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They’re hot: the dog days of summer and the Artisans Revolution in Tile!

“He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” 

– Saint Francis of Assisi

Congratulations on making it through the “dog days” of summer, July 3-August 11. Do you know how they got their name? 

In ancient times, Sirius – the brilliant “Dog Star” that forms the nose of the constellation Canis Major, The Greater Dog – rose and set along with the sun, leading ancient Greeks and Romans to believe that its brightness added extra heat to the sun and helped account for the warm temperatures, fevers and turbulent weather. Romans dubbed this time “dies caniculares” – literally “puppy days” or days of the dog star. Over time it became known as “the dog days of summer.” 

Dog days or not, tile setting goes on! And it does so with art and style. Check out our Training and Education story on the premiere Artisans Revolution in Tile training – 15 aspiring artisan tile setters traveled to Milwaukee at the end of June for a four-day program in standards-based custom tile art feature design, marketing and fabrication at the Dragonfly Tile and Stone Works shop, sponsored by NTCA and LATICRETE. It was a stunning week of gracious teaching, intensive learning and expansive inspiration. In addition to this story, there will be a NTCA Roundtable Live! on August 15 from 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. CDT during which instructors, participants and attendees will recap the experience, share what they’ve learned and how they are using it in their businesses. Visit https://tinyurl.com/2thhssj2 to join the revolution! And check out the digital TileLetter August issue for an expanded story about the training!

Another innovative initiative in our industry is Hope Renovations, a new business model that both trains women in trades and puts them to work providing repairs, modifications and renovations to seniors and adults with disabilities. iQ Power Tools is supporting this organization with donations of its unique products. Read about it in our Business section. 

Are there some things you deal with daily that you wish manufacturers knew about? In our Technical story, CTEF’s Scott Carothers addresses some of those issues, and what can be done about them.

Allison Walton of Legacy Tile LLC in St. Petersburg, Fla., shines brightly in our Member Spotlight. Not only is she dedicated to meeting clients’ needs through her craft, she is devoted to striving for wellness, balance and mental health – both personally and in support of a local non-profit organization that tends to the needs of those struggling with mental health issues. Learn more about this remarkable woman in our story this month. 

Partial to pebbles? In this month’s Hot Topics, we look at eight pebble projects and the tile artisans who designed and installed them. 

Our cover story tells how LATICRETE products helped University of South Carolina line up a winning pass for the $50 million Long Family Football Operations Center to support its revered Gamecock football program. And there’s a tie in between USC and LATICRETE that goes way back. Read the story and discover the connection!

And NTCA President Sam Bruce penned part 1 of his letter that addresses planning for your financial future, personally and for your business. Catch part 2 in September. 

Finally, the industry bid a sad but very fond farewell to one of its beloved members – Frank Canto of Canto Tile & Stone in Tampa, Fla. Reminisce and remember Frank with us in our memorial story. 

Enjoy these final days of summer, your work, and mostly, each other. 

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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