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Editor’s Letter – November 2013

LesleyFor those of you who are not convinced that we have come a long way, baby, in the tile industry, let me offer this photo:

passion-4-tilesAwesome multi-dimensional tiles, right? Actually, no. This was a totally flat wall at the Vidres stand at the Cersaie show in Bologna, Italy in September. I was on my way to Tiling Town, where live tile installation demonstrations were scheduled like those on our Live Demonstration Stage at Coverings. But this booth – and others from digital equipment and pigment suppliers – stopped me in my tracks with vibrant color, and optical illusions of depth and three-dimensionality. WOW!

Digital printing has literally changed the face of tile. Rotocolor was a stunning development for its day, but modern digital printing technology can create the look of ANYTHING, with the illusion of texture and depth that we’ve never witnessed before. Marry this with the new slim porcelain panels that are being produced today (and that I got to see manufactured at Lea Ceramiche during the visit to Italy) and the possibilities are endless. We’ll explore a few of those possibilities in our December issue, but I just wanted to whet your appetite for what’s coming.

digital_printing_tileWhile I’m at it – and we’re talking about optical illusions – let me offer another photo:

This is a sort of antithesis of digital printing. It’s solid stone designed, cut, and installed in a dazzling pattern by skilled craftsmen of old in the floor of the breathtaking Duomo del Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The technology here is superb design, cutting, placement and installation that has lasted since the 16th century (with some restoration after the 1966 flood of the Arno river in Florence). Longevity is a key part of our trade – the work you do, when done well, will last for eons. And it’s something you can be proud of.

As for THIS issue, we have some great comments from John Bridge Forum members who attended the recent Schluter training in Reno, and the announcement of the first eight installers to gain Advanced Certification for Tile Installers at the exam held at Coverings. See some wearable tile fashions in the NTCA News story about the Handmade Tile Association Festival in September, and examine tile patterns that might be a boon to your next project in our story by Corintha Runge, Daltile Design Studio manager. We have a special Business Spotlight by Custom Building Products’ Dave DeBear that is a cautionary tale about assuming too much on your project bid. Our Tech Talk feature by TEC’s Tom Plaskota tackles thin tile installation, while our Five Star Contractor spotlight shines on Lambert Tile & Stone in Eagle, Colo.

One more thing I want to mention – before you settle in for the Thanksgiving holiday this month, drop in on the free webinar sponsored by NTCA on November 20. Custom’s Mike Micalizzi will present “Grout in Tile Specifications – What is the Real Cost of Grout?” Visit www.tile-assn.com and click on Training & Education/Education Opportunities to register.

Have a great Thanksgiving, counting your blessings at work, at home and with family and friends. God bless!

– Lesley

Distributors and partners visit wedi factory in Emsdetten, Germany

Wedi recently invited 18 top distributors and their partners to visit the wedi factory in Emsdetten, Germany as part of wedi’s incentive program “Blue & More Awards.” The group enjoyed a three-day program including a tour of wedi’s manufacturing facility, where they had the opportunity to see wedi’s  advanced manufacturing technology for backer board and shower systems in action. The group also got to enjoy local history, good food and beer tastings that are part of the character of  northwestern Germany.

wedi was grateful to have hosted this event which include discussions and exchanges about marketing of wedi and tile products in the Americas, as well as camaraderie and recreation.

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DAL-TILE CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INTEGRATION OF THE MARAZZI GROUP’S U.S. BUSINESS

dal-tile_logo (2)(DALLAS) October 24, 2013 – Dal-Tile Corporation, the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile and natural stone products in North America, has announced it has completed the integration of the U.S. business of The Marazzi Group, which was acquired by Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE: MHK), Dal-Tile’s parent company, earlier this year.

The combination brings together the four leading brands in the tile industry: Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi and Ragno; Dal-Tile remains committed to providing its extensive product collections within each brand to tile and stone customers, through its three primary distribution channels across North America: company-owned stores, independent distributors and home centers.

