Tile Heritage-ENEWS

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Summer weather?
Not what one expects!

We call the “marine layer,” low clouds and fog, that keep the temperatures cool in northern California until mid-morning. Mid-afternoons can be hot by comparison, often showing a 50 degree rise from the early morning hours. As the crow flies, Healdsburg is about 30 miles from the coast; further inland areas don’t share our daily extremes.

So much has happened in the past several months, but let’s first look at what’s coming up….

Let’s lend a hand…

The board of directors of the Tile Heritage Foundation has recently pledged $2400 to CERF specifically for their Disaster Relief Fund to help clay artists who are victims of Hurricane Katrina. CERF is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and is the only one of its kind in the United States. The mission of CERF is to strengthen and sustain the careers of craft artists across the United States. We encourage you to visit the website www.craftemergency.org and then to make a pledge or offer a donation. In doing so be sure to mention that you are a THF member! Clay artists are naturally both generous and resilient. (Isn’t that what the kiln teaches us?) It’s time to lend a hand….

Wrappin’ it up in Texas

In mid-September Sheila and Joe will be flying to Dallas to complete a conservation project at Dal-Tile where the remains of the collection of archival materials from the American Olean headquarters in Lansdale, PA are being stored. We will be working with Silver Cornia, Vice President, Technical Development at Dal. We expect to “wrap up” the project in 2 days.

From there we drive to Round Top to participate in a one-day conference on September 17th (see Calendar) titled “The Art and Craft of Clay: American Pottery & Tiles” at the International Festival-Institute. Joe will be speaking on his favorite topic: California tiles.

For more information and a Registration Form, visit www.festivalhill.org/MuseumForumPR.html, email: info@festivalhill.org or call 979 249-3129. Hope to see you there!

Tile from the “inside”? Let’s get together!

“Inside Tile: Tools, Traditions, Techniques,” a 4-day conference presented by the Potters Council and organized by THF member Stephani Stephenson, will be held in Pomona, California, October 6-9, 2005. The conference will be running in conjunction with “Laying the Foundation: American Art Tile” an exhibition of historic and contemporary tiles at the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA) in Pomona.

Tile Heritage will be sponsoring a Silent Auction of tiles donated specifically for this purpose by artists throughout the U.S. (Click here for tile donation form.) Proceeds from the auction will be shared with AMOCA, the California Heritage Museum and the Malibu Lagoon Museum.

It’s time we all got together! See Conference Registration Form. Sign up now!

Encyclopedias are back in style!

What had been considered for years as the tome in American decorative tiles, namely Norman Karlson’s American Art Tile 1876-1941 published in 1998, has been eclipsed by a 4-volume book, The Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles, Mr. Karlson’s newest epic-like presentation, a poem of ceramic tile imagery the likes of which will never be compiled again. All four (4) volumes are now available. We will continue to honor our member discounts: 5% for those who contribute up to $100 a year; 10% for our Centurian ($100) members; 15% for members who contribute more than $100 a year; and 20% for our publishing sponsors. This is, once again, a rare opportunity. Best to take advantage now!
Click here for Order Form

Belated congratulations, Carrie Anne!

Carrie Anne Parks of Riverdale, Michigan won the Tile Heritage Prix Primo at the 15th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition presented by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, Texas, in April 2004. The prize, underwritten by the museum and THF, is awarded to the tile artist whose work in the opinion of the juror best reflects the ceramic traditions in America. “English Garden II” was the winning piece, 20 5/8” square, chosen by jurors Rick and Ruth Snyderman of the Snyderman Gallery in Philadelphia. The couple reviewed over 1400 slides, from which 120 works were picked for the competition.

Howard Taylor, director of the museum, commented that the competition provides a chance for up-and-coming artists to put their name out in the art world and it gives established artists an opportunity to show how their work has evolved during their careers.

We would like to encourage THF members to submit their work for the 16th San Angelo National Ceramic Competition which will take place April 21-24, 2006. The more tiles the merrier! Go to www.samfa.org for details and a Call for Entries.

Tile Art featured at Coverings 2005

What a show it was! After 10 years of discussion and maneuvering behind the scenes, the Art Tile Village came to life on the convention floor. Row upon row, booth after booth of beautiful tiles produced by studios and small factories from all parts of the U.S. Tile Heritage was stationed with the Tile Council of North America on one of the two or three aisles leading into the village, and we noticed considerably more traffic than in former years. People are always drawn in by the artwork, and the resulting good cheer was palpable.

Congratulations to longtime THF members, Kristin and Steven Powers at Trikeenan Tileworks for their receiving “Best in Show” for their spectacular booth. The couple has some kind of corner on this market. We can recall their winning a similar award for their booth the first time the company showed tiles in this venue many moons ago. Over the years their designs have advanced the leading edge; the superior quality of the product has remained the same. Visit www.trikeenan.com.

And special thanks to Tile Council for once again hosting Tile Heritage!
We’re the “winner” every year, and we greatly appreciate this ongoing support!

