Tile Heritage-ENEWS

(Available each month to Tile Heritage members who e-mail the Foundation from the address they would like
E-News sent to. Contact: foundation@tileheritage.org)     PRINTED VERSION

Here’s What’s Below:

Mystery Tile

Art & Architecture Chicago

Artwork Enlightens Youth

Iran: A Paradise of Tiles

Turning Tiles “Green”

Passing the Torch

Art & Architecture Chicago

From Stone to Steel, Marble to Mosaic, Tile and Terra Cotta

Few cities in the United States provide as wondrous an array of art and architecture as Chicago, Illinois. The video presentation, “Art & Architecture Chicago,” is your invitation to view some of the city’s finest historic landmarks, a mere introduction to what you will discover on the streets of the Windy City when you attend Coverings, April 17-20, 2007.

Just one hundred years ago the city of Chicago boasted the world’s greatest concentration of high-rise buildings in its downtown Loop—an unheard of accomplishment considering the area had been devastated by the Great Fire thirty years earlier. Although many of these architectural masterpieces have been lost over the years, significant buildings remain standing among their more contemporary neighbors. A careful eye will discern the terra cotta facades and the marble and granite fascias that encase the steel structures. But few will overlook the intricacies of glass and mosaic as well as the stunning visual effects of historic polychrome tiles.

“Art & Architecture Chicago” is a presentation of the Tile Heritage Foundation, produced with technical assistance from Projection, and generously sponsored by Coverings. Look for it on the big screen when you attend the convention at McCormick Place in April.

Come and see us at Booth 4718. We are guests of the Tile Council of North America. As in former years, we will have a full selection of historic tile catalogs to browse through and order as well as the most recent tile books published in the U.S. and Europe. See www.coverings.com/exhibitor-list

Coverings is also a perfect time to renew or upgrade your membership in Tile Heritage, an opportunity to link your website and to post an image in the Member Tile Gallery! We all look forward to seeing you there, and don’t forget to pick up your THF pin! www.coverings.com/exhibitor-list

Artwork Enlightens Youth

The newly constructed Juvenile Justice Center in Alameda County, east of San Francisco, has been graced with artwork throughout, highlighted by the inspired work of Susan Dannenfelser and Kirk Beck of Dannenbeck Studios in the Entry Plaza.

The purpose of the Possibilities: Tree of Life Gateway and the Hope: Destination Sculpture is to symbolically offer the viewer an alternative path in life, using universal symbols to talk about the similarities of the world’s peoples at a time when much is made of the differences. The goal of the artists was to create a sculptural environment that would beckon the visitor with inviting, colorful imagery that would also be accessible and engaging.

The Gateway’s focal point is the powerful life-giving force of the sun, and the Destination Sculpture celebrates the powerful life-giving force of water. Both pieces use life-affirming, uplifting symbols from nature—flowers, birds and trees—to talk about life’s passages. Both also have a reflective central “portal,” an opening that extends the piece beyond its concrete borders, symbolically leaving its meaning open to individual interpretation.

This subject matter is in keeping with the rest of the sculptural work, which addresses the commonality of all life forms and, therefore, their inherent interdependence.

The plaza is the entry and exit point for all visitors to the Juvenile Justice facility. The artists designed and created the artwork placed throughout the courtyard. The interrelated components include the two large sculptures plus handmade ceramic, slate and glass elements placed on three large seating benches, two tree rings, a low wall, and the courtyard walkway. With guidance and assistance from the artists, the installation was accomplished by Riley Doty, Doty Tile Company, Oakland, and completed in late February 2007.

The artwork was financed by Alameda County’s “2% for the Arts” ordinance that for this project alone provided a budget of $2,381,340 for the Public Art Program. From this allocation $1,666,940 was used in the commissioning of the artwork and other directly related costs.

Iran: A Paradise of Tiles

Special thanks to our friend and THF director, Irene de Watteville, for introducing a splendid photographer, Horizon, and his stunning array of artistic, architectural imagery from Iran, where most of what we know today in terms of color and technique originated.
Click on:
www.flickr.com. Enjoy!

Turning Tiles “Green”

We’ve all heard about building “green,” but how can we build “green” into our practice of making tiles?

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), an initiative promoting the transformation of the mainstream home and commercial building industry towards more sustainable practices, can be applied to every building type and phase of a building’s lifecycle.

Building has a profound impact on our natural environment, economy, health and productivity. In the United States, buildings account for 36% of our total energy use, 65% of our electricity consumption, 30% of our raw materials use, 30% of our greenhouse gas emissions, 30% of our waste output (136 million tons annually), and 12% of potable water consumption. Source material: www.usgbc.org.

Millions of square feet of tile are used in public and commercial buildings and in private homes each year. Where does the clay and glaze come from? How is it produced? How do we manage these materials to create our end product? Even small studios can pay attention to using environmentally sound production practices, which in turn will benefit them in multiple ways: reducing waste, improving air and water quality, and protecting the ecosystem. There’s a potential economic benefit as well: tiles produced using environmentally sound practices qualify as materials suitable for “green” buildings, which in turn enhance and sustain the quality of life for us all. This concept is worthy of our profound consideration; the mindful changes each of us makes have a broad reaching effect on the whole.

For more information specifically for tile makers, visit: www.mimesinitiative.com the site for Mined Materials Environmental Stewardship or contact the Tile Heritage Foundation for more resources: mailto:foundation@tileheritage.org.
It’s time we turn tiles “green.”

Sheila A. Menzies

This article first appeared in the 2007 Upper Midwest’s Tile Directory. Reprinted here with permission from the Handmade Tile Association. See www.handmadetileassociation.org

Passing the Torch

Three or four years ago Bernice Lyon, a major tile collector, historian and friend, called to say that she was moving from her longtime home in Ohio to be closer to her family in North Carolina. She had decided to sell her vast collection of tiles through a dealer friend in Zanesville, but she had “a few” boxes of tile-related material to send to Tile Heritage if we were willing to accept them. Of course we were, but little did we know what we’d receive: fifteen very large boxes, each one overstuffed. Although we’re currently processing what we have, it’ll be years before we get it all sorted out. Suffice it to say, the torch has been passed!

Bernice was a public school teacher for most of her life, both in Ohio and in West Virginia, her home state. She joined Tile Heritage early on and was a loyal supporter over the years, attending all of our symposiums including the one in Ohio in 1993, which she was instrumental in organizing. In 1997 she joined us on our two-week tile tour in England.

Surrounded by family and friends in Raleigh, Bernice passed away on December 21, 2006 to a place that is sure to be beautifully tiled in her honor. She was 83. Although she’ll be missed by many, her spirit lives on, bolstering our efforts in working through the largest donation of ephemera ever received at Tile Heritage.

Click here to view past E-Newses!