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Great SA: Crafts on a Mission

The story of the San Jose Tile Workshops and the women behind them.

In this free Great SA conversation, host Norma Martinez and guests recount the history and many stories of the San Jose workshops and contemplate their legacy.

Panelists include:

  • Marcie Anguiano - Mission Crafts Chandlery
  • Susan Toomey Frost - author, "Colors on Clay: The San Jose Tile Workshops of San Antonio"
  • Claudia Guerra - Cultural Historian, San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation & Editor, "300 Years of San Antonio and Bexar County"

The Twig Book Shop will be on site with copies of both "Colors on Clay" and "300 Years" to purchase and have signed by their respective authors.

Free validated parking is available at the City Tower Parking Garage located at 60 North Flores. Additional entrance is at 111 North Main Avenue, 78205.

Great SA is made possible by sponsorship from Culligan Water of San Antonio, Frost Bank, and the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office.


In 1931, Ethel Wilson Harris and designer Fernando Ramos revived a dying Mexican art and eventually became the driving forces behind the San Antonio art tile factories that operated at Mission San Jose. Harris’ distinct style led a local arts and crafts movement. The artisans who worked there were primarily women from the neighborhoods around San Jose Mission and their legacy still informs the aesthetic and cultural identity of San Antonio.

Produced through 1977, the factories’ works became celebrated throughout the world and prized in San Antonio for both private and public installations, including WPA projects like the River Walk. Today, the artwork produced in the studio is highly prized (and valued) by collectors and curators around the globe.