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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter


13th Year  



5 Hours button One of the first experiences I had with trying to understand the tile world was attending meetings for the local tile setter organization in Minnesota CASTA - the Ceramic & Stone Tile Association. I did not know it at the time but the people running the meeting were to become the mover and shakers of the tile setting industry Jan Hohn, Louis and Allen Voigt, Joe Kerber, Dan Wollman, and  Bart Bettega. All of them were very engaged with the development of quality tile setting in the United States. Bart Bettega went on to become executive director of the National Tile Contractors Association that produces the Tile Letter. They are the a cousin of what the Handmade Tile Association does but geared toward tile setting. Jan Hohn and Joe Kerber have become front runners for the 5 star program. The National Tile Contractors Association Five-Star Program was created by the Board of Directors as a way to recognize companies in our association with a proven track record of excellence in their trade. Both are advertise in our Handmade Tile Association directory and have for years.
This year the National Tile Contracts Association became an advertiser and supporter of the Handmade Tile Association due from the endorsements of all of these tile setters. This is a major link for the HTA building a full circle of the tile community. As the artisans of the tile world we need access to the best tile contractors available to install some of the complicated projects we are hired to install all across the country. Patrons pay artists top dollar for the most innovated and highly visible work.  We can not hire the uncle of your best friend to set this work and expect top quality results. The resources we need are people who are dedicated to be the best in their field just like the Handmade Tile Association strives to represent the best tile artists in our field but both need each other to show off their skills.
I have enjoyed getting to know all of the other tile professionals in our field and I know they have all seen the energy and passion of the artists in our part of the community. It is great to see that the tile industry as a whole are engaging the tile artisans and encouraging us to succeed. We hope you will us utilize the resources available to you on the
to ensure your tile installation is the best it can be.

Josh Blanc
In This Issue
January meeting overview
Benefits of Social Media
Major event of the month
Volunteering opportunity
Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!.
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
Moravian Tile Festival Registration Starts
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
January meeting overview

Attendance at the last meeting
Host Mary and Kurt Anderson
Stephanie Kazrowski, Mercedes Austin, Marcia Glancy, Alex Chinn, Wendy Penta, Sheryl VanDerPol, Josh Blanc

The first of the year meetings are always welcome to get to see many tile artists in the middle of the winter and each warm comfort food. We visited Bon Ton Designs for the first time and got a tour of their studio. Mary and Kurt are a husband wife team where Mary makes and designs the tiles and Kurt runs the office, sales and marketing. They have purchased a couple of commercial condo spaces in a industrial park surrounded
 by a mix of businesses from shipping, plumbing, metal shops, and a variety of other companies that they said have been very helpful for their business as they have gotten
 to know their neighbors. The metal shop space they eventually took over saw
 the wood dies they used for their tile extruder and they insisted they make
 them make them metal ones which Mary and Kurt said are awesome.
 They teach lots of classes using the online coupon businesses we all get in
 our in boxes every day like Groupon, Living Social and Crowd Cut. They said it has been a great way to meet lots of new people and has been a useful tool to build their business.
In the meeting we discussed the new directory and what type of events we wanted to participate in. 
Roger Mayland had worked on finding out about The Home and Garden show in Minneapolis and could not find enough interested parties to help cover the booth fee. He tried to see if we could partner with the local NKBA but they too are not doing a booth. So we will put this on the agenda for another year to see if we can come up with a concept to show at this event for another year.
Mercedes Austin is working on revamping the Art A Whirl concept we had from last year where we had about a dozen tile artists show their work in a major building to a HTA booth where we just hand out directories and show examples of HTA members work. This would tie in better with the HTA goal of creating a stronger trade show booth display with banners and better signage. It would be an opportunity for many members to get their 5 hours of volunteering in for the organization with out having to give up their whole weekends.  
Benefits of Social Media
While most of us have a hard time keeping up with all the social media these days, here's a few things to keep in mind:

1.  Social Media when linked to your website helps optimize your website.  Each time you add a new facebook post, linked-in, etc., it renews your website.  Search engines love new information and will gather that info as they scan the world wide web.

2.  Social Media is great for up-to-date information on projects.  If you don't have time or money to update your your clients to your social media pages for the newest, latest and greatest!

3.  Social Media is free.  It is the best ROI (return on your investment).  Any jobs or leads you make through social media has cost you nothing in advertising.

Major event of the month

Medicine Bluff Studios
February 17-19
The Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference 
Asheville, North Carolina

Volunteering opportunity
5 Hours button
At the beginning of each year we need filing for the HTA to be accomplished. We are looking for volunteer to come in and help the HTA get our tax info in order.

Every year advertisers and members have an opportunity to help the organization by volunteering. We ask everyone to give 5 hours a year. Those who do we offer a $100 off your advertising costs in the directory.

If you would like to help please contact
Josh to tell him what you would like to help with.  612-781-6409


Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!
Facebook icon and link We are looking for more events to post. Please send us your classes and workshops, and gallery shows.

Four times a week the HTA does a Facebook post on the Handmade Tile Association page. We are looking for , members and advertisers 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


February 28


Sight Line Tile - Public Art Discussion 
Where - 681 17th Ave NE Studio 121
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Time - 6- 8:30    

Pot Luck Please bring warm yummies!


Time - 6- 8pm


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
Super Member
Marcia Glancy
Jean Daves Pottery
Sligo Creek Tile
John and Lynn Hume
Creative Photos Etc
Dave Bargabus
James Whitney Tuthill
Sharon Tuthill
Business Members
 Janet LU Rudawsky

Friend mebership

Kathryn Luther

Moravian Tile Festival Registration Starts

The 14th annual Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, PA is inviting tile artists off all disciplines to purchase a booth. a 10'x 10' spacis $175 you can get a double booth for $345. 6' tables are available for $10 each.  If interested contact  Vance Koehler at or call 215-348-6002
Fax 215-345-1361
Deadline March 16th
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
USA MapSpotlight on artists for 2012. 
If you are next 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.

laNeva Artisan Tile
Medicine Bluff Studio
Bon Ton Designs
Chicago Mosaic School
NKBA MN Chapter
Lilywork Ceramic Ornament, LL
Belvedere Art Tile Ltd.
Piazza Art and Design
Clay Borne Co.

Riverrun Center for the Arts
Moravian Pottery and Tile Works
Sight Line Tile
Tile Council of North America
National Tile Contractors Association

Sheryl Tuorila
SOMI Tileworks
Potek Glass
Laurie McKichan LLC
Christine Nelson Design

Pasadena Craftsman Tile
Earth Wood and Fire
Deb LeAir
Northern Clay Center
Mosaic on a Stick, llc

Margy Jean Balwierz
Untapped Resource Inc.
Suzanne Crane Fine Stoneware
Stephanie Kaczrowski
Dovetail Art & Antiques


North Prarie Tile
weaver tile
Mercury Mosaics
Edina Art Center


Barbara Schmidt
Stone Hollow Tile
Lea-Way Designs, LLC
David Aichinger Tile Co.
American Restoration Tile

Tile Restoration Center
Red Step Studio
Dean Tile
Status Ceramics

Alma Artisan
Pewabic Pottery
La Alameda Press
Thomas Kent Collection
Institute of Mosaic Art

Desert Rise Stone Distr.
Clay Earth Studios
Ceramic Chinn
Hohn and Hohn Inc

Arts and Crafts Logo

Tile Heritage Foundation logo and link

Tile Magazine Link