As you may know, I’m a fan of Henry Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. I often drove by when i was younger wondering what that amazing concrete building was with all the decorative chimneys. My wife took me to the Tile works festival one year for my birthday and i was able to get a tour of the Tile Works and Mercer’s home, Fonthill Castle. I was amazed. The architecture alone was so raw, yet complex with all of the arches and vaulted ceilings. The hand made tiles were so vibrant and unique. It is the most creative collaboration of architecture, masonry, and art. Not only is the design amazing, but the men who hand mixed the concrete to build the place are equally amazing. It is a true labor of love.
Since then I’ve taken a few workshops at the Tile Works. I see the tile work incorporated into masonry work all over, and I’m very interested in progressing Mercer’s arts and crafts movement through some of my special projects. Here’s a few pictures of my last visit where I learned all the basic Moravian tile production techniques. It was a three day workshop with tons of info, and hands on.
Thanks for following, and check out the Moravian Pottery Link on my page to find out more!
Jon sitting in front of a to story bee hive kiln.
Vaulted ceilings are everywhere in this building.
Dome arches and pillars in the basement hold the Tile Works up, and offer a great room to store clay from Lake Towhee.
Master ceramist Adam giving a tour. Adam is well deserving of his title.
Mercers earliest tiles were imprinted from cast iron stoves.
Coal fired kiln
My favorite “russian stove”.
Extremely detailed, life size plaster molds.
Producing master plaster molds.
A mosaic I’m working on
“quarry tile” molds and cutters. Very popular for back splashes, fireplaces, and flooring.
Showing glazing techniques.
Ceramist Eric demonstrating mosaic production.
These, and other tile mosaics are placed throughout the tile works.
Demonstrating tile production taken from a master mold.
Ceramist demonstrating consistency levels of mortar used to back the tile mosaics.
Another brick kiln
Jesse demonstrating quarry tile production.
Another imprint from a cast iron stove, one of Mercers original works.
Demonstrating different glazing techniques.
Hanging clay out to dry before kiln firing.