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Saturday, June 3, 2023

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Artisan opportunities on the horizon

Inspiring the next generation

The artisan movement is booming! This issue’s Business section is a collection of stories and announcements about upcoming artisan-related opportunities, and recently-held events. 

Mark your calendars for TileFest


Just one of the many amazing artifacts from Henry Chapman Mercer’s travels on display at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pa. 

Make a pilgrimage to the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works (aka The TileWorks of Bucks County) on May 20-21, 2023, to immerse yourself in the history and magic of Henry Chapman Mercer’s tile factory and the gathering of tile artists that descend on the site each year to exhibit their stunning art. For two days, the building and grounds at the TileWorks in Doylestown, Pa., will become a marketplace of bespoke contemporary, vintage and antique tile displayed by makers and collectors from around the globe. In addition, there will be demonstrations and activities for the “Tile Curious.” Local food trucks will be available for visitors to enjoy. The festival runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the 20th and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the 21st. This not-to-be-missed event is also a short walk away from Fonthill Castle, Mercer’s stunning home that is a repository of tile and items from his global travels and tiles made in his factory. If Hogwarts had a tile museum, this would be it! Find more information on the festival here: https://www.thetileworks.org/events and Fonthill Castle here: https://www.mercermuseum.org/about/fonthill-castle/ 

Pre-mounting demonstrations at Coverings Art Tile Village

Tile artisans will present information on premounting hand-cut mosaics in the Art Tile Village during Coverings; the Wally the Gator mosaic will be on display in the Coverings lounge.

If you are attending Coverings April 18-21 at the Orange Country Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., be sure to visit the Art Tile Village. Located next to the Coverings Lounge in the TCNA Pavilion, the Art Tile Village will include a range of decorative tile art designed by local and regional tile experts. This space is dedicated to artisans who keep old-world traditions alive by crafting handmade art and specialty tiles.

Unfolding at the Art Tile Village will be a series of live demonstrations about art tile creation and glazing techniques. And stop by Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1 p.m. to view expert tile artisans Joshua Nordstrom, Angie Ré, and Lee Callewaert demonstrating pre-mounting installation methods for hand-cut mosaics. 

Next door in the Coverings lounge, view “Wally the Gator,” a 6’x4′ Florida gator-themed mosaic tile project designed, built and installed by the tile artisan team of NTCA Members Lee Callewaert of Dragonfly Tile and Stone Works and Joshua Nordstrom of Tierra Tile. This awe-inspiring tile art was created live and streamed during Coverings 2021 and is making a first-time appearance in Orlando Coverings 2023. A video showing the process of creating Wally the Gator will be shown in the Art Tile Showcase booth.

May 16 NTCA Roundtable Live! Everyone’s an Artist! 

NTCA Five-Star Contractor Gianna Vallefuoco will be featured in a special NTCA Artisan Roundtable Live! on May 16 via Zoom. Break through anything blocking your creativity!

Thinking about venturing into artisan tile but not sure where to start? Explore different approaches in designing tile artisan features for your clients. Remove blocks to creativity and embrace the artisan movement. Yes you can!  

Join the NTCA Artisan Roundtable Live! on May 16th with the NTCA Artisan Team, Angie Ré, Joshua Nordstrom and Lee Callewaert along with special guest Gianna Vallefuoco, Artist, Mindfulness Coach and Co-Owner of NTCA Five-Star Contractor, Vallefuoco Contractors. Visit https://www.tile-assn.com/page/ntca-roundtables for more details and to register for this free Zoom event.

SGAA & SAMA annual conference

The Art Salon is just one of the features of “Forging New Paths,” the joint conference of SGAA and SAMA being held in Buffalo, N.Y., this fall. Photo credit: Cherie Bosela.

From September 27-October 1, 2023, the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) and the Society of American Mosaic Artists (SAMA) will hold their annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center in Buffalo, N.Y. “Forging New Paths” is the second joint conference between SGAA and SAMA – and SGAA’s 120th anniversary! This inclusive conference experience for artisans represents the many potentials across mediums and materials. It includes a juried exhibition called Adjoined 2023, tours, workshops, an Art Salon where conference attendees can display and sell smaller scale works in an auction setting to fellow conference attendees and guests, and a Vendor Marketplace. Visit https://americanmosaics.org/2023-conference/ for details. 

Artisan presentation inspires tile setting students

(l to r) Lee Callewaert, Jane Callewaert and Maria Meyer of Dragonfly Tile & Stone Works delivered a virtual presentation on artisan tile setting and the artisan tile movement to a youth vocational program in neighboring Iowa.

On February 21, 2023, The Dragonfly Tile & Stone Works team of Lee Callewaert, Jane Callewaert and Maria Meyer delivered a virtual 90-minute presentation to tile setting students in a youth program in neighboring Iowa. 

At the request of the tile instructor of the program, the team addressed several important points about artisan tile setting that engaged the students and sparked imaginations. 

The Dragonfly team educated students about the artisan movement and the inspiring promise it holds for aspiring tile setters. The team delved into what it takes to become a tile artisan craftsperson, and offered information about training (much of it free) available in the industry, as well as apprenticeship opportunities. After a quick virtual tour of the Dragonfly shop, the team presented a general overview of a tile artisan project, including design, templating, tools and fabrication, pre-mounting and installation, and allowed time for questions.

“This is all about attracting and inspiring young people with the artistic side of tile setting, and returning to artisan roots on so many levels,” said Dragonfly Business Manager Jane Callewaert. 

The youth program is also planning a mosaic contest to further engage students into the artistic side of the trade. 

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