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  • Clay Expectations: Festival of Tile and Mosaic

    Here’s a sneak preview of some of the presentations you can catch this Sunday, Sept. 12th  at Tile Heritage Foundation’s one-day event for tile lovers of all ages. What could be more festive than clay-ful, colorful, creativity all to support a great organization?

    From 3 – 4 PM, I’m giving a presentation on

    Southern California Mosaic Fantasy Worlds:

    Towers, Totems and Tiles by Lillian Sizemore

    I’ll take you on a Southland tour of three trippy tile and mosaic environments. Colorful visits to Simon Rodia’s famed “Watt’s Towers” of East LA where spectacular handmade towers are embellished in patterned crockery, Malibu tile, and pop bottles.


    Watt's Towers by Simon Rodia, circa 1921



    Rodia recycled before it was "cool"


    In Escondido, we will visit a shimmering sculpture park,”Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden” by Niki de Saint Phalle,  (pictured below) which features magnificent totems and temples honoring the divine feminine, cosmic symbolism and mythic creatures.


    Curvy Queen Califia aboard the Eagle, circa 2000



    Niki's hand-painted sculptural tile details


    Finally, a peek inside the quirky “Mosaic Tile House” in Venice, by Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran, where the lines between form and function are blissfully blurred. (pictured below) The presentation will weave together historic and contemporary references from around the world and discuss the lineage of visionary sculptural mosaic projects as a lasting monument to the creative impulse.


    Mosaic Tile House by Cheri Pann + Gonzalo Duran, began 1983- ongoing



    Cheri's handmade tile mixed with with shards


    There are other fascinating lectures on California tile heritage offered by scholars and colleagues, Joe Taylor, co-founder and current president of the Tile Heritage Foundation and author Kirby William Brown, PhD, whose grandfather, William Bragdon, was the owner of California Faience.

    Tiles Out of the Blue:

    Creating Beauty from the Earth California Decorative Tiles, 1900-1930

    By Joseph A. Taylor

    11-noon, Sunday, Sept. 12


    Spanish style tile roof at Balboa Park, San Diego




    Moorish style tiles of the Adamson House, Mailbu CA




    Batchelder Tile inspired by medieval tiles



    Claycraft Tles features matte glaze and muted tones


    Joe will follow the development of decorative tile manufacturing in California from its inception in 1900 through its heyday in the 1920s to its culmination during the dark days of the Great Depression. California tile makers, an extraordinary mix of talent, ushered in two new and distinctly different aesthetics, each of which captured the imagination of architects and designers throughout the state and, eventually, the rest of the country. Both aesthetics continue to be a major influence among ceramic tile makers today.

    The Tiles of California Faience Berkeley, California 1913-1959

    By Kirby William Brown

    1-2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 12


    California Faiance used at Hearst Castle


    Kirby William Brown will trace the history of the company, California Faience, and demonstrate the origin of many of its designs. The company was contracted by such famous architects as  Julia Morgan to make tiles for William Randolph Hearst at San Simeon. The 1920’s were the golden years with extensive production of tiles, brilliantly multi-colored with attractive designs of Spanish and medieval influence. The company faired the Great Depression and survived until 1959 as a studio for artists and students, hundreds of whom passed through its doors. Mr. Brown has been working a book, which will be completed prior to an exhibition of California Faience planned at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento for the summer of 2013.

    Join TILE HERITAGE FOUNDATION in OAKLAND CA, on Sunday Sept. 12 2010 10 AM to 5 PM.

    Historic Howden Building

    Southeast corner of 17th and Webster Streets
    Oakland, California

    Admission: $5


    Clay Expectations at the Historic Howden Bldg. Sunday Sept. 12th, 10 - 5


    Click here for details of the full event


    • Walking Tour with Riley Doty
    • Lectures
    • Hands-on tile making and mosaic workshops and more!

    For additional information on any aspect of “Clay Expectations,” email  foundation @ tileheritage . org or call 707 431-8453.

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