History takes center stage!

The “History of Tile” display at Coverings, sponsored by Coverings and curated by Tile Heritage, was the first if its kind, the first time that historic tiles were given center stage during the 4-day international event in Orlando. The 60-foot-long display showcased historic tiles from Spain, Italy and the United States accompanied by long format photography. Click here for more pictures!

Special thanks to Norman Karlson for loaning the vast majority of the tiles. Five tiles came from the archival collection of Assopiastrelle in Italy, and our thanks to Luciano Galassini, to Prof. Rolando Giovannini and to Michela Iorio for making this possible. Cleota Reed supplied the majority of images of Spanish installations from her new booklet, “Madrid’s Pictorial Tiles: A Walking Tour.” Thanks Cle! Some Spanish images were also supplied by our friends at ASCER. Two people in particular deserve extra special thanks: Eric Astrachan, executive director of Tile Council, for his continuous advocacy all along the way; and Martha Haborak, senior operations manager of National Trade Productions, who monitored our progress every step of the way and kept us on track.

Tiled out in Doylestown

Once again in mid-May we participated in the annual Tile Festival presented by the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works and organized by our dear friend Vance Koehler, curator at this historic site. At the Tile Heritage tables Joe Taylor was assisted this year by his sister, Mary Taylor, a wild animal sculptor from Rochester, New York, who provided musical entertainment throughout the day with her bagpipes.

Our participation at this festival is made possible by the generous contributions of tiles from tile artists and artisans throughout the United States and Canada. The variety of the tiles displayed at Tile Heritage always attracts attention just because the tiles represent the talents of so many different artists. Click here for more pictures. We are honored to offer these tiles for sale; the proceeds support the Foundation’s educational programs. We acknowledge all of the donors in Who Supports THF.

Traipsing through the Tulips

In fact, the tulips were gone by the time we arrived in The Netherlands in late May; but the working windmills on the Zaan north of Amsterdam made up for it. Besides, our group of 14 was not there for the flowers; instead we gaily traipsed from one tile site to the next and had a wonderful time.

Our “excuse” for going was the opening of a major tile exhibition at the tile museum in Otterlo. Although the title “Industrial Tiles 1840-1940” may have lacked broad appeal, the exhibition itself was quite marvelous - - one hundred years of decorative tiles from five European countries! The museum itself, nestled in a quiet suburban-type neighborhood adjacent to a small, prosperous town, was somewhat reminiscent of the Tile Heritage Foundation except in this case the building, which appeared from the street as a small cottage, consisted of what seemed like an endless number of adjoining rooms, each with hundreds of Dutch tiles on display, all part of the museum’s permanent collection. We could have easily spent a week there studying each of the tiles; sadly we were limited to just a few hours.

Over the next four days, with our tireless guides Hans van Lemmen and Joop van der Werp, we took an exhaustive walking tour of the ancient city of Utrecht; went behind the scenes at the impressive Princessehof Museum at Leeuwarden to witness the conservation methods being utilized by the staff with its collection of tiles; toured the historic Makkum tile factory, which remains in full operation today; visited the private residence in Harlingen of collector Minze van den Akker, who has a most amazing collection of ceramics; followed by a tour of the Oswald family tile factory, also in Harlingen.

The tour of the Royal Porceleyne Fles, a factory that has been making tiles for 350 years and where we were given the opportunity to paint tiles ourselves, was probably the most eye-opening experience of the trip. When we think of Dutch tiles, we tend to think in terms of blue and white; but it was the architectural ceramics, the high-relief sculptural forms in a wide variety of exotic glazes, that were unexpected and strikingly

Perhaps most impressive of all was visiting the home and studio of our guide Joop van der Werf, who collects historic Dutch tiles and who specializes in historic tile replication. Walking into his home in Zaandam is like walking into a tile museum with tiles mounted from floor to ceiling as one would put up wallpaper!

Frolicking in Paris!

Five of us who had been in The Netherlands took the fast train to Paris and stayed in a friend’s flat for four delightful days. Yes, we visited the Louvre, heading straight for the most ancient tiles in the collection; the Picasso Museum, where a surprising number of tiles were in evidence; and Sèvres on the outskirts of the city where the museum houses an amazing collection of ceramic masterpieces. Click here for more pictures!

A most unexpected discovery was made totally by accident. Walking along Boulevard Saint-Germain one evening we happened upon without a doubt the most spectacular ceramic facade in all of Paris. At the back of the churchyard, perpendicular to the boulevard, is a wall of fired clay perhaps 3-stories tall, commemorating the accomplishments at Sèvres. Fabricated from the plans of Charles Risier and the models of sculptor Jules Courtan, this monumental portico which rests against the gable of an adjacent building is from the pavilion of the Sèvres Manufacture designed for the 1900 Universal Exhibition. Breath? Mine evaporated into the crystal glazes, into the unspeakably rich textural components of this massive clay extravagance. Click here for details!

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