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Factory tour in Ohio!
Join Tile Heritage for the first in a series of American Factory Tours, honoring those who are carrying on our historic ceramic traditions. This particular tour, hosted by Sheila Menzies and Joe Taylor, will take place in mid-October from Monday, October 15th through Friday the 19th in northern Ohio at the peak of the fall season. Travel with us to the studios of Artfind Tile and through the factories at Beldon Brick, Epro, Kepcor, the Meredith Collection and Metropolitan Ceramics, Seneca Tiles, Summitville Tiles, and Superior Clay, witnessing the production of a vast variety of clay products: from decorative and quarry tiles, to bricks of every description, culminating with architectural terra cotta and ornate chimney pots! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get inside and see firsthand how clay products are actually made. You will come away enriched by the breadth of your knowledge and charged with an enhanced appreciation for those who work in the world of clay every day.
Price: $ 395 (includes the tour bus every day that departs from and returns to the Holiday Inn, five (5) lunches and a $200 tax-deductible donation to Tile Heritage)
Accommodations: Rooms have been arranged at the Holiday Inn, just five miles from the Akron Canton Airport (CAK). If you reserve a room by September 21st, the “Tile Heritage” group rate will be $89 per night per room (for up to four people!), plus tax. Air Tran, American, Delta, Frontier, United and US Air fly into CAK. The tour begins bright and early Monday morning so be sure, if you are flying, to arrive on Sunday. The tour will end late Friday afternoon.
Space is limited! Because of the nature of the tour we are limiting the number of participants to 20 (first-come-first-served). You must be a current THF member, renew to become current, or join as a new member. To reserve a space, phone or fax Tile Heritage with a credit card number and expiration date. (Please don’t email your credit card info.) If you reserve a space in the tour and then cancel prior to October 1st, the $200 tax-deductible donation will be retained; there will be no refunds after October 1st. Call 707 431-8453 or fax 707 431-8455.
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Mosaic on Wheels
From Cary Esser, Ceramics Chair, Kansas City Art Institute: “I’m sending you guys a picture of my 1986 Ford F-180 pickup that was mosaicked with about 900 pounds of handmade tiles by students in my department.” Pretty jazzy!
Following up on last month’s “E-News,” Abby Hoffman reports that the tile installation at Elijah’s Promise, 211 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, New Jersey went off almost without a hitch. The only wrinkle was a couple of tiles being thrown away and having to be re-made for fellow-artist Linda Vonderschmidt-La Stella’s mural. The third artist involved is Peter A. Davis of New York. Abby wrote, “The community, staff, everyone is blown away by the project.”
Elijah's Promise is a multi-service nonprofit agency whose mission is to empower lives and alleviate hunger. Since 1989, it has served the greater New Brunswick community through a soup kitchen, social services outreach, a culinary school for the economically disadvantaged, a catering program that employs and trains its culinary graduates, and a micro-enterprise program that helps low-income adults develop their own businesses.
It’s always a sad day when an old public school building is discarded in favor of a larger, more modern facility. The community of Royal Oak, north of Detroit, is now in the process of reorganizing, consolidating, closing selected buildings in an effort to better serve the educational and social needs of the children.
Longfellow Elementary School established in 1920 in Royal Oak has been closed, the result of a bond issue passed by the community. Concerned parents and staff realized that there were historically important tiles in the building that should be preserved and ideally reinstalled in the new school, Jane Addams Elementary, which will open this fall. After numerous meetings, letters from Tile Heritage and others, interviews and bids, the decision was made to hire Larry Mobley of Mobley & Co. from nearby Cohoctah, a master at removing historic ceramic tiles.
The tiles in question were produced by Flint Faience and were on a fireplace and drinking fountain, likely installed in the late 1920s when the school, then less than ten years old, was first renovated, adding a library and new kindergarten. The tiles depict The Story of Little Black Sambo, at that time considered an American classic.
According to Larry in a recent message: “I have removed all the tile and I am now cleaning and packing it.” One more example of Mobley’s magic!
Nature’s Gallery Travels to DCby Dave Jones
UC Davis’ collaboration between art and science has gone national with a summer-long exhibit at the United States Botanic Garden on the National Mall across from the Capitol in Washington, DC.
As planned, the outdoor exhibit, titled “Nature’s Gallery,” comprises 130 ceramic tiles depicting plants and insects commonly found in the UC Davis Arboretum’s Storer Garden, which showcases drought-resistant plants.
As the exhibition was being installed in June, Christine Flanagan, public programs manager at the US Botanic Garden, said by email: “Our entire staff is raving at how beautiful the tiles are—my only complaint is that I can’t keep people at their jobs,” explaining that employees kept returning to the mosaic to see the tiles as they were installed.
The exhibition is scheduled to run through October 8 at the United States Botanic Garden as part of the botanic garden’s installation called “Celebrating America’s Public Gardens.”
Then the exhibition will return to UC Davis to be a permanent installation in the arboretum by joining the Art-Science Fusion mosaic and mural in the new Gateways project, aimed at better integrating the arboretum into the university’s academic mission.
Nature’s Gallery “will result in unprecedented opportunities for public access to the academic enterprise and lifelong learning locally and nationally,” said UC Davis Professor Diane Ullman, co-director of the campus’s Art-Science Fusion Program and associate dean for undergraduate programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
Ullman and artist/alumna Donna Billick, the other director of the Art-Science Fusion Program at UC Davis, helped organize the campus-wide collaboration to create the tiles this spring.
Bill Granizo’s Legacy Online
Thanks to the efforts of Meher Mistry and the generosity of Dr. Eugene Garfield, the autobiography of the late Guillermo Wagner Granizo, one of the world’s premier ceramic tile muralists, is now available for viewing online. Granizo’s use of bright colors, geometric shapes, heavy lines, and varying textures gives his creations a vibrant and festive feeling.
Granizo’s autobiography is composed of a series of over 100 tile murals of his own design, each approximating 3-feet square accompanied by a written description. The unglazed tiles were produced by Stonelight Tile, San Jose, California, driven to Granizo’s studio in Benicia where he would draw his life story freehand on the tile surface. The glaze colors were then applied using bulb syringes. Once dry the tiles would be driven back to Stonelight for a final firing.
Born in San Francisco, Granizo was raised in Nicaragua and Guatemala. There he absorbed the influences of pre-Columbian primitive art and the Mexican muralists that show so strongly in his work. Today his murals are found in public and private collections worldwide including a number of small murals and single 12 x 12 tiles gifted by the artist to the Tile Heritage Foundation.
Bill Granizo was an extraordinary individual who touched our lives very deeply when Tile Heritage was first taking shape. Generous of spirit in reinforcing our vision, he was in tune to the interconnectedness of all living things. Take your time and enjoy! www.garfield.library.upenn.edu/granizo/bg.html