Tile Heritage-ENEWS

(Available on the first of 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)

With the beginning of fall in northern California the danger of wildfire reaches its peak, our having had virtually no rain since last March. Over the Labor Day weekend here at Tile Heritage we have had three days of ash from the Geysers Fire falling like snow and covering everything in sight as the fire has crept slowly south and westward towards us, burning over 10,000 acres thus far.

Labor Day 2004. The Russian River looking west from Tile Heritage.

Major Gift of Ceramic Art

Seven large ceramic plaques by ceramic artist Kenneth J. Dierck of El Cerrito, California, have been recently donated to the Tile Heritage Foundation. All of the work is featured in this month's Tile of the Month.
A special thanks to John Eiselein, who donated the tiles to the Foundation.

"Lonesome Pine" by Kenneth Dierck. Kenneth Dierck Collection. Gift of John Eiselein.

                                                          Tile History at Coverings

The governing board of Coverings, the largest international tile exposition held each year in the United States, has approved a proposal by the Tile Heritage Foundation for a major display of Italian, Spanish and U.S. historic tiles at the convention in Orlando next May. Nearly 50-feet in length, with three commanding showcase towers (one for each country), the exhibit will feature both historic artifacts and photo enlargements of historic tile installations from around the world (the masterpieces!).                                  Make plans now to attend!

Keeping The Craft Alive!

The 2004 summer workshop series, "Keeping The Craft Alive," presented by Tile Heritage in cooperation with a great group of artist-teachers is now behind us. We would like to especially thank

Donna Billick, Irene de Watteville, Joan Gardiner, Frank Giorgini, Kenyon Lewis, Sheila Menzies, Christie Rodgers and Diane Stacey who headed up the 2 to 3 day hands-on programs in their own backyards and studios. And to the many participants across the country, many of whom traveled considerable distances, thank you all! We have never experienced as successful a season.
Hope to see you next Summer!

Here are a few of the comments:

Surfin’ the Rock at Huntington Beach

Donna Billick, who serves on the THF board of directors, has just completed a massive mosaic and terrazzo project in Huntington Beach, California. Selected out of a field of six finalists, Billick designed, fabricated and installed art along a 1/2-mile strand of beach south of the municipal pier, part of a major restoration project along the water front. The community "face-lift" involved lifeguard facilities, public rest rooms, concession stands, handicap access and all the connecting sidewalks in between.

"Beach Play," one of Billick's four specific sites, is a 2,400 sq. ft. pebble mosaic that decorates the sloped sides of the handicap access ramp. With pebbles from around the world, this masterpiece of ocean delights includes a surfer girl, a fisherman, boats, crabs, octopus, jellyfish, ray, dolphins, seahorses, fish, turtle, birds, Tiki God and an imaginary sea serpent. Including Billick, her son Wes, and artist Mark Rivera from Billick Rock Art, there was a core group of six who lived at the beach and completed the work at this site in 4 weeks. Occasional participants included Irene de Watteville and Sheila Menzies from the Tile Heritage board, and THF member Betsy Schultz.

Conceived and directed by Donna Billick, the overall project took 2 full years to complete, 9 weeks to install. Other sites included "Surfing USA," a 22-foot wall composed of 14 life-size surf boards in cast terrazzo with a steel frame to anchor them; "Rescue Plaza," a 1,200 sq. ft. mosaic mural with handmade elements produced by local junior lifeguards and a 2-ton terrazzo "Whale Tail" bench in the center; and "Dive In Plaza" featuring an 8-foot bronze female figure "diving in" with bronze fins kicking up in the air.

on an incredible job,
done with flare
and mastery
of the craft!