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Handmade Tile Association Newsletter


13th Year  



5 Hours buttonOne of the common questions Handmade Tile artists get is "Do handmade tiles cost a lot?"  The HTA has created tools to help tile artists respond in a positive way to potential clients by creating a budget guides in the directory and on the website. Many people including home owners, tile showrooms, and artists have responded and said these tools have very useful.
In a recent interview of the HTA by a publication the reporter was asking about how do handmade tile compare in costs to tiles from big box stores. Making an analogy to restaurants. Big box stores are much like fast food they can be cheap and fast but offer a limited menu and the product does not usually taste as good or usually is not a good value in the long run if you have to pay for a diet program.  
Big box stores offer limited colors usually white, off white and beige with few design options. They can have tiles in stock but if they don't long wait times and extra fees can add up. When customers are trying to match or find tiles for older homes big box contemporary tiles never look right. When using inferior low cost adhesives and grouts for installation this can cause the project to have to be redone in short order making the low upfront costs turn out to be more expensive to rip out and redo. 


Tile artists on the other hand have lots of colors, designs, trims to make a complete looking installation that are timeless and create a better value for the home owner. Personal relationships are made and both patron and artist create long lasting designs that are cherished and become center pieces of homes. Purchasing handmade tile is similar to going out to a independent or specialty restaurant where style, character, unique recipes, knowledgeable staff are what make the meal memorable and you can not wait to go back for more. In many cases the cost are very comparable to mid range chain restaurants and sometimes even less.


It is also important to talk to clients in terms of overall budget not comparing handmade tile to big box store tile prices. They are different products. Compare to the rest of the components in the space instead of commercial tile most kitchens back splashes are small areas of 8 sq. ft. to 30 sq. ft. and average from $300 to $3500. Compared to kitchen cabinets which range from $10,000 to $60,000 handmade tiles are a extremely affordable and have high impact on design in the kitchen. On the Handmade Tile Association website we have posted these budget images please feel free to use them on your website or social media. 
In This Issue
Register tile Festival Artists and Groups
How to make an effective press release
Art A Whirl and the Handmade Tile Association
Studio tour
Tiles needed for Doylestown Tile Festival
Events, shows, new products, art, classes etc!.
Welcome New and Renewing Membership
Spotlight on Artist Schedule
Minnesota Tile Festival
New on the website
Minnesota Tile Festival  Registration Continues
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Margy Jean Balwierz
The MN Tile Festival registration is in full swing. We have had 18 booths sold. We have 12 spots left. We are looking for tile and mosaic artists, designers, tile showrooms, tile setters, tile tool makers, frame makers and other tile related vendors. The MN Tile Festival is about educating the public on the resources available. Your presence is essential to continuing to broaden the knowledge of how handmade tile is used.  
New this year we are offering a Free extra 5'x 10'  foot space to any artist that wants to show a tile process. Example include mold making, glaze technique, stamping clay, mesh mounting, etc. What ever you can do to showcase that we make the tiles right here in the United States in your own studio. We believe this will be a great talking point and sales tool to showcase your work.     
The big news and questions the HTA has received about the tile festival is that the whole show is Outdoors this year. This is the first time ever that it will all be in one area and completely outdoors. 


MN Tile Festival Logo
Vendors registered! What about you?
Stone Hollow Tile
Minnesota Mosaic Guild
Margy Jean Balwierz
James Whitney Tuthill
Creative Photos Etc
Elfstone Studio
Clay Squared to Infinity
Mercury Mosaics
Sheryl Tuorila 
Kuilema Pottery
Creative Photos Inc
In Plain Sight
Edina Art Center
Sharon Miller-Thompson    
Pearson Art Works
MN Mosaic Guild  
Earth Wood and Fire 
How to make an effective press release

Lisa Trnka from Trebuchet Communication gave the HTA members at the April meeting a presentation on how to make an effective press release. She gave us a template to utilize that all members can take advantage of on our website. Click here to review and print out for your uses.

