Handmade Tile Association
November 2006 Newsletter
The Handmade Tile Association was contacted last month by the United States Department to be a tour guide for Mr. Paulo Henriques, Director of the National Tile Museum. Josh Blanc was chosen to lead the tour of local tile. Mr. Heriques was in the United States for three weeks touring tile related organizations. He had stops at the Henry Mercer Tile Museum, Los Angelas, CA, Minneapolis and New York. He was here to study tile production methods and study other museum curator practices. He was very interested in the story of the Handmade Tile Association, how we got started, shared information and promoted our tiles.
Picture of Mr. Paulo Henriques
touring SoMi Tileworks
(from right to left) Mr. Paulo Henriques,
Norma Hanlon, Josh Blanc, and Kirsten Walsted
He was very impressed with the organization and the variety of tile artists not only in the Twin Cities but all over the country. One comment that stuck out in my mind was when he described the of the time honored Portuguese method of making tiles and how hard it is for contemporary artists to break from their traditional techniques such as hand painting tiles. Though the subject matter might change, the hand painted technique is hard for them to escape. He seemed mesmerized by the variety of inventive techniques and subject matter of American tile artists. We took him to Minneapolis tile sites including downtown terra cotta sites on the way to the Lakewood Cemetery, and then to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts because of its great collections of tiles. He was very impressed and thought it was an excellent museum; I did not think we were going to get him out. We stopped at SoMi tile works where Kirsten and Norma gave a demo of their molded tiles. Mr Henriques was a very engaging tile tourist and asked a large range of questions. He purchased many tiles on his travels and I am sure he would have got more if they weren't so darn heavy.
The whole experience was an enlightening experience for all parties. We talked of trying to set up an artist exchange program between Portugal and the U.S. By chance the next week the HTA received a e-mail on a travel grant program. So we will have to see if something can be arranged.
ASID presentation "The end of white tile as we know it"
The Handmade Tile Association was contacted by ASID to present at their bi-monthly "Lunch and Learn" at the end of October. We were contacted at the last moment and brought it up at the HTA meeting. Mercedes Austin, Roger Mayland and Josh Blanc volunteered to give the presentation. Mercedes commandeered a power point projector and Roger and Josh sat down with her and brainstormed on how to present to the organization. We called it "The end of white tile as we know it" and brought in a selection a selection of tile from almost every artists in the HTA that had samples at Clay Squared. For those who didn't we used images supplied to us from the directory to show the range of tiles options that designers had to work with. The meeting was very well attended with 18 designers and we had an excellent time talking up the HTA. We were told we gave a great presentation and they look forward to having us back next year. Mercedes said she is going to bring the power point presentation to our next meeting so people can view it. She will keep it on file and we will modify it as we make more of these type of presentations to other groups.
Marketing of the MN Tile Festival
At the October meeting we discussed the experience of the MN Tile Festival. Over all people had very positive view of the event but there is a lot of room for growth. One of the biggest concerns is getting more people to attend. There are two basic demographics that seem to be coming to the event. People looking for tiles for projects and people looking for tile as art. The general consensus was that we need a marketing committee just for the MN Tile Festival. During our January meeting we will put together our committee. If anyone would like to be on the committee and can not attend the meeting January 17th please contact the HTA and we will put you on the list.
As we reflect back on the national tile conference some new opportunities and positive effects have started showing up from the wake of its big splash. One of the main reasons the State Department found out about the Handmade Tile Association is our rise to the top of the search engines. Over the past year we have moved from about 3 to 4 pages into the front page or two whenever someone types in handmade tile. This has to do with many factors but the biggest is linking with other organizations and artists which got so many hits from the conference. To keep this level of presence on the search engines the HTA believes it is important that as many of the HTA artists have links to the HTA. This is how more tile artists will be found in general it is why we invest in the HTA to drive people looking for tile information to the right artists and resources. The HTA is planning to use the March meeting next year to talk about websites and how our websites can be more effective.
A question at the one of the HTA meetings came up about who's responsible for the quality of the references the HTA lists in each directory. Does the HTA endorse the resources it prints? The HTA directory's original intent was to create a "Yellow Pages" of tile resources which it has done successfully over the past seven years. The HTA is not directly endorsing the artists or services just by printing their names. It does that by default because it is in print and people tend to hold the printed word to a higher standard. The fact is everyone in the directory pays to be printed. It is a combination of people believing in the philosophy of the organization's mission and the faith that it will help individual businesses garner more work. The goal of the directory is to offer choices and resources for the art tile industry as well as related information. It is the HTA's view that it is up to each artist and advertiser to research and find out if the resource the HTA prints are a quality fit of services to the needs of the project in question. The HTA directory integrity is its ability to find resources that have services or knowledge for the directory whether it be local or national that saves both consumers and businesses time and money to get the information they need to finish their projects. Our strength as an organization is that we all continually work to pass on information and ideas that others can benefit from to make the industry smarter and stronger.
Mosaic on a Stick two year birthday party
"Anything Worth Doing is Worth Overdoing", a community celebration of creativity & Mosaic on a Stick's 2-year birthday party is on Saturday, November 4. Be part of the Community Creativity Show by bringing your arts and crafts and unusual creations to the Stick. The goal is to cover every single inch of the Stick with cool, crazy, beautiful, bizarre, interesting, and unusual human-made creations. Bring pieces to the Stick on Saturday, November 4th (they are open at 10am and will be accepting art all day long & will feature the art for one week) and find a place to stick ‘em. Prizes will be awarded! The party will include a mosaic cookie-decorating contest, make your own mosaic-on-a-stick, and a big thank-you to those who’ve participated in the Snelling Avenue Planter Project. The party runs from 11am - 3pm & all activities are free and open to the public. And what would a birthday party be without a sale? Sale starts on Saturday, November 4 and runs through Saturday, November 11. BUY 3, GET 1 FREE
- Royal Mosa
- Prism Glass
- Lyric Porcelain Tile
- Glass Strips
- Maria's Old Boyfriends
595 N. Snelling Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Next HTA meeting
When: Wednesday January 17th
Where: Continental Clay
1101 Stinson Blvd
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419
2007 directory will be available .
Tour of Continental Clay
Create a marketing committee of MN Tile Festival
ABC accounting will talk about taxes for art business
Registration for 2007 MN Tile Festival will be available
Commertive Tile for 2007 and 2008?
HTA Directory Proofing Party
The 2007 proofing party will take place November 17th and 18th. People can view their ads and proof the entire directory for misspellings and basic content.
HTA board elections
The HTA will do its annual board election during the proofing party Friday and Saturday,November 17th and 18th.
Trade for maps for Paris
Susan Tunick of The Friends of Terra Cotta based in New York has published great books on tiles and contacted the HTA to trade copies of her latest book, "PARIS and the Legacy of French Architectural Ceramics" for our latest map "Tiles of the Twin Ports Duluth MN and Superior WI"
We are trading 300 maps for 80 books. The HTA will give these books out to new renewals of membership for the next year. This is an incredible book and has a great map of Paris tiles you can see next time you take a trip to France. There are many great pastry shops to discover as you hunt for great European tiles.
Travel Grant opportunities from the Jerome Foundation
Info on travel grant PDF
Meeting info on travel grant PDF