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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter
S P O T L I G H T on artists and events




13th Year


Welcome to the March 2012 spotlight on Handmade Tile Association artists and tile events from the around the United States.  We feature three artists every month. links and resources (to the right) to many of the tile events, gallery shows, workshops featured around the country.

You can also follow regular updates on the the Handmade Tile Association Facebook page.   Click the link below and become a fan. 

Enjoy the spotlight.
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Lilywork Ceramic Ornament, LLC
Ester and Paul Halferty 
Quakertown, PA
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Lilywork: The Next Generation of American Art Tile


You may know Lilywork as a company based on crafting handmade tile collections that can be seen adorning fireplace mantles, kitchens and entryways. But what looks to many to be a high production, full-scale tile business is actually a humble duo of artists working in a simple studio - their own garage.


Situated in Quakertown, PA, Esther and Paul Halferty began Lilywork after their marriage in 2006. Both came from art backgrounds. Paul studied at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. During this time, his mentor, Will Mead of Peace Valley Tile, introduced him to tilemaking. It was here that Paul developed a passion for the craft that has been with him for the last thirteen years.


"There is an age-old debate you inevitably encounter in art school: art versus craft," said Paul. "It was during that summer that I understood the accessibility of craft." Since then, Paul has been working tirelessly to hone his craft, balancing his own business and holding the position for ten years of Mold-maker at Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Bucks County, PA.

Esther, the other half of Lilywork, got her start at the Hartford Art School. Originally starting in printmaking and textiles, Esther quickly found her niche in tilemaking. "I realized the layering of texture and color I wanted could best be achieved in the ceramic arts," she said.


Staying true to her adventurous spirit, Esther disregarded Dean Bradley's warning of becoming a "mud puppy" and decided to get her hands dirty. She found inspiration from her travels, pulling ideas from architecture and cultures across Europe and the Near East. These designs can be found in any of Lilywork's tiles today. 


What has become a well-established business, with tiles showing in showrooms across the country, is still being run out of the tiny garage in back of the couple's home. Their work surface consists of tables, carts and shelves built with their own hands. Custom-crafted tools are kept simple, preserving historic tile-making methods. Lilywork is truly a hand-made product.


Lilywork was literally built from the ground up, with neither artist losing sight of the ground. "Ours is an American story of building something from nothing," said Paul. "We are outgrowing our space, but we would still like to live where we work [in order to] keep life simpler, where our personal and business life meld into one."

  For more information please contact
e-mail: Esther @




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Susan Piazza
Minneapolis, MN 
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After twenty years in the art and interior design industry I was completely hooked on the clay process when I was exposed to an open studio environment several years ago. Now I have my own studio and remain just as enthused as I was then - if not more so!  The process of deliberate intention combined with inevitable surprise is compelling to say the least and gives each piece its own unique quality.

With an awe and respect for nature, my tendencies are to introduce a natural element into my more abstract work.  I love the spontaneity of the glazes which give each piece a unique character of its own.  In my "Poppy Tile Series" I use color to convey a whimsical quality that is visually exciting in a soothing composition.  My "Wallflowers" have evolved from this series offering a spectacular three dimensional artifact on a larger than life scale.  
Tiles and wallflowers range from 9" - 19" in diameter.
Currently represented by galleries and consultants in MN, WI and CA.  
Commercial Installations:
Meeker Memorial Hospital - Litchfield, MN
2010 ASID Showcase Home - Minneapolis, MN
Triple Tree Financial - Edina, MN
Fulcrum Consulting - Iowa

For more information please contact
e-mail: Susan Piazza 

 Belevedere Art Tile

Susan Martin Serra

Chromo, Colorado

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I am a self-taught ceramics artist and have designed many of my own glaze blends and firing techniques. I take a "no boundaries" approach to the handmade tile business. As I always say, "If you can dream it, I can make it". My goal as an artist is to create beautiful handmade tile that enhances the space it occupies.


Mary Anderson, owner and founder of BonTon, set out to design and manufacture the industries most unique and beautiful handmade tile. All BonTon tile is custom made to order. We use "old world" techniques to produce an extremely high quality ceramic tile.


The beauty of our glazes is unmistakable. "Bold, rich and unique" have all been used to describe the look and feel of our tile. We have exclusive hand mixed glazes that you will find nowhere else in the world. Our tile is completely made by hand in our Minneapolis studios.


For more information please contact Susan:


Next Handmade Tile Association Meeting  

Tuesday March 27th       


Where: Hohn & Hohn - Tile Setting and Handmade Tile Discussion 


Where -

Where - 1190 Summit Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105   

Time - 6- 8:30 


This will feature some of the best tile setters in the country talking about quality tile setting and how to best work with tile contractors. Jan Hohn will talk about the Five Star rating system for tile setters and go through the Tile Council of America's tile setting standard booklet and make it easy for you to understand and use.


The Minnesota Tile Festival booths are now available.

Click her to register. 





josh blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC
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Chicago Mosaic School

5 Hours button SAMA was founded in 1999 by a small group of mosaic artists who wanted a venue through which they could share their knowledge, expertise, and interest in mosaic art - this most ancient of art forms that was experiencing a significant contemporary revival.

Today, ten years later, we are the largest nonprofit mosaic art organization in the world-a vibrant and ever-expanding group of more than 1,200 members, including mosaic artists at all levels, mosaic aficionados, collectors, materials suppliers, and art educators. We have put renewed emphasis on strengthening ties with other mosaic organizations around the globe to pursue common goals.



Advertise to 16,000 tile enthusiast  

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Clayborne Tile
5 Hours button Our clients include homeowners, home builders and remodelers, designers and architects. Projects, large and small, include handmade, artisan, porcelain, glass, metal and stone tiles, in a broad range of installations, including interior, exterior, new construction and remodel projects, in a variety of challenging applications, such as custom artisan tile layouts, mosaics, steam showers, stairs, murals and architectural columns.

4740 Urbandale Lane North
Plymouth, MN 55446

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