History of Handcraft Collection

Shirley Dinkins and Frank Patitucci own Handcraft Collection, a business that primarily sells handmade decorative tiles online. Prior to this, they owned Handcraft Tile for 16 years. Here is the story.


California Pottery

We became interested in old California pottery around 1995 when we discovered the beautiful glazes used by potteries in the 1920s through the 1950s. We lived in Pleasanton, California, in an Arts & Crafts house built in 1927 and decided to use old colorful dishware in our home. We loved the vibrant glazes and graceful designs. We collected vintage pottery made by companies like Bauer, Catalina, Metlox, Pacific, Vernon, Gladding-McBean (all made in Southern California) and Garden City (made in San Jose).

Handcraft Tile – Main Street, Milpitas, California

In the summer of 1997, we were looking for handmade tile for remodeling our Craftsman home and visited Handcraft Tile in Milpitas, California. The owner, Mr. Clay Scott, was preparing to retire. He planned to close the business and sell the valuable land. We jumped at the chance to own a historic company that made such a beautiful product. In October of that year, we purchased Handcraft Tile.

Handcraft Tile was founded in 1926. It is the oldest tile manufacturer in California and one of only a handful of tile manufacturers in the United States that pre-date World War II. Handcraft Tile began as San Jose Tile, with a factory in San Jose, California. Around 1931, the company moved North to a location in unincorporated Santa Clara County and the name was changed to Handcraft Tile. This location eventually became Main Street in the city of Milpitas. The company operated out of the Main Street factory for over 73 years. That is the "old factory" shown in the following picture.

The old Main Street factory was very quaint and exuded years of tile making history.  Over the next 7 years, we focused on restoring the product line and glazes and finding the company’s niche in the marketplace, while retaining the traditions and techniques of making tile by hand.

Handcraft Tile – Yosemite Drive, Milpitas, California

In 2004, the company moved to a more modern and efficient factory only three miles away from the old factory in Milpitas. We used this event to redesign the production process to more efficiently produce the product line. 

Handcraft Tile – Livermore, California

In 2007, Malibu Ceramic Works acquired Handcraft Tile and moved the manufacturing to Long Beach, California.

Nine years later, in 2016, Shirley and Frank re-acquired Handcraft Tile and opened a showroom and a small manufacturing facility in Livermore, California. We updated the website and added the ability to sell tile online. We continued to make made-to-order tile but highlighted the concept of using Art Tiles and Vignettes with “off-the-shelf" tile.


Handcraft Collection – Watsonville, California

In 2021, ownership of Handcraft Tile was transferred to Omar Espinosa in Healdsburg, California. It was time to let a new and talented generation run Handcraft Tile. However, Frank and Shirley were not ready to completely retire from the tile business. We moved some equipment to Watsonville where we will make a limited amount of tile and sell it online. We specialize in handmade accent tiles to augment the highly manufactured tile that is prevalent today. Handmade tile adds texture and variability of color to bring warmth and beauty to a home. The tiles are especially effective when used on a fireplace, backsplash or accent wall. Importantly, we maintain a close relationship to Handcraft Tile. The decorative tiles glazed at Handcraft Collection are hand pressed at the Handcraft Tile facility.




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