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




Our 14th Year


Welcome to the May 2013 spotlight on Handmade Tile Association artists "Art-A-Whirl Special"!  We feature tile artists every month, plus links and resources (at right) to many of the tile events, gallery shows, and workshops featured around the country. This month we're also featuring some tile artists participating in the Minneapolis Art-A-Whirl.

MN Tile Festival Logo Don't forget: Registration for the 2013 Minnesota Tile Festival. This year we have lots of new ways to show and sell your work. Check it out... click here!

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.

Find us on Facebook
Amy Baur and Brian Boldon
Minneapolis, Minnesota 
34-foot span of Denver project 

From our residential kiln-formed glass tile offered through Sightline Tile, to our large-scale glass and ceramic public art projects (with In Plain Sight Art), we integrate traditional materials with the latest technology for combining high-resolution color photography and architectural spaces large and small.  Located in Northeast Minneapolis, our innovative studio introduces digital printing with glaze into tile design, providing unprecedented versatility and creativity. Our collaborative design approach creates unprecedented art tile possibilities for home, business, or public space.

93-foot span of Denver project 


The two photos above show segments of a 130-foot-long work located in the Grand Corridor of the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in downtown Denver. The long work acts as a hinge connecting the Supreme and Appellate Courts of Colorado.  For the first time in our public work, we made hand-built ceramic relief forms that permit the imagery to come out into the space.


Our latest installation for SightLine Tile includes a collage of our field and texture tile. Made of two layers of kiln-formed glass, the tiles are a breeze to install because they are so square and true.  The design added a bright focal point for a small windowless bathroom.  


Come see us during Art-A-Whirl this weekend and we will show you how we make our work.

Contact Information
681 17th ave NE
Casket Arts Building studio 121
Minneapolis. MN 55413
phone   612-788-9301
website  also
Lea-Way Designs
Leann E. Johnson
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Tiles inspired by cultural fabric patterns by Leann E. Johnson, the artist behind Lea-Way Designs, are featured in a recent kitchen remodeling project. A residential customer was looking for unusual tiles for her vision. Starting with Leann's rust mudcloth tiles, the client incorporated stone, small field tile and glass tile to create a distinctive, unique and colorful addition to redoing the kitchen backsplash. 

For the happy customer, "it's a great way to integrate fine art into home decor".

Leann's mudcloth designs draw inspiration from traditional African fabrics 
that share its name.

These fabrics are treated with mud before being dyed 
rich colors and decorated with patterns significant to the wearer and their community. For Leann, it's the combination of a tile's functional and artistic quality that draws her to tiles. "Tiles are tactile and a way to combine beauty with function," she says. "I feel a person's home or space should be his or her sanctuary. Why not surround yourself with things that create a place of affirmation and calm?"


Leann's studio is located in Minneapolis, MN. She is a member 

of the Handmade Tile Association, Northside Arts Collective (NAC)

and Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA).  



At the 10th Annual Minnesota Tile Festival she was awarded "Best Use of Detail" by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine. Leann will be showing and demonstrating working with mudcloth tiles at FK Art Glass during Art-A-Whirl (May 17-19, 2013)

Contact Info: 
Lea-Way Designs
Leann E.Johnson
SoMi Tileworks
Kirsten Walstead 
Minneapolis, Minnesota



I specialize in high relief, handmade custom and decorative ceramic tiles for residential homes and commercial spaces.  My tiles are slab built, hand built, press molded and fired to a stoneware temperature of 2140 degrees (cone 4) in an electric, oxidation fire.  My tiles are very durable and suitable for any type of application or installation.  My work is on display in many hospitals and clinics in the midwest including HCMC, The Mayo Clinic, Gillette Children's Hospital, Regions Hospital, Methodist Hospital, Abbot Hospital, Riley Children's Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital.  You can also see my work at Sun Street Breads Restaurant and Wise Acre Eatery.  


My signature styles are high relief forms and custom words.  I source my raw ingredients from locally owned and operated businesses in Minneapolis.  I strive to eliminate as much waste as possible by turning scrap clay and waste into new tiles and I also re-capture the heat from my kilns to help heat my tile studio in the winter.  I try to reuse and recycle as much as possible.


I will be open for Art A Whirl this coming weekend, Friday 5-10pmSaturday noon - 8pm and Sunday noon - 5pm.  You can visit me in my studio #339 in the Northrup King Building.  I am also open for studio appointments.


Contact Information 
Northrup King Building, studio #339 
1500 Jackson St. NE 
Minneapolis, MN 55413 



Next Handmade Tile Association Meeting  

Wednesday May 22nd

Time: 6 pm to 8 pm 
Where: 1008 E Minnehaha Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55417

(612) 750-7821


Host: Christine Nelson Design 


This is our last meeting until the fall. It is a very important meeting we hope you can attend. 


Our meeting will have two sections. From 6 to 7, Christine Nelson will talk about how to work with Kitchen and Bathroom designers. Then from 7 to 8, Fashion Designers will show up and be introduced to the tile artists. 

We encourage tile artists to bring samples to showcase your wares and style. The goal of this meeting is to introduce the fashion designers and start to collaborate with the tile artists. 

It will also be a great way to meet other aspiring artists and build bridges through colaboration of fields. We are expecting between 12 to 20 fashion designers. We hope to match that with our members.


We want to welcome the fashion designers to our tile world and hopefully we will create a long term relationship with fashionista all over the world! See you there.




Josh Blanc
 Handmade Tile Association.LLC  

Like us on Facebook
Quick Links

classes and workshops  




Things to know about 

Gallery shows

Order your copy of the 2013 directory
Need a copy of the 2013 Handmade Tile Association directory? Order your free one today. Click here

Join us on Facebook
 Daily updates on tile artists, events, gallery shows, tile festivals, opportunities. Don't miss a minute!
find us on facebook


Tile Heritage Foundation logo and link

Trebuchet logo

Art A Whirl
Visit tile artist studios this weekend at Art-A-Whirl! You can see...
  • Sightline Tile,
  • SoMi Tileworks,
  • Mercury Mosaics,
  • Leaway Design,
  • Clay Squared.
  • Sheryl Tuorila,
  • Stephanie Kaczrowski,
  • Stone Hollow Tile,
  • Carol Dean,
  • Tile Restoration Center.
It is a Tile-A-Whirl! Stop by the Handmade Tile Association office and get your free catalog for the weekend.

Art-A-Whirl hours...

Friday, May 17th  
5-10 pm

Saturday,  May 18th 

Sunday, May 19th 
 12-5 pm

Join Our Mailing List!
Tile Festival Registration