Marketing and R&D, Home Center and Distributor Sales function leaders named

To support its approach of maintaining unique brand, product and distribution strategies, the company has implemented a new leadership and organizational structure.

marazzi group_logoGianni Mattioli, previously president and CEO of The Marazzi Group’s U.S. business, will lead all of Dal-Tile’s Marketing and Research & Development (R&D) functions. As executive vice president of Marketing and R&D, Mattioli will have responsibility for Dal-Tile’s product strategy, brand marketing and product marketing.

“In Gianni, we have added an exceptional leader whose 30 years of industry experience and business acumen enabled Marazzi’s U.S. business to flourish,” said John Turner, Jr., president, Dal-Tile. “We are excited to have Gianni continue to execute his proven track record of delivering product innovation and customer service excellence across our industry-leading brands of Daltile, American Olean, Marazzi and Ragno.”

With the growth of the company’s Brand Marketing function, Lori Kirk-Rolley has been promoted to vice president of Brand Marketing. In addition to her support of the Daltile and American Olean brands, Kirk-Rolley will also manage the Marazzi and Ragno brands.

Jim Fanning will now lead the company’s Home Center and Distributor Sales segments. Within his new role as senior vice president of Home Center and Distributor Sales, Fanning will utilize his extensive experience in strategy, marketing, channel distribution and sales to lead these important areas of the company’s business.

“Reaching customers who purchase tile through independent distributors and home centers is core to our success, and Jim’s leadership will be integral in expanding our business within these two channels as our industry recovers. I’m confident in Jim’s ability and his focus on our commitment to being the very best through these channels,” Turner said.

Within Fanning’s Home Center and Distributor Sales organization, Hector Narvaez has been named vice president of Sales for Marazzi- and Ragno-brand Distributors; he will also support Marazzi-brand sales to key home center customers.

Jon Shedlosky, vice president of American Olean Distributors, will continue to have responsibility for sales of American Olean-branded products to independent distributors. Sandra Reilly, vice president of Home Center Sales, will continue to be responsible for sales of all brands within the home center channel. Shedlosky and Reilly also report to Fanning.

Dal-Tile’s Store Operations, including its comprehensive network of company-owned Daltile, American Olean and Marazzi Sales Service Centers (SSCs), will be led by John Cousins, senior vice president of SSCs.

About Dal-Tile Corporation
Dal-Tile is the largest manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile and natural stone products used in residential and commercial design and construction across North America. The company, a division of Mohawk Industries, was founded in 1947 and is headquartered in Dallas.

As a leader in the industry, Dal-Tile delivers advancements in product innovation with its Reveal Imaging™, Outstand Technology™ and Proadvanced™ Protection Program. The company is committed to incorporating environmentally friendly materials, processes and products throughout its organization.

Dal-Tile has more than 8,500 employees in North America, and sells its products through a network of more than 250 company-owned sales service centers, stone slabyards, gallery design centers, independent distributors and leading home center retailers nationwide. For more information on Dal-Tile and its brands, visit www.dal-tile.com or call 1-800-933-8453.

About Mohawk Industries

Mohawk Industries is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone and vinyl flooring.

Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include American Olean, Bigelow, Daltile, Durkan, Karastan, Lees, Marazzi, Mohawk, Pergo, Unilin and Quick-Step.

During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia and the United States.

 

Renewal Date for Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification Course Extended to Two Years with Union Agreement

The University of Ceramic Tile and Stone (UofCTS)  has extended the renewal date of the Tile Installer Thin-set Standards (ITS) Verification certificate, to two years from one. This means that every two years the tile installer must retake the updated course in order to stay current with new industry standards. In the past, installers were required to retake the course annually to stay current.

The renewal date extension  was part of an agreement between UofCTS and the Tile Marble Terrazzo Union Local 18, which placed a large order of tuitions for the ITS Verification course as part of its continuing education programs for its Journeyman Tile Layers one. In addition to the ITS Verification online course, Local 18 is offering the Advanced Certification for Tile Installer program, which is a new set of certifications developed and administered by a consortium of tile industry organizations (www.tilecertifications.com).  Local 18 president Chad Boggio stated that the Union leadership has recognized the need to educate tile layers on the new materials, standards and methods through ongoing training and testing of journeyman tile setters.

