THF Founders Honored by TCNA
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."