Dubuque 6 x 6" Tile by Whistling Frog
This Dubuque, Iowa art tile features the Mississippi River, downtown Dubuque, the Julien Dubuque Bridge and the Fenelon Place Elevator.
This tile measures approximately 5.75" x 5.75” and has a raised relief of approximately 0.5" or less. There is a notch on back for hanging, yet if you wish to install, it's also suitable for that too. If used outdoors in freezing temperatures, just make sure to keep it vertical.
Whistling Frog Tile Company is a collaboration between artists Rick Pruckler and Tonya Lutz. Handmade in Alden, Michigan.
Richard Pruckler’s interest in ceramics took him from Iowa to the University of Michigan, where he earned his master’s in ceramics. He then landed a job at the famed ceramic studio Pewabic Pottery in Detroit. He learned tile-making and began doing his own designs on the side, which became Whistling Frog in 1987. In 2011, he was joined by Tonya Lutz, a graduate of Wayne State University’s fine arts program and a sculptor by training. “I learned the craft at Wayne State, graduated, and hit the ground running,” she said.
Their business demands eventually outstripped their space in Ferndale, Michigan. “We outgrew our home. We were running the business out of the basement and garage,” said Pruckler. They were hoping to find a location that would enable them to work and live on the same site, and in 2018 found a place in Alden, Michigan.
The process at Whistling Frog was and is completely hands-on. Each piece is handcrafted by the two, from making the molds to firing and finishing them. The clay and glazes are all crafted using sustainable processes. They also make sure they give back, with a portion of the profits from each tile sold going to a non-profit.
They value promoting appreciation and awareness for the environment, native wildflowers and plants, endangered species, historical places, and communities through their unique designs. By celebrating and elevating their subject’s importance through art, they create pieces with meaning and vitality. This level of passion and dedication provides the essence that goes into each of Whistling Frog Tile's beautiful handmade tiles.
Find more of Richard and Tonya's work here.