Greg Games president of Premier Tile & Marble Co., who was the first union tile installation company to send his installers through the ITS online training course, stated,  “I saw a big improvement in my employees’ knowledge of the industry standards and their heightened interest in making sure they are following the industry standards as they are installing tile.  Educating our team of setters and finishers brought a new positive dimension to the culture of our company.”  Games encouraged the Union to adopt the ITS course.

Non-union contractors are also committed to training their employees.  Martin L Howard, vice president of David Allen Company, Inc., who has put a large number of his employees through the UofCTS online training courses, stated,  “I am seeing a big improvement in my employees’ knowledge of the tile and stone industry, and industry standards.  We are in the process of sending a large number of our employees through all three of the UofCTS Online courses on Ceramic Tile, Natural Stone, and on Tile Installer Standards.  The David Allen Company is committed to providing quality tile installations, and our investment in training our employees is one of the ways we achieve that goal.”

The Tile Terrazzo Marble Association of Canada (TTMAC) collaborated with UofCTS to create a Canadian version of the ITS course, which was released earlier this year.  Since then they have had a large number of TTMAC members take the course with great success.

INTACO, a manufacturer of installation products in Costa Rica, recently purchased tuitions of the Spanish version of the ITS course for training their employees.  TCNA Mexico had their trainers take the Spanish version of the ITS course and they now refer the installers that take the certification evaluation in Mexico to take the UofCTS ITS course as a value-added course.  TCNA also suggests the course for Mexican architects to help ensure quality tile installations on their projects.

The ITS Verification course instructs installers, setters and finishers, on industry standards and practices, manufacturers’ requirements, and proper installation methods for tile thin-set applications that apply to ceramic tile, porcelain tile, stone tile, glass tile and other types of adhered tile materials.  The course also teaches how to inspect and prepare substrates and tiles, how to achieve full thin-set coverage, and points out quality workmanship requirements and practices.  This course is also meaningful to architects, general contractors, distributors, manufacturers, consultants, inspectors, and owners that recognize the value of understanding industry installation standards, practices, and methods.

Tile installers who complete the ITS Verification course receive a certificate of completion and must renew it every two years to remain current with industry standards.  The ITS certificate demonstrates to architects, homeowners, and other customers that their tile installers have been trained to install tile per industry standards.   It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to quality installations, and ultimately helps companies earn more jobs, earn more money and avoid costly delays and failures.

The ITS Verification course is different than the  CTEF and ACT Certification Programs for trained tile installers to demonstrate their skills and obtain certifications validating required skills.  The ITS Verification is intended for  training new tile installers and finishers (helpers), and to provide continued education for experienced installers to ensure they know and stay current with industry standards and practices.  The ITS course is also very useful for distributors, architects and designers, and for general contractors so they are aware of how tile should be properly installed.

UofCTS’s also offers online  courses: Understanding the Basics of Natural Stone and Understanding the Basics of Ceramic Tile courses which offer an up-to-date comprehensive look at the stone and ceramic tile industry. For more information, visit www.UofCTS.org.

Once registered, UofCTS students have 14 days to complete a course, which is accessible online, 24/7.  Students can come and go at their convenience.

For details on the courses, videos that preview UofCTS courses, and information on purchasing UofCTS online courses visit www.UofCTS.org.  Local 18 union members can visit www.tileunion.org; CTDA members can visit www.ctdahome.org; and TTMAC members can visit www.ttmac.com. Interested parties can also call 866.669.1550.

 

Traditional Home’s Napa Valley Showhouse – Peter Mondavi, Jr.’s Home -Features Crossville Tile Collections

CROSSVILLE, Tenn, Oct. 18, 2013 – Crossville Inc. is a sponsor and product supplier for the second annual Traditional Home Napa Valley Showhouse. This year’s home, located at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, Calif., is a century-old structure that has undergone a dramatic transformation. Designed by select designers from the local area, the showhouse represents a fresh take on Napa style and is open for public tours through November 17.

Crossville products are featured in the master and guest bathrooms of the home.

