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Santa Theresa Tile Works

American Made Since 1986

Susan Gamble

Tucson, Arizona
Our business is handmade tile and tile mosaics. Our specialty is making customers smile with our vibrant color palette and whimsical designs.
Crafts,

Tell us about your business.

In 1986 after graduating with my MFA, I returned to Tucson to start my professional potter's studio. It wasn't long before I realized that I wanted to create large art projects for future generations to enjoy. To do so, I had to change my focus from bowls to tiles. With my first public art commission for the Tucson International Airport in 1987, Santa Theresa Tile Works was born. A woman-owned, small business specializing in an art form that I wasn't too familiar with, was definitely a daunting venture - but I was up for the challenge. Due to my ceramics background, I began to hand-cut and glaze my clay tiles in the shapes and colors I needed from slabs of wet clay. Combining tile shapes inspired by nature, and the vibrant colors of Arizona's Southwestern/Mexican heritage, our handmade clay tiles became increasingly popular. With a new website and online shop, I am looking forward to expanding our audience and introducing them to the Santa Theresa-style of handmade tile.

What makes your business stand out?

We have tried over the years to create a community of tile-making enthusiasts instead of separating ourselves from our customers. As a result our Tile-Making 2 class, AKA, "The Hive" has become a close-knit group of amateur tile artists which convene every Wednesday to bond, share and make tile. As each class of Introduction to Tile-Making completes, we see this community grow and it makes us very proud to see our techniques in handmade tile art flourishing in their homes.

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