  There is a 20% commission on sales.

Advertising for the exhibit will be included in a mailer about the play that goes out to the John Hassler Theatre mailing list. There is usually some coverage in the Plainview News and other area newspapers.


If interested in showing your work please email Linda Taylor at by Friday, June 10th and:

  • Attach 1-3 samples of work similar in size and quality to what you will be showing; and,
  • Your availability to assist in planning, set-up, etc.


Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!
Facebook icon and linkFour times a week Ashley from Trebuchet communications does a Facebook post on the Handmade Tile Association page. She is looking for , members who have events or anything they want to publicize, they can send all the info to

The same thing goes for artists chosen for the HTA "Artist of the Month" spotlight. If they connect with me early, I can integrate more of their work and interests in the press release.

Since Ashley has started doing the daily posts back in March we have gone from 70 friends to over 200 and growing every day. Make sure to join and "like" posts so you friends see what is going on in the tile world.

Handmade Tile Association Meeting  


We take the summers off from meetings. Our next formal meeting is 


October 11th
When - Tuesday 6:30
Where - Laurie McKichan LLC Furniture Studio




We are looking for venues to have meetings in 2012. Advertisers in the HTA directory can save 15% on their ads if you host a meeting. Artists can get their 5 hours of volunteering in to qualify for a advertising discount by hosting a meeting.  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 check out all the new info
Events button

Classes and Workshop Link

Gallery Show Link

Things to Know About Link
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
Friend Membership
Ginkgo Studios
Kathleen Allen
Business Members

Bzech Studio

Felice Amato

Forbush ARTiques
Joanne O'Conner

Marina A .Bosetti

Michelle K Arterburn

Super Member
 James Whitney Tuthill

May Jobs
5 Hours button
Get your 5 hours in!  
We are starting to collect names for volunteers for the MN Tile Festival. We will need helpers for set up, day of events, tear down etc. If you can not do it volunteer your family member or friend.   

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

Thanks to

Thanks to Sheryl VanderPol and Mercedes Austin, Deb LeAir and Wendy Penta for all the work on AAW.  
Pizza and Tile Opportunity

mosaic Ben Smith the owner of Glaciers CafĂ© at Lake and Minnehaha together with Peter Solac at Woodland Stoves and Fireplaces are  working on a outdoor Fireplace.  They are looking to collaborate with a tile artist to develop a one-of-a-kind facade tiles to compliment the large mosaic on the side of the building. Ben showcased his pizza at our last meeting feeding over 30 people and wowing us with great toppings. This will be a highly visible public work that you can get your name on and some press opportunities. A stipend is being developed. Click here to talk to Peter to get more details.
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.


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, Thomas Kent Collection 


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

Arts and Crafts Logo

Tile Heritage Foundation logo and link

Tile Magazine Link