Today, my neighbor and friend Maggie visited Santa Theresa Tile Works. For me, it was the first time. I have lived here for 20 years and had never heard of it. I am not much of a shopper. However, when we bought our home, the kitchen and bathroom were scattered with specialty tiles, peppers, toothbrushes, carrots, you get my drift. I always wondered about them.
If you are not aware, Southern Arizona has some great artistic enclaves, well-known spots such as Bisbee, Patagonia and Tubac, and believe it or not, Green Valley, Ajo, Benson and Tucson. But that is for another story.
This one is about Santa Theresa Tile Works. It is a small specialty tile shop tucked back from the corners of 6th Street and 6th Avenue. Every piece is carefully made by hand. This makes them unique and expensive. However, all sales go to a good cause, Imago Dei Middle School for underprivileged children.
When you enter the shop, the room is filled with buckets of distinctive tiles. On the wall to your right are frames of all different sizes and prices to fill with as many tiles as you can for the price noted on those frames. The smallest one is a 4X4 for $85. Actually a fun Holiday keepsake project for the family.
Santa Theresa’s offers Workshops and Classes as well. Get a group together and schedule a class. December 3rd and 8th are going to be GIFT Mosaic Workshops. Other Classes are available as well.
And then there is Bob & Ruby. Ruby was minding the store the day we were there. They are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm and also the First Saturday Art Walks from 5 – 8 pm when Arts and Crafts studios downtown open their doors. Bob, seen above, who is putting color on a teeny tile, is a former employee of HF COORS. He and Ruby, set out each year after Christmas to work on a float for the Pasadena Rose Parade. This year they will be working on a float with a Mardi Gras theme, is it a Purple Wizard? At least I think it is a wizard. Watch the Rose Parade and find out.
Now that you know what to look for you will recognize many of the tile installations around town. Critters range from Coyotes to Javelina, Horny Toads, Great Horned Owls and Flying Pigs. Many of them strangely resemble the work of our very own Tucson Cartoonist David Fitzsimmons work.
Santa Theresa Tile Works is located at:
440 N 6th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705