Santa Theresa Tile Works
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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