Master Bath Renovation by Ann Lowengart Interiors
Annie Lowengart designed the showhouse’s master bath featuring Crossville’s Wood Impressions and Virtue collections. Wood Impressions is used on both walls and the main floor of the space. The shower floor takes on the look of marble with Crossville’s Virtue collection.

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Hall Bathroom Renovation by NV Design
Christine A. Teicheira and Lauren Tapper incorporated Crossville’s Virtue Collection on the floors and Retro Active on the walls. The look of the space is bright and transitional, incorporating fresh colors and a furniture-inspired sink console.

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“Most people know Crossville as a commercial brand. Our participation in the Napa Valley showhouse demonstrates that we’re great for residential use, as well,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Napa Valley Film Festival. For more information, visit traditionalhome.com/napashowhouse.

 About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications. For more information on Crossville, visit crossvilleinc.com.

Radiant Heat Sales Warming Up: WarmlyYours Radiant Reports Record Sales

October 16, 2013–WarmlyYours Radiant expects a strong fourth quarter after posting a record 25% increase in overall sales for the quarter ending September 30, 2013, as compared to the third quarter of 2012. Sales for the month of September were up 39% over the previous year. These results are especially significant considering that the summer months are typically the slowest for the radiant heat industry. With such dramatic growth so early in the season, WarmlyYours predicts extremely strong sales going into 2014.

Julia Billen, president and owner of WarmlyYours Radiant, attributes the increase to changes made by the company to withstand the recession, as well as the ongoing recovery in housing industry. “Not only is the market rebuilding, but we are able to capitalize on that because of the measures we took to strengthen the company during the recession,” said Billen. “Coming out of the recession, our internal machinery is much more focused on sales and marketing.”

WarmlyYours Radiant has remained profitable throughout the recession, despite the slowdown in the construction industry. As the market recovers, the company is well positioned to take advantage of the growth in new construction and home renovations. The 39% increase in September sales corresponds to continued strength in the remodeling market, particularly in the number of kitchen and bathroom projects, throughout 2013 and into 2014, as predicted by the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) published by Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. Strong consumer demand for tile and stone surfaces is driving interest in radiant heat solutions.

WarmlyYours Radiant showed substantial sales gains in the U.S. across its major product lines: floor heating, snow melting systems and towel warmers. The company reported an 18% increase in overall sales in Canada for the third quarter of 2013, as compared to third quarter sales for 2012, with floor heating and towel warmers fueling the growth in that market.

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About WarmlyYours Radiant
Since 1999, WarmlyYours Radiant has offered the industry’s most innovative solutions in radiant heating technology, from our flagship floor heating systems and radiant wall panels to snow melting products, mirror defoggers and towel warmers. With locations in the U.S. and Canada, WarmlyYours provides unrivaled personalized customer support from start to finish, featuring measuring and design services, 24/7 technical support, and our NoNonsense™ Warranty. For more information, visit: www.WarmlyYours.com.

Nuheat Launches International Floor Heating Day

Nuheat recently announced the launch of the industry’s first International Floor Heating Day. The inaugural celebration of the annual event will take place on October 17, 2013. In the spirit of celebrating Nuheat’s loyal customers and all things floor heating, Nuheat will be hitting the streets all over North America surprising and delighting customers and random strangers with gifts of appreciation.

As part of International Floor Heating Day, Nuheat will be auctioning off two Custom Nuheat Mats shaped in both the Vancouver Canucks and a Chicago Blackhawks logos. Each mat is signed by the hockey team and proceeds support their respective charitable trusts; Canuck Place and Chicago Blackhawks Charities. In addition, Nuheat will give a lucky winner a Nuheat Floor Heating System for a bathroom remodel through various social media avenues.

“At Nuheat we are extremely fortunate to have had such a loyal customer base over our 24 years in business,” said Suzie Cho, vice president of marketing. “We really pride ourselves as being industry leaders, and therefore wanted to find a way to thank our customers as well as celebrate our industry. We are dedicating International Floor Heating Day to our amazing customers as well as everyone whom we’ve had the pleasure of working with in our industry.”

For more information visit www.InternationalFloorHeatingDay.com.  Regular updates will be posted on the Facebook and Twitter.