Art A Whirl and the Handmade Tile Association


5 Hours buttonOver the years the Handmade Tile Association has participated in Art-A-Whirl (AAW), it is one of the largest open studio tours in the country. There are estimated over 20,000 people who attend the event over 3 days. The members of the HTA have experimented on how best to showcase the HTA and this year we are refining what we did last year. 
Mercedes Austin, Christine Nelson and Josh Blanc have all pitched in to create banners and a space that will represent the HTA for three days. Mercedes is working on a volunteer list to staff the space with two artists per shift to talk and hand out directories and info on tile making, tile events and helping AAW people discover handmade tile.


How you can participate.
We are looking for minimum 40 HTA artists members to submit a tile for our presentation. In combination with Mpls/St.Paul Magazine we are doing a promotion of 40 tiles that are 40% off the retail price. You would have two options if we sell the piece at AAW you can donate the proceeds to the HTA for programming or we can send you a check for the sales. Any work that did not sell we would keep for the silent auction at the MN Tile Festival. 

Studio tour

Linda Taylor tile At our April Meeting Linda Taylor of Clay Earth Studios gave us a great tour of her studio. The first thing you notice about Linda's work is it is very prolific. She dabbles in lots of ideas and has many skills in clay and glazing. She has made a whole range of clay work from thrown pottery that is hand carved, collage clay that is layered in three dimensions to photographic transfers on to clay. We have posted a photo tour on the HTA facebook page for you to see the studio and tile art she makes. Click here to check it out.


Tiles needed for Doylestown Tile Festival
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Joe and Shelia

The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works is hosting its 14th annual Tile Festival on May 19 & 20, 2012 on its hallowed grounds in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Each year Tile Heritage sends out a solicitation to tile makers throughout the U.S. and Canada asking for decorative tiles to be donated for sale at this festival. The proceeds from the sale of these tiles help to support important archiving activities, a major focus at Tile Heritage. 

Last year Tile Heritage participated in three tile sales: Doylestown, Minneapolis and Seattle, all raising significant funds for the Foundation. We hope that this year you will choose a couple of favorites and send them along to Doylestown (they don't have to be BIG - up to 12" OK).  

Click here to download the attached form    and follow the instructions.

Moravian Pottery and Tile Works
Moravian Pottery and Tile Works

Reminder: Ship by May 14th to ensure delivery in time!  

To: Vance Koehler, MPTW, 130 East Swamp Rd., Doylestown, PA 18901 (and please mark outside of the box "Tile Heritage").  

Tiles will also be gladly accepted at the Festival! 

Thank you all! It will be our pleasure showing off your work!!

Sheila and Joe  

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


5 Hours button May  29              
Handmade Tile Association Meeting  
6 - 8:30pm    
Where- Northern Clay Center
2424 Franklin Avenue East
Minneapolis MN 55406
Discussion Contracts 
Speaker -  Perrie N. Heitler, Attorney at Law 
In private practice, focusing on assisting and maintaining long term client relationships in the areas of residential and commercial real estate, probate, estate planning, including wills and trusts, and small business organization and planning.

Tour of Northern Clay Center and overview of what they do
Art A Whirl Overview
Postcards for Tile Festival will be available
Update on tile festival     

Pot Luck Please bring yummies!


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 
Pearson Art Works
Marty Pearson  


Friend Member 
Leslie Newton

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.

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

Minnesota Tile Festival
MN Tile Festival Logo
Register to have a booth at the 2012 MN Tile Festival. Click here for more details.
New on the website
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The Handmade Tile Association has added a new feature on the website. In in effort to help web viewers looking for handmade tile projects we have created a section that features artist members work of Kitchens, Fireplaces, and Bathrooms as large images. This will help people visualize what handmade tile looks like installed. 
Members wishing to add to the pages please send images of 600 pixles to the HTA by clicking here
Suzzane Crane