Joshua Nordstrom is no stranger to change, as he tells me about his lifelong journey to pursue what he is truly passionate about — tilework. “With a creative mindset, over the years, I have managed to sell my clients not only on traditional tilework, but also on my mosaics,” explained the Battle Ground, WA native, who currently owns Tierra Tile, LLC in Homer, AK. “It has not been an easy task. I am offering a service that is basically totally new to the industry and that no others are doing. As an artist trying to make a name for myself, I have found that many times I have just about had to give away my work to gain the knowledge and recognition needed to further my career. There were definitely times when I was frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel and find a ‘real’ job, but with the wisdom, patience and encouragement from my wife, I am happy to have stuck it out.”
With a main focus on art and pottery classes in high school, Nordstrom acquired his first kiln at the young age of 17. Shortly after, a friend tasked him with creating tiles for a new apartment he was building, which kick-started his tiling career. “I was eager to take on the challenge of making tiles from scratch since I had never tried it before,” said Nordstrom. “At that point, I was just making sculptures and whatnot. Being in the construction industry, I saw the potential in handcrafting ceramic tiles for peoples’ homes. I had not done any tiling at that time. I was siding houses and found myself unhappy with the siding trade.