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Hands of Heritage

An upcoming coffee table book to honor tile mentors

Lucas Hendrickson, NTCA Member and Owner of Sticks & Stones Flooring & Tile LLC, is seeking submissions for a book that honors and recognizes tile mentors, titled, Hands of Heritage. Photo Credit: Ron Nash.

Lucas Hendrickson, Seattle-based creator extraordinaire and owner of NTCA member company Sticks & Stones Flooring and Tile, LLC, has developed a way to honor those who have taught, encouraged, and mentored today’s tile setters in their craft. 

Hendrickson is compiling a book that honors tile setting mentors and is a way to highlight their journeys and memorialize their legacies. 

Hands of Heritage was inspired by Hendrickson’s uncle Todd the Tile Guy, a “hippie tile setter” in the Capital Hill district of Seattle. In his youth, Hendrickson helped his uncle do backsplashes, trees and artwork in the colorful houses in the area, true to his uncle’s slogan: “We do marbleous work, with no slate of hand and we don’t take our customer for granite.” 

His uncle sparked Hendrickson’s love of tile setting and got him thinking about a way to pay homage to all the mentors who have supported their students and apprentices along the way. Thus Hands of Heritage was born. 

Nuts and bolts of the book

Hendrickson put his own hands to good use during the Artisans Revolution in Tile Premier Tile Artisans Training in Milwaukee, Wis., over the summer.

Hendrickson is requesting submissions of a maximum of 2,000 words and photos of mentors – especially their hands – scanned to 300 dpi, sent to [email protected] by the end of September 2024. He also has established a Facebook group: Hands of Heritage Book, where people can get details about the project and learn ways to help. 

Hendrickson envisions the coffee table book as a true community project, where tile industry members can offer their services and talents for scanning photos, editing, graphic design and other aspects of book production. “The most important thing is to make it a community process – with everyone involved in steering it,” he explained. 

More details are available at the Facebook group, but following is a synopsis of what Hendrickson wants to touch on:

  1. Introduction and background – introducing one’s mentor and describing the relationship with them. How did they get started in the field and what sparked their interest. Who was THEIR inspiration?
  2. Career path and milestones – key milestones in the mentor’s path in the industry and significant projects on which they worked. 
  3. Expertise and techniques – what sets the mentor apart as a skilled tile setter, techniques they developed or favored, challenges they overcame and how they refined their expertise.
  4. Passion and creativity – what drives the mentor’s passion for tile setting, and how they express their creativity through their work. Describe the exceptional outcomes from the mentor’s artistic vision.
  5. Legacy and contributions – how the mentor influenced the storyteller and others in the industry, including advice and wisdom and what the storyteller believes is the mentor’s lasting legacy in tile setting.
  6. Personal stories – memorable stories or anecdotes that capture the mentor’s personality, character, and work ethic. 
  7. Current life/future aspirations (or obituary submission) – where the mentor sees himself or herself heading in the future and aspirations for their career. If they have passed, an obituary submission here will honor them. 

Hendrickson envisions the stories will be written from the perspective of a narrator telling their story like a documentary/autobiography, with details that “keep the story rich and alive with personality, splendor of their work, and showcase each aspect in such a way that is brilliant to honor them.”

Hands of Heritage is an opportunity for those who revere their teachers to recognize them and keep their wisdom, influence, lessons, memory and spirit alive for the ages. Think about your mentors and get writing – you have until September 2024, to send your written and photographic submissions.

Editorial Director and Senior Writer for TileLetter and TileLetter ARTISAN

Lesley Goddin has been writing and journaling since her first diary at age 11. Her journey has taken her through a career in publishing and publicity, landing her the editor position of TileLetter and its special publications in 2006. Her goal is to educate, inspire, recognize and encourage those in the tile industry -- especially the tile and stone contractor.

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