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NEW ORLEANS NATIVE, Nicholas Hasslock, son of Tika and Steve Hasslock of Hasslock Studios, literally grew up in the local art scene. This nurtured Nick in many mediums, especially ceramics. That kind of upbringing was the perfect backdrop to provide him the backbone to carry some very important New Orleans landmarks into the future.

While working the booth of Hasslock Studios at Jazz Fest 2006, Nick was approached by a city civil engineer who was in a bit of a quandry. The engineer inquired whether Nick knew of anyone who could make the ceramic lettered tiles that spell out the names of the streets on nearly every corner in New Orleans. After not being able to refer him to anyone, Nick suggested himself and that he would be honored to give it a shot. Close to a year later, constructing giants Boh Bros., official contractors for the city, contacted and commissioned him for the job.

Over the next two years at his studio in the Marigny, Nick worked on perfecting the recipe for vitrification, the quintessential process by which clay becomes non-porous and glass-like. It was one tough and necessary challenge to give these special tiles the integrity to withstand much wear and weather. The finished product was worth the effort; these tiles are built to last.

The original tiles were made in Alhambra, Spain and installed around the 1920′s. New Orleans is proud to have one of its own to design and create the new tiles. The words on the street greet every local and are admired by every tourist. They provide an artistic sign post so folks always know where they stand. And while honoring the past, Nick Hasslock is paving the way for years to come.

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