Steve Forbes gives the keynote address to kick off Coverings 2004

"The Harper Pool" installation, by Dosha Porta of Michelle Griffoul Studios, won the Spectrum Awards Grand Prize.
Close to 29,500 people attended Coverings 2004 -- a 10 percent increase over last year. Coverings' primary audience included installers, distributors, retailers, fabricators, architects, designers and builders/remodelers.

The show, which took place March 23-26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., featured more than 1,400 exhibitors in 500,000 net square feet of exhibit space. Coverings offered special workshops, events, forums and appreciation nights. Organizers launched the 2004 Conference Program with a keynote address by Steve Forbes.

Spectrum Awards First Prize, Residential award went to Santa Fe Design Studio for the "Fallen Leaves" fireplace designed by Eric Rattan.
Michelle Griffoul Studios won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the 2004 Spectrum Award for creativity and achievement in the use of tile in residential and commercial design. The winning project was "The Harper Pool" at a private residence in Daytona Beach, designed by Dosha Porta.

The entire pool, pool deck, pool bath and stairs were all part of the remodel, while a spa and waterfall were new construction completed at the same time. On the decorative side are 140 fish, crabs, shells, octopi and a variety of other sea life, plus a 6-foot long mermaid and a coral glaze designed specifically for the pool. All of the tiles were installed with thin-set mortar over the concrete tank prior to plastering.

First Prize, Residential went to Santa Fe Design Studio for "Fallen Leaves," a handmade tile fireplace in Minneapolis, designed by Eric Rattan. For the residence, Rattan created handmade, oxide-enhanced stoneware leaf tiles and burnished them to a deep, reddish-brown. Moss green slate was used for the floor.

Michelle Griffoul Studios won the First Prize, Commercial award for this installation at a Santa Barbara restaurant.
First Prize, Commercial was awarded to Michelle Griffoul Studios for the Harbor Restaurant and Longboard's Bar and Grill in Santa Barbara, Calif. At the entry of the restaurant, shoals of fish and other ocean life set in a blue mosaic sea welcome patrons. The motif flows through the front doors to the restaurant and a downstairs bar, and across the restroom floors. More than 50,000 handcrafted pieces of tile and 30 different glaze applications were used.

Merit winners were: Atlanta Tile and Marble Inc., Residential, for the columns at an Italian villa mansion in Sarasota, Fla.; and Mees Distributors, Commercial for "The Spirit of Baseball" murals at the new Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.