About Nuheat

Based in Vancouver, Nuheat is the leading manufacturer and distributor of electric floor heating systems and freeze protection products for pipes, roof & gutters and slab. Nuheat products have been included in such celebrated projects as the Shangri-La Tower in Vancouver, the Hyatt Grand in Aspen, the Plaza Hotel in New York, Montreal’s City Hall and will soon be included in the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice facility being built near Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Crossville Shines a Light on Year-Round Programs & Support for the Common Thread for the Cure

CROSSVILLE, Tenn.,  – Crossville Inc. is hosting/sponsoring events during the month of October to draw attention to breast cancer awareness and the company’s year-round support of the Common Thread for the Cure. Throughout the year, Crossville contributes a portion of proceeds from the sales of its Glass Blox and Origins glass tile collections to the Common Thread for a Cure.

The Common Thread is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to families of the interior design and furnishings industries who are suffering the effects of breast cancer. Through Helping Hands Grants, the organization helps families with transportation, household expenses, child care, tuition, home repairs and other practical needs to improve quality of life as they face the challenges of the disease. The foundation also supports research and educational programs.

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“For Crossville, awareness and support happen every month of the year through our product partnership with the Common Thread for the Cure, but October gives us the chance to turn the spotlight even brighter on this organization whose sole purpose is to help those in the design community affected by breast cancer,” explains Lindsey Waldrep, vice president of marketing for Crossville and Common Thread for the Cure board member.

Waldrep emphasizes that the ongoing support of Common Thread through monetary donation is the core of Crossville’s commitment to the prominent issue that touches “far too many lives in the design industry and beyond.”

“It’s not enough to ‘think pink’ one month of the year. Breast cancer doesn’t take a month off, and neither do we,” she summarizes.

For more information about The Common Thread for the Cure, please visit www.commonthread.info.

About Crossville Inc.
Founded in 1986, Crossville Inc. is a U.S.-owned and operated manufacturer of award-winning tile collections for residential and contract applications.

An industry innovator, Crossville is the first U.S. tile manufacturer to achieve the following:
* produce large format tile on site,
* manufacture tile with certified recycled content,
* develop the Tile Take-Back™ Program for recycling fired porcelain tile
* achieve certification of its waste recycling programs
* achieve TCNA’s Green Squared certification for all of its U.S.-produced tile lines,
* distribute a complete line of large format, 3mm-thin porcelain panels (Laminam by Crossville) and
* become a net consumer of waste.

For more information on Crossville, visit crossvilleinc.com.

First Installers Pass ACT Certification at Coverings

Five of the largest organizations representing tile contractors, installers and manufacturers are pleased to announce that eight industry professionals are the first to successfully pass the ACT certification program.

Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers— ACT—addresses four technically-challenging installation areas of current importance:  Large Format Tile Installation and Substrate Preparation, Mudwork, Shower Pans and Membranes.  A specific certification demonstrates the installer’s skill and knowledge in each of these four segments.

The eight professional installers not only passed all four certifications, they did so under the watchful eye of thousands of attendees at Coverings, the leading tile and stone show in the United States.  Because the program was in the developmental phase when the show was held in Atlanta in April, they just recently completed the on-line written test that comprises twenty-five percent of the certification score.

The eight installers with this special honor are:

Brent Monroe – Artcraft Granite Marble &Tile Company: Mesa, Arizona

Tyler Nequist – Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan

Keith Tavshanjian – KT Marble & Tile: Oceanside, California

Dan Welch – Welch Marble &Tile: Kent City, Michigan

Gavin Collier – Trostrud Mosaic & Tile Co.: Palos Heights, Illinois

Bill Dumas – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Trainer: Livermore, California

Eric Manzaroli – Artisan Tile, Inc.: Sterling Heights, Michigan

Terrance Trame – Trendell Consulting, LLC: Clayton, Michigan

Keith Tavshanjian - KT Marble & Tile: Oceanside, California, one of the first eight ACT Certified Installers

Keith Tavshanjian – KT Marble & Tile: Oceanside, California, one of the first eight ACT Certified Installers

 

 

Partners in the development initiative are:  Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF); Tile Contractors Association of America (TCAA), representing IUBAC signatory tile contractors; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC); International Masonry Institute (IMI), which provides professional and technical training for union masonry contractors, and National Tile Contractors Association, with membership open to all tile contracting companies.   Tile Council of North America (TCNA) manufacturer members companies are contributing to development of the modules and tests.

