Tile Heritage-ENEWS

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Here’s What’s Below:

White City in Mosaic

THF Founders Honored

Tiles in the Northwest

Turning Tiles “Green”

New Book: The Tile Artists’ Motif Bible

Manny Fleischman: Ending an Era

THF Founders Honored by TCNA

Sheila A. Menzies and Joseph A. Taylor were awarded the Tile Council of North America’s (TCNA) prestigious 2007 Tile Persons of the Year award during Coverings 2007 in Chicago. Each year the Tile Council awards a person or persons who in the opinion of its board of directors has (have) made a unique contribution that resulted in a pivotal improvement and significant advancement of the ceramic tile industry of North America.

For 20 years Joe and Sheila have worked together to preserve the history of ceramic tile and to educate individuals about its beauty through the Tile Heritage Foundation (THF). Founded in 1987 as a nonprofit charitable organization, the Foundation serves the need for a historical perspective regarding all ceramic surfacing materials, both past and present. In addition to aiding in the education of the public about the rich and varied history of tile, the organization has become a major voice in the preservation of existing installations of rare and unusual ceramic surfaces, while enhancing the visibility of contemporary tile work as well. A library and research facility is open to the public by appointment in Healdsburg, California. The Archives, estimated at over 20,000 items, contain rare and current books, magazines, bulletins, catalogs and a vast assortment of photocopies, as well as slides, photographs, drawings, blueprints and old tile company records. The Foundation also maintains a Collection of both historic and contemporary tiles, numbering in the thousands, all of which have been donated, entrusted to Tile Heritage for posterity.

The award itself was produced by Motawi Tileworks of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a 8” x 12” x ¾” tile depicting a geometric design reminiscent of Louis Sullivan above the personalized, raised citation.

Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of TCNA, in presenting the award remarked, “Preserving and documenting our industry’s past is a noble quest and a daunting task. Joe and Sheila have worked unceasingly to make us aware of our rich tile history and the contemporary artists creating magnificent tiles today. Through their discoveries and their educational efforts, we are all enriched. A quote from Sheila found in Ceramic Tile in 20th Century America best describes their passion:

"From the earliest times, ceramic tiles have provided a wonderful way to embrace the earth’s enduring beauty. Tiles serve as imprints of the past and the present: they embody a significant part of our cultural art."

Tiles in the Northwest
A report from Brechelle Ware, THF Collections Manager

The Second Annual NW Handmade Tile Festival, April 27-28, held at Seattle’s Swedish Cultural Center was a wonderful venue for tilemakers and enthusiasts alike to convene. The event was presented by Artisan Tile Northwest, a nonprofit tilemakers’ group dedicated to the preservation of the art and craft of handmade tile. Special thanks goes to Carol Rose Dean for pioneering the effort to bring us all together. Superior craftsmanship, great folks and a lovely setting helped make this year’s show a real success.

Congratulations to Mary Lynn Buss for winning “Most Original Design” and “Best Insect.”

              All entries in the juried show were impressive and indicated the extent of talent the greater Northwest is harboring.

As the Tile Heritage representative, I was pleased to be in the company of such amazing artists and their wares. The momentum is building and surely next year’s event will be even bigger and better.

Turning Tiles “Green”

From Laura Reutter
Ravenstone Tiles
Port Townsend, Washington

Hi Folks,

Your recent e-newsletter asked what we are all doing to make our tiles 'greener'. I thought I'd send along information about what I do in my studio.

I fire using electric kilns and heat my studio space with electric baseboard heat. When our utility company, Puget Sound Energy, recently offered the option of buying all "green" energy, I decided to do this for my tile business. Since my business has a separate electric meter from my residence, this was a simple matter. Now Ravenstone Tiles is powered by energy from green sources including solar, wind, and hydro power. My total energy bill is only about $10 to $20 more per month, depending on usage, than using conventional coal / gas derived electric.

My studio also packs and ships almost all of our orders. I use only recycled peanuts and cardboard boxes (whenever possible). I ask friends to save me packing materials including bubble wrap, air pillows, and packing paper. I'm always looking for new ways to re-use and recycle and usually it ends up saving me money, too!

I look forward to reading about what others are doing.

New Book: The Tile Artist’s Motif Bible
200 Decorative Designs with Step-by-Step Instructions and Charts
By Jacqui Atken, ceramic artist

Here is a well-designed little treasure that will be a most useful resource for tilemakers who wish to experiment with techniques which are new to them as well as serving as a step-by-step, how-to book for beginning tilemakers.

Every page features a diagram of the process being discussed as well as a photograph of the finished design. Instructions for specific projects are very clear and set out in a step-by-step manner. The book includes an introduction to tile history, a glossary of ceramic terms, a discussion and pictures of tools and equipment, a section on clay bodies and glazing methods, a good index, health and safety information and a section on how to use the book to one’s best advantage.

Price: $29.95 plus $4.50 S/H (California residents add 7.75% sales tax)

                        Manny Fleishman: Ending an Era

With the passing of Manny Fleishman, CTC on April 16, 2007 at the age of 97, a giant, guiding force and innovator in the tile industry for over the past 75 years has come to an end.

Manny started in the tile industry in 1929 while attending UCLA. He went to work full-time for L.A. Rose Tile Co. as a tilesetter and then foreman in 1932. In 1935, he became affiliated with Tile Layers Local 18 of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties, and he had continued to be a member from that time. In 1939, he opened his own business and contracted for tile work on more than 15,000 apartment constructions, the Las Vegas Convention Center, A & M Record building, installation of permanent murals at the Los Angeles County Fair and the Teacher’s Building on 6th St. in LA, among many others. He developed one of the most successful and respected businesses in the tile industry.

Manny’s extraordinary service to the industry and to the Ceramic Tile Institute and the Ceramic Tile Institute of America, Inc. has been recognized over the years with numerous awards, plaques and honors. He has been honored with the Golden Tile Award in 1970 for outstanding service to the CTI and the tile industry, CTI Tile Contractor of the Year Award in 1975, numerous Master and Judges Awards for Fleishman Tile Co. as well as trophies and plaques from the Associated Tile Contractors of So. Calif., Ceramic Tile Institute of America and Western States Contractors Assoc. In 1991, the Tile Contractors Assoc. of America awarded Manny the prestigious Cesery Award for being one of the most innovative, energetic and respected voices in the tile industry.

With one of his closest friends, George N. Lavenberg, FCSI, CTC, Director of the Ceramic Tile Institute, Manny was co-founder of the Ceramic Tile Consultant training course beginning in 1975. Manny spent many years teaching this course throughout the country, retiring from the program in 1996. He proudly included the CTC designation with his name.

In addition to his involvement in the tile industry, Manny also gave of his time and money in the establishment of a non-profit school founded in 1948 in the Los Angeles area by his wife Phyllis, an educator with a Masters in Child Psychology. The school became known as Play Mountain Place School. In ways too numerous to mention, Manny worked to further the educational and community goals of this institution.

Manny’s words of wisdom, as well as his warm and friendly nature and sense of humor, have endeared him to the hearts of all who have had the good fortune of knowing him. A Memorial Service will be held at Play Mountain Place School grounds on Sunday, May 27, 2007, at 11 am. The school is located at 6063 Hargis St., Los Angeles.
The school phone is #323-870-4381. Hope to see you there.

Special thanks to Jackie Hagar, whose extended tribute to Manny has been drawn from.

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