North Prairie Tileworks was started in 1992 to compliment the tile design and building needs of a Twin Cities high-end construction firm. The emphasis was on the Arts & Crafts designs with its rich history of handmade tile. In the early stages North Prairie relied upon orders from the construction firm’s clientele and produced many fine fireplace surrounds such as the Driscoe fireplace (opening web page) which features handmade tile with a custom glaze with high contrast and custom relief trim including the family coat-of-arms.
Today, North Prairie Tileworks, Inc. continues to operate in its original location at 2845 Harriet Ave in Minneapolis and includes 6,000 square feet of production and glazing facilities, kiln room, office and showroom. North Prairie specializes in the production of a broad range of custom tile with its distinctive Arts & Crafts design features including a full spectrum of proprietary glazes. The features that make North Prairie Tileworks unique include:
- Production of custom field and trim tile to fit the space instead of one size fits all;
- On-going glaze development with over 150 glazes in our standard color palette;
- Expertise to replicate tile from the past for restoration or repair;
- An artisan’s approach to design and the development of new tile features.
North Prairie is a site based fabrication operation with 98% of all of the products produced solely in its facility and by our employees. In addition to production of the standard sizes of tile such as 4×4 and 6 x6’s, subway tiles such as the traditional 3×6’s, 2×6’s, and 2×8’s, North Prairie will produce unique sizes to fit the space and enhance the design. This capability is especially beneficial for the design features for a fireplace surround and hearth or a kitchen backsplash.
North Prairie produces their own glaze colors that ensure an exciting range of glazes to select from and insures their safety. North Prairie has amassed a glaze library of over 1,200 colors that can be glazed on any size of tile that they produce. The expertise of our glaze department includes color matching glazes and clay bodies from the past to repair or replicate tile features and installations.
North Prairie has been selected to replicate tiles and tile installations for such notable venues as the State Capital of Minnesota, Thomas Wolfe Mansion, in Ashville, NC, government building in British Columbia, the Ramsey Mansion in St. Paul, the lobby at 180 North Michigan in Chicago, and recently the Highway 36 bridge in Highland, New Jersey.
Over the years it has continued to be a distinct honor to have the tile made by North Prairie Tileworks be selected and installed in homes and businesses around the U.S. and Canada. For each project North Prairie brings together a group of skilled artisans with their years of training and experience to design and make the tile, glaze and fire it and produce a truly unique product for each client. North Prairie works with each client to the degree that is required to provide the necessary expertise to produce quality tile that is distinctive and functional and therefore every tile has a story.