editor's letter
"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." – Harriet Ann Jacobs
Lesley Goddin, Editorial Director and Senior Writer
Greetings tile art and artisan tile setting lovers! Have we got an incredible spring issue for you!
First, let me exclaim that in 2024, TileLetter ARTISAN has expanded with the addition of a third issue! Expect content about all things tile artistry in May, August and December. And we added a new section for small companies, tile makers and the like who want more exposure for their new lines, custom services, and unique visions – all for a miniscule fee. Contact Mary Shaw-Olson at for details.
This issue dawns with our cover story about Hotel Drover in Fort Worth. Schluter products helped revitalize hotel showers with beauty and performance. Our Maker story visits with Fireclay Tile in California, tracing its “Made for Good” ethics and stunning artisan tile production from its inception in 1986. The company has scaled artisan tile production and distribution through its network of showrooms (more on the horizon this year!). Recently, it has acquired former NTCA President Martin Brooke’s Heritage Marble and Tile company and crew to scale installation of artisan residential tile to exacting standards. It’s an exciting development for Fireclay Tile and for the industry.
Did you visit Coverings last month? If so, you may have met UK-based renowned mosaicist David Arnott at the Artisan Showcase in the Art Tile Village. Learn more about him here in our Artisan section. More news from across the Pond: Josh Blanc of Minneapolis’ Clay Squared to Infinity shares his tile discoveries and adventures from a recent trip to Paris in our Travels with Tile story.
A little closer to home, you can immerse yourself in handmade tile awesomeness at the upcoming TileFest at The TileWorks in Doylestown, Pa., May 18-19, where tile makers gather to show their art. This year – in addition to the Tile Geeks who will be installing tile in a special project – a team of four artisan tile setters who attended last year’s Artisan Revolution in Tile (A.R.T.) training will be demonstrating the process and equipment involved in creating hand-shaped mosaics. It’s a can’t-miss event! Also check out the opportunity to sign up for the fall master class offered online by legendary tile artist Laurel True. Get all the deets on her Business of Mosaics Masterclass: A Roadmap for Creative Professionals in our Business section.
Speaking of the A.R.T. training – all the inspiration in the world would turn to frustration without the right tools. Read what Scott Carothers of CTEF has to say about the tools and equipment that were employed at the A.R.T. class last year and how they helped “A.R.T.isan” attendees bring their tile mosaic visions to life. Another tie-in to the A.R.T. training is highlighted in our Craftsperson section. NTCA Tile Setter Craftsperson of the Year Joshua Nordstrom of Tierra Tile in Homer, Alaska – a master instructor at the A.R.T. training last year and this coming June – shares his journey as an artisan tile setter and many wise insights.
Take a step back in time to bygone 1927’s era California to learn about the rise and fall of Malibu Potteries, the homage to the tile and estate of May K. Rindge, the evolution of the Malibu Lagoon Museum and a serendipitous find by an astute real estate appraiser in 1984 in our Tile Throwback installment by Joseph Taylor and Sheila Menzies, co-founders of The Tile Heritage Foundation.
In our Installation story, creativity is “brewing” when three New Jersey companies partner on a signature look for Varitage Brew Works, a new brewery in Bloomfield, N.J. Imagine Tile of Ridgewood, N.J., developed a specialty tile with the brewery’s distinctive logo, installed by Maestro Works, LLC out of Phillipsburg, N.J.
Finally, enjoy a mini-tour of five projects that feature artisan tile setting, handmade mosaics, stunning precision and the versatility of pre-mounting techniques in more traditional work in our Gallery section.
Enjoy this spring bouquet of information and inspiration, and feel free to share YOUR stunning artisan tile creations and installations with me at for consideration in a future issue.
God bless,