For more information on this developing program visit our new website at www.tilecertifications.com

Silver City Clay Festival celebrates tile and clay arts

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gruberSilver City, N.M. – The Clay Festival, held in early August here,  is the brainchild of Lee Gruber, president and co-owner of local Syzygy Tileworks (www.syzygytile.com), which makes beautiful handmade tile for interiors and exteriors. Since it’s in my home state, I decided to make the drive from Albuquerque to take part in the celebration of handmade tile and clay arts.

And what a celebration it was! Originally, Gruber conceived the festival – now in its second year – as a signature event for the Silver City Arts & Cultural District, and to support the work of the Handmade Tile Association’s Minneapolis Tile Festival – the 12th annual occurrence taking place this fall.

Gruber’s vision for the Clay Festival – for which the Silver City Arts & Cultural District will assume oversight of in 2015 – is to expand statewide annually in mid-August. This timing will coincide with Indian Market in Santa Fe which brings in many art-minded travelers, and partner with clay-centric activities in sister city and art mecca Taos, N.M., to the north.

Gruber said clay arts are natural for New Mexico, aligning with the state’s “New Mexico True” tourism campaign, and engaging the interest of native potters who are intrigued by the idea of creating a line of tile that draws upon their cultural roots.

princedarwinThis year’s festival brought in a vast number of clay artists, potters and tile makers. Included in the event were juried art exhibits that included A Tile and a Vessel exhibit which challenged international artists to create a tile and a related vessel.

The Public PrōJECT Outdoor Digital Juried Exhibition recognized artists and their large-scale clay and mosaic public installations, celebrating public art that surrounds us.

cajaconThe Tile Heritage Foundation was an integral part of the festival, and responsible for both an award and a highly-informative presentation by Sheila Menzies and Joseph Taylor, which traced the history of decorative tile in America.

Mimbres culture was celebrated by a Vessels exhibit, demonstrations, and contests and there was a clay poker tournament, kid’s activities, a labyrinth build and a wide range of workshops. I got a chance to participate in the Meditation in Clay workshop facilitated by tile maker Stephani Stephenson, which allowed me to get my hands dirty in the most delicious and creative way, alongside seasoned clay artists and newbies alike.jo_and_sheila

Clay and tile is intertwined with nearly every aspect of the town, evident in the many vibrant tile murals on sides of buildings, at the visitor center, adorning steps, at the library, at public plazas, in a children’s playground and a skate park and elsewhere, which wildlife_mosaicrichly illustrate local culture – 33 murals in all that involve area youth. One of the most striking murals – or collection of murals – are the Many Hands murals at Penny Park, a children’s playground. In addition to tile adornment on walls and the neighboring skatepark, a series of sixteen diamond-shaped mosaic vignettes are planned to pay tribute to the community and the original Penny Park that was destroyed by fire and rebuilt.

noblearchitectThe Mimbres Region Arts Council (MRAC) Mural Program coordinator Diana Ingalls Leyba developed a mural project that would involve every student in Grant County. She visited elementary schools and collected hundreds of clay hand prints that students personalized with their artwork, which were then glazed and fired into tiles and installed on the playground walls with help of local professional artists.

stephanieDuring the festival itself, two new murals were unveiled at the 12th Street Bridge. The mural “Agua es la Vida” (Water is Life) tells the history of Western New Mexico University (WNMU) from what WNMU president Dr. Joseph Shepard called a “gateway to the community.”

stephsonson_workSilver City itself can be considered a hub of beautiful handmade tile in the Southwest and a gateway to growing interest in handmade, decorative and art tile and the celebration of clay art. Plan to visit next July 26-August 3, 2014. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/clayfestival or clayfestival.com. — Lesley Goddin

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