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Review of the 2013 Minnesota Tile Festival

Thanks to everyone for all your hard work to put on the 12th annual 2013 Minnesota Tile Festival. MN Tile Festival Logo It was another beautful festival with fabulous art tile, tile fashion show, awards, cash prizes and excellent food. Below are all the statistics and images from this year's show and comparisons to other years.  If you have questions, ideas, or concerns please attend our next meeting, Tuesday October 16th at Jan Hohn's home from 6 - 8:30 pm, or contact the HTA and we will get back to you. 
Check out the day in pictures, on our facebook page.

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In This Issue
Thanks to our Volunteers and Committee
The 2013 MN Tile Festival Review
Results of all data collected
Pictures of the day
Next Meeting October 16th
2013 Directory Advertising deadline October 17th...
Award winners
Tile Bucks
Welcome New and Renewing Members
Thanks to our Volunteers and Committee

The work that goes into the event both before, during and after is a testament to the passion a few people have for this show, and for handmade tile and mosaics.  This year we had a very dedicated small group that really persevered through all of the challenges of the event.  Lisa Trnka, Denise Bauer, Natilie Bauer, Mercedes Austin and Josh Blanc deserve a special shout out for holding it all together. Thanks so much! 

Carol Dean of Dean Tile & Stone flew out from Seattle to participate and volunteer. She was awesome! 

Carol Dean Tiles

Thanks to the American Swedish Institute and Karin Krull and staff for working with us and sponsoring the event with their wonderful facility. 

Thanks to all of the Handmade Tile Association day of volunteers: Layl McDill, Jack Kazrowski, JoAnn Hendricks, Deb George, Elliot McDill, and Eric Moe.

And finally, thanks to the tile artists and fashion designers for showcasing their newest work and putting on a wonderful collaboration of tile and fashion!
 The 2013 MN Tile Festival Review

Attendance this year was 547 people. This was our lowest attended festival in 12 years. We had a financial loss for the show off $110.11* This is the lowest loss for producing the show ever, but still a loss. We still have not collected all of the silent action items, so there is potential that we would have our first-ever profit from the MN Tile Festival! Click Here to read all the Tile Festival Stats.

This was a very challenging year for the Minnesota Tile Festival. Our coordinator for the past few years--Norma Hanlon--retired and
Syzygy Tile
were not able to find anyone else wanting to pick up the baton. Josh Blanc filled the position hoping to get more volunteers. Mercedes Austin of Mercury Mosaics jumped on board and we hired Trebuchet Communications to help us plan and run the event.

Needless to say we were short-handed throughout the year.
We also for a variety of reasons did not attract artists  and the tile field to register for the event (Arts & Crafts show that same weekend, also a Jewish Holiday). By July we only had 5 artists registered, when we usually have over 25.

The board met and set a deadline to find out if we could get artists and vendors to purchase booths for the show. Our goal was to get to 20; we achieved that by the end of July. Ultimately we had over 30 artists participating in a variety of concepts.

The event went off beautifully as usual. 12 straight years of beautiful weather... the weather seems to be the only thing we can control! Quite a few people commented that it seemed like there were fewer artists this year. There were fewer. We did try a couple new concepts: The Installation Booth (where artists could purchase a wall to showcase their installation), and The Tile Boutique (where artists from other parts of the country who couldn't afford to travel could participate in the show.) We had 11 artists sign up for a 3'x 3' booth. Carol Dean from Seattle flew in and ran the boutique. Carol was amazing and if you made money from that show, please thank her for all of her hard work. 
The fashion show was a bigger draw this year. Many artists and fashion designers collaborated and created very unique tile and fashion garments for the runway. It was our second year, and you could tell we learned a lot from last year's event.

The tiles were not just attached to the garments, but were custom-made for most all of the pieces. Many very professional pieces were made and some would be consumer-ready products.

The tile fashion show is a chance for tile artists and fashion designers to get out of their everyday focus, and experiment with challenges and new forms. The crowd at the festival was very impressed. The photos showcase the exploration of ideas and craftsmanship. It also helped to bring in a new type of audience to learn about tile.

Overall, the day of event went off very well. But the lack of participation of the Handmade Tile Association members has shown that the idea of this tile festival is not what they want to do. Everyone in surveys and in person says they like the idea but just don't seem to put it as a priority. It could be said that the goals of why we created the tile festival in the first place have been accomplished (creating awareness of handmade tile). It is time for the members to decide what they want to do to move forward.

Josh Blanc has said that this was his last tile festival to coordinate. Currently we have not had any members show interest in running the show. But everyone we talk to says they want to do something. If so, the time is now to have the conversations of what the Handmade Tile Association wants to do for programing. Our next meeting is October 16th.
Thank you to all of our artists for participating and showing the community the amazing variety and selection of handmade tile, mosaics and tile art available.

Click here to see the photos of the tile fashion show!
Results of all data collected
Every year since 2002 we have made statistical charts of what was done and what was spent on the MN Tile Festival. The information we collected is too long for the body of  our newsletter; please click this linkand you will see all of the years side-by-side for attendance, money made, lost, how many tickets of each category came in, etc.  It is very interesting.  Tell us your thoughts and if you have any ideas on how to improve.
Medicine Bluff Tile


Pictures of the day

Steve Voegeli Agency Models & Talent

For the past four years, we have a photographer to document the show. This year we brought them back to photograph the fashion show, the tile artists and tiles, for future PR. If you see photos of your work and would like high-resolution images to use for your PR, please contact the HTA and we will gladly get you copies.

Click here to see the photos of the day.


Next Meeting October 16th
Next meeting will be at HTA board member Jan Hohn's home:

1190 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105

When: Wednesday October 16th
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Discuss the future of the MN Tile Festival
Register for the 2014 HTA directory.
Pot Luck
We are looking for venues to have meetings for 2014.  If you would like to host a meeting please contact the HTA to set one up.


Josh Blanc
Handmade Tile Association.LLC
Quick Links
2014 Directory Advertising deadline October 17th
Click here to download the printable forms

Award winners
We had four awards this year, including three from the Handmade Tile Association and Tile Heritage Foundation.

The Tile Heritage Prize "Awarded to the artist whose tile in the juror's opinion best represents the ceramic tile traditions in America". Juried by Jan Hohn of Hohn and Hohn. Jan chose Wendy Penta's work from Stone Hollow Tile.
meet the award winners link
The second series of awards was done by Ken O'Brien of Who Knew:

Mercury Mosaics
Mercedes Austin

"Editors Choice"
Mercury Mosaics Mars Blend Bubbles
"Best Use of Detail"
Ambiance Finishes Jim Calb and Kathleen Monson

David Aichinger Tile Co.
Most picturesque

Sightline Tile
Amy Baur and Brian Boldon

"Most inventive use of medium"
Tile Bucks

The Tile Bucks, now in its 3rd year, was a huge success, with 224 people registering. The HTA had two $125 drawings.


The winner used their award money to purchase from artists at the show. This was a win-win for everyone involved. 

This concept allows the HTA to collect e mails to add to the e-newsletter list.
Welcome New Members!
Business Members 

Thanks to all of our sponsors

Handmade Tile Association link