E-News for Summer 2011

1a-Twisp post
Here’s What’s Below
Remaining Vigilant!
More (and More) Mantels
Spokane’s Davenport
“The Tracks We Leave Behind”
Kathy A. Harris
Rodger Dunham
Tiling for Contractors
E-News Print Version

Formed in July 1987 Tile Heritage just entered into its 25th year this summer.
Supporters like YOU… members, sponsors, donors, grantors... everyone... have made possible
the continued fulfillment of the foundation’s mission to Preserve, Protect and Document
tile history both past and present.

1c-Cal Art

Remaining Vigilant!
A woman in Columbus, Ohio was buying an apartment and found this “antiquated” fireplace mantel where she wished to cut a doorway. Thinking the tiles might be Rookwood, she contacted
Larry Mobley who in turn contacted Tile Heritage.
The tiles were made at
California Art Tile Company in Richmond, California, likely dating to the mid to late 1920s. The arch around the opening is #704 and the corbels ("End of the Trail") are #503.
Cal Art was founded in 1923 by a Scot, James White Hislop, a third generation brick maker, who put together an impressive crew of experienced tile makers who in turn produced one of the most prolific and artistic bodies of work in Northern California. The company closed in the mid-1950s. The mantel ap
pears to be in pristine condition. It would be truly unfortunate were this fireplace to be destroyed.


More Mantels
An artist in
Salt Lake City found Tile Heritage online while researching his tile fireplace. His home was built about 1910. He had been told by a few folks that these were California ceramic tiles. The larger picture tiles are 9 inches square and the smaller red tiles are 6 inches square. The picture tiles have relief, that is, they are raised. He wondered if the scene might be Lake Tahoe, and thanked us for whatever info we might be able to send along.
The tiles are Rookwood Faience from
Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati. Titled “Modeled Landscape” in the company’s 1912 catalog, the panel is numbered N1352Y1, 2, 3 and 4.

A homeowner in
Glendale, California living in a 1926 Spanish Revival home in the Adams Hill area had been told by the previous owners that the Mayan or Aztec style tiles were Batchelder. “We feel so lucky that the tiles are in such beautiful condition, and we are honored to be the current caretakers. Can you tell me who made these?”

Indeed! These tiles were made at Claycraft Potteries in Los Angeles:
No. 1568 Mayan Fire Arch.

2c-d -Clay Craft post


More Mantels
A couple in Hastings, Michigan was hoping that Tile Heritage could assist in identifying their circa 1890 home. Although the detail of the modeling seemed familiar, we couldn’t locate an exact match in the Foundation’s catalog collection. The home owner had read somewhere that the manufacturer sometimes “prints” its name on the back. And as there was a broken tile on the hearth, he removed the pieces, turned them over, and found...
TRENT for the Trent Tile Company, Trenton, New Jersey (1882-1939). For more information on Trent tile see our
Tile of the Month.

The 900 block of West Franklin Street in Richmond, Virginia contains a treasure trove of late 19th century fireplaces with tiled surrounds.
On the left is the Younger House and on the right, the McAdams House, both built in 1891, both with tiles from the American Encaustic Tiling Co., Zanesville, Ohio

4a-Coronel post

More Contemporary Mantels
For roughly 30 years Raul Coronel now in his mid-80s, was a mid-century master ceramist in Southern California, throwing, sculpting, playing in clay and glaze. Included in his prolific offering were decorative tiles and murals produced on a custom, job by job, basis for both private residences and commercial establishments.
Born (1926) and raised in Mexicali, Raul came to the U.S. when he was 14, becoming a U.S. citizen when he joined the Marine Corps in 1944. After the war he studied under a number of master potters at different colleges and universities before establishing
Stoneware Designs, Inc. in LA in 1958.
We are indebted to the captivating exchange at
20th Century Forum. Also AMOCA will be hosting “Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945-1975” Nov. 12, 2011 through March 31, 2012, which will include Coronel’s work.

4b-Cha-Rie Tang

In the Tradition of Ernest Batchelder
Cha-Rie Tang at Pasadena Craftsman Tile offers handmade decorative relief tiles in the tradition of Ernest Batchelder, producing classic reproductions as well as original designs. Fireplace mantels, fountains, walls and backsplashes are among her specialties.
“Our aim is to work in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts movement, preserve the designs and feel of Batchelder, while providing the wearability demanded by today’s consumers. Our tiles are fired 2 to 3 times to over 2150 degrees, and the glaze is applied with a special technique that accentuates the relief and lets the clay body show through.”

Spokane’s Davenport Hotel
In 1889 a 20-year-old disgruntled clerk from San Francisco, Louis Davenport, moved to what was then Spokane Falls, a small town in northeastern Washington State, where his uncle owned a restaurant. Following the Great Fire that swept through the downtown area later that year, the young man established his own eatery, serving waffles from a tent no less! A fortuitous choice it was as the city was just entering a period of growth and prosperity that would catapult this entrepreneur to center stage.

Early in the 20th century Davenport hired architect Kirtland Cutter, who designed a playfully attractive Mission Revival style restaurant that captured the imagination of patrons from well beyond the city limits. And within a decade the two were engaged once again, this time expanding the facility to encompass an entire city block with what became a five-star luxury hotel, the finest accommodation between Seattle and Minneapolis. Opening in September of 1914, the Davenport Hotel was inspired by the great architects of France, England and Spain, and it was this international flavor that drew guests from around the world.
Cutter chose to adorn the exterior of the hotel with a combination of local brick from Washington Brick & Lime Co. and creme-colored architectural terra cotta, the latter featuring sculpted busts of knights in armour, the heads of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep among the more generic designs.
After many years of high-class service, Louis Davenport finally sold the hotel in 1945 and, sadly, after a number of uninspired owners, the hotel was closed in 1985. Local developers Walt and Karen Worthy purchased the property in 2000, spending two years and over $40 million to bring the property back to its original grandeur.

6a-Tracks post

“The Tracks We Leave Behind:
Fragments Through Time”
By Betsy Schulz 2008-2009

6b-c Tracks post
The historical column murals were conceived to help raise public awareness of San Diego history.


The goal is to encourage people to learn more about our past and then use their understanding to be more interested and concerned community members.
The series of ten 4-sided columns, each side fitted with a 2’ x 5’ panel, depicts the history of san Diego. Handmade, silk-screened image tiles, sculpted tiles, and broken tile mosaics were applied to cement board with thin-set mortar, then grouted in the artist’s studio.
The overall feeling of each era of history is artistically depicted through imagery with small sections of supporting text. Each Column represents a different period in San Diego history.

Not intended to be a complete time line, the murals provide “glimpses” of history that best represent the feeling of the times as interpreted by the artist. In many cases the familiar imagery speaks for itself.
Location: Track side of the Sapphire Tower, between W. A and W. Ash Streets, San Diego.


Harris page


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10-Tile for Cons
Tiling For Contractors
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