Tile Festival – May 14 and 15, 2016 –

I spent the weekend at the Tile Festival at the Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. The weather was blustery with rain passing through at times – we were wearing our winter coats. But the show was as pleasant to attend as always. Here are the tents set up next to the tile works.

Tile fest 2016 -1- small

And here is a view of the interior of my tent, before the show started.

Tile fest 2016 -5-small

A few pictures of my work on my display.

And the show with shoppers!

I so enjoy seeing the other vendors in this show. Many of them I have gotten to know over the years, and I always like to catch up. And, I always see new work and new faces as well. It’s really easy to become inspired in this atmosphere.

There is also a regular set of customers who attend the show each year. I enjoy showing them my new work and seeing what they think of it. Plus, once again, in many cases, I have gotten to know these repeat buyers a little and we have some nice conversations, about art and a lot of other things. It’s the kind of show where the artist really feels supported.


I also took some pictures of the Moravian Tile Works and Fonthill, two of the buildings created by Henry Chapman Mercer. I will not go too far into the history of them, since there are plenty of sources, but it’s worth reading up on this interesting man and his ideas. In looking at this pictures, what you need to know is that he wanted to protect and preserve processes or information about processes that were dying away as things became more industrialized – and that he didn’t mind trying things out for himself.

At the tile works, he developed clays and molds to make tiles that continues to this day; the same designs are available and being produced. Mercer tiles are in all kinds of buildings – one of the most notable collections being the Pennsylvania State Capitol building.

I walked over to the Tile Works building – a couple of doors were propped open and here’s what I saw:

The Tile Works building as well as Fonthill, Mercer’s home, are concrete buildings, poured in place. The Tile Works is a pretty straightforward looking place.

Fonthill is another matter. It is a short walk away from the Tile Works and looks out over a lovely green meadow.

And here is the building itself.

Quite a place, right? Tours are given; I’ve been several times. It’s impossible to describe. All I’ll say is, if you are in Doylestown, PA, it would be a shame to miss this complex. And if you are here in May, maybe you’ll happen upon the Tile Festival, too?

15 thoughts on “Tile Festival – May 14 and 15, 2016 –

  1. We’ve been meaning to visit those Doylestown sites since we moved here, looking for an opportunity when we don’t have to drag the kids along and pester them into engaging. We really must create an opportunity.

    The tile show looks great and it must be lovely to meet up with familiar people and hopefully meet new ones too. Your tiles look fabulous in the frames.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the kids would like the Fonthill site but not the regular tour – it’s long and not full of what they are interested in. But — they do some specialty tours, I think Halloween might be one, and sometimes they have ones where you can look around more on your own. Not all the time but sometimes. Look over the website and or call and they could tell you. Because the kids will love this place and you will too.

      I like the tiles in the frames. We found a very reasonable source for them and I am happy I went that route. It helps people see them as “art”.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic post–wish I could have been there. I had no clue about Doylestown, PA, will have to look into it. We could go to Fonthill and feel like we were at Downton Abbey! And your art works looks great all together. N.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there is also the Mercer Museum, about a mile away, same kind of thing, part of the Mercer legacy. Plenty of good restaurants within walking or less than 5 minute drive. One hint. Do not go when the weather is cold, like wintery cold. Because these buildings are COLD in the winter. Just saying.


    1. Yes, these sites are all within 1 mile of each other and Doylestown has plenty of places to eat, etc. And it’s not the kind of thing you see at every turnpike stop, is it?


  3. That certainly looks like an intriguing building plus what a fabulous and meaningful place to have a tile festival. Of course, a natural fit. The right backdrop can only enhance both the festival and the historic place and attract more visitors too!!


    1. Yes, it’s just perfect. The connection with the Moravian Tile Works reminds me every year how I am part of a tile-making tradition even if my work is nothing like what they make there. And it makes a great day for tile-lovers because they can come to the show and also tour the Works. Plus, these buildings are just eye-opening in of themselves – like crazy castles.


      1. Yes, it’s good when you feel your working on a continuum and not just in isolation. I think you get more satisfaction from knowing that fact even if you decide to be different and develop or subvert the standard processes.


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