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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter


12th Year  


In the month of June so many news items hit the office of the Handmade Tile Association it was hard to make sure we get it all profiled. Please read through and click the links to get the full story on the news items featured. 

Please be on a look out of a special newsletter on the Minnesota Tile Festival for all members and participating artists to find out detailed info on how to be apart and best take advantage of the great tile event.
In This Issue
Handmade Tile Success Story
Extra Booth Spaces only $50
HTA Artist Takes the Title DIY Dominator
Peace House in Danger.
Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!.
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
July Jobs
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
Handmade Tile Success Story

by Lisa Trnka of Trebuchet Communications

We will be starting a new concept where each month will will bring you a success story on one of our own Handmade Tile Association artists. This month we start with Mercedes Austin of Mercury Mosaics. Her success in recent media publications, television spots along with her ever-increasing business shows how tenacity and clever thinking work best for small business owners.
Mercedes Austin
The following are the steps she took in acquring her recent editorial in the Mpls/St.Paul magazine coming out in July.

1. Mercedes of Mercury Mosaics had been advertising on and off with MSP magazine for the last 5 years.
2. About 3 years ago, she gave her advertising rep a beautiful mirror for the upcoming birth of her child. That gift is still talked about today.
3. At that time, she also included her magazine rep on all her mailings, she wanted to keep her up-to-date on her current projects and promotions.
4. She attended HTA meetings--much more steadily this past year.
5. She made a conscious effort to attend events. She was looking to meet new people and make connections.
6. Also, at that time, she would send out her catalogues to designers she read about and was interested in their work. Mercedes estimates she sent out about 25 a month and wrote a short note with each mailing how she admired their work and how she would like to gain their business.
7. She then met Melinda Nelson at the Woodland Fireplace HTA meeting. She made the connection with her and listened to Melindaʼs instructions on "sending pictures and sending a quick note" when a new project came along.
8. Mercedes sent 2 notes and 2 photos to Melinda since the Woodland meeting.
9. A few weeks ago, Melinda called Mercedes and mentioned that she would like some information on a project and some more photos....could Mercedes send this within a few days?
10. Of course, Mercedes jumped on this chance---not knowing where this might lead.
11. Within a week Mercedes received another message from Melinda. Mercedes would be featured in the next MSP Home magazine.

While this takes time and energy, marketing yourself is how to grow your business!


Extra Booth Spaces only $50

tile festival postcard
Start branding your work register for the Minnesota Tile Festival today
Spaces still available to be apart of the MN Tile Festival. We also are offering a special to those wanting an extra booth space. For $50 you can get an extra 5' x 10' booth space added to your original space.

Click here to purchase your space on line.

Click here to download a printable application.

Contact the HTA if you have questions. 612-781-6409
HTA Artist Takes the Title DIY Dominator

One of the major goals of the Handmade Tile Association is to create opportunities for artists to get work and exposure. Late last year the TV show DIY Dominator contact the Handmade Tile AssociatiDIY Dominator Winneron looking for a list of tile artists that could set tile and compete on a TV show under pressure. They were sent the HTA directory and we posted the competition on facebook and Linked In. Mercedes Austin of Mercury Mosaics contacted them and was selected to compete.
DIY Dominator flew her out to Denver in February to compete with two other tile setter/designers. Each was given a budget to work with.  Mercedes using her skills as both a  tile maker and designer utilized her own tiles as part of the budget and created a dynamic design from her counterparts. Showcasing how handmade tiles will outclass commercial tile any day of the week!
Mercedes won $10,000 for the experience. The episode aired on June 8th. Click here to see the project and the process


Peace House in Danger

June 22, 2011

The future does not look good for the Peace House Mural, created by artist Angela Carlson Talle for the Peace House in Minneapolis, a place where anyone can come in to visit, meditate, and find "a place to belong". The organization will soon be moving, exchanging their building, which they own, for a new building that nonprofit developer AEON will be giving them a block away. The Peace House building will be razed and a new apartment complex will be erected.  

Read the full article click here and see more photos


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.

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

Business Members
Niki Glen
Fay Jones Day

July 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 

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.


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