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A Tile and Mosaic Extravaganza! Clay Expectations by The Tile Heritage Foundation

On 29, Aug 2010 | 5 Comments | In Uncategorized | By man-admin

The Arnold Brothers Hudson Showroom Sacramento, CACirca 1924 Now Zocalo Restaurant
Once upon a time, not so long ago, people built palaces instead of boxes in which to showcase their wares. It wasn’t just movie theaters that were transporting. Auto showrooms, like the Arnold Brother’s dealership above, were the stuff dreams were made of.

In 1925, tile merchant Robert Howden, Sr built a legacy for himself — The Howden Building — a glittering, shimmering, jewelry box of a tile showroom in Oakland, California. The building’s exterior is clad in American Encaustic tiling Co. (AET) and Solon & Schemmel (S&S) tiles. Inside, you’ll find Batchelder, Claycraft, S&S and Oakland’s own Muresque Tiles. Howden did much of the tiling himself; that the building has survived intact serves as a tribute to his legacy and underscores the efforts by the current owners to preserve the space and its historic tilework.

On Sunday, September 12th, The Tile Heritage Foundation is presenting “Clay Expectations: A Festival of Tiles and Mosaics” at the historic Howden. And what a festival it is!

Peter Under the Fence by Clay Expectations Vendor
Barbara Schmidt, Chicago

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to:

  • Explore the building itself and learn its history and tile making of the period
  • Browse through the “shops” of reputable dealers in historic tiles and talented makers of contemporary art tiles
  • Hear/see presentations from enthusiastic tile and mosaic authors, teachers and experts
  • Take a walking tour of the area to discover glorious tile and terra cotta facades
  • Give your children the opportunity to make a mosaic or clay object they can take home with them

Acorn Tiles by Vendor
Carol Crockett, Placerville CA

We love The Tile Heritage Foundation, a labor of love — no “passion” is a better word — for Joe Taylor and Sheila Menzies. The non-profit they spearhead is dedicated to promoting an awareness and appreciation of ceramic surfaces throughout the United States. They not only catalog and store precious examples of the art form — they regularly create exhibits, classes and extravaganzas like this one that bring ceramic surfaces to life for participants. (See Tell-Tale Tiles and Fractured Fantasies at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, March 2009)

Medieval Muscian by Vendor
Penny Brogden – Berkeley, CA

This event is being done as a fundraiser for THF — a mere $5 will get you into the party and enable you to participate in it all, with the exception of the tour which has a very worthwhile $10 fee attached to it. It is a cultural bargain, thanks to event sponsors Howden Building Investors and LCB Associates of Oakland, California.

We don’t usually go into details here, but there are so many delicious details about this event we’re going to break with tradition for Clay Expectations

Enjoy and see you there! — Nancie

Just the Facts Ma’am

Date: Sunday, September 12
Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Place: Historic Howden Building, Southeast corner of 17th and Webster Streets, Oakland, CA
Admission: $5 (there is a separate charge for the walking tour)
Website: www.

Antique & Contemporary Art Tile Sale 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Dog and Cat Tile by Vendor
Carol Rose Dean, Seattle


  • Tiles out of the Blue: Creating beauty from the Earth California Decorative Tiles 1900 – 1930 By Joseph A. Taylor 11:00 am – Noon
  • The Tiles of California Faience: Berkeley California 1913- 1959 By Kirby William Brown 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • Southern California Mosaic Fantasy Worlds: Towers, Totems and Tiles By Lillian Sizemore 3:00 – 4:00 pm


  • Tiles and Terra Cotta in Uptown Oakland: A Walking Tour with THF Board Member Riley Doty. Presented by Oakland Heritage Alliance 12:30 – 3:00 pm Separate charge: $10.00

Workshops for Kids

  • Mosaic: Internationally recognized mosaic artist and teacher Elizabeth Raybee will orchestrate a “drop in” for kids of all ages to make mini-mosiacs. Among the choices will be mosaic pins or fridge magnets made of jar lids or anchovy/sardine cans. Lots of fun and glitter! Everyone can take away a finished piece.
  • Clay: Tile Heritage is also providing a supervised Kids’ Clay Table all day with well known ceramicists and teachers: Irene de Watteville, Dale Wiley, Lisa Cox, Chere Mah and Collete Crutcher. There will be lots of lay tools, stamps, molds and hands-on guidance for these talented teachers. Everyone can take home what they make!

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  1. Clay Roof Tiles

    Thanks for reply!I am waiting for your next post………

  2. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Thank you Clay Tile Roof! We love what we do here. Come back again and keep commenting. It's always great to hear the voices of readers.

  3. Clay Roof Tile

    Awesome Post!I love your blog this is seriously amazing…Thanks for sharing.

  4. tile stores

    Cool to see these artistic tiles. Mosaic Bouquet really caught my attention. It has a touch of Egyptian art and it's very simple. For sure, it will fit to any bathroom tile design.

  5. George

    Not-to-be missed really says it. Amazing event, and you've compiled a wonderful set of images, Nancie.

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