Yes, it is time for this event once again – a whole show devoted only to tiles and tile work. It’s a favorite of mine, and I’ve posted about it over several years – if you search this blog (use the term tile festival) you’ll get a flavor of what it is about.
You can easily spend the whole day here – there is a wide variety of work to look at. And – the show is held under large tents, so weather is not a factor.
If you are in the neighborhood of Doylestown, PA, stop in and see me!
We spent the past weekend at the Tile Festival on the grounds of Fonthill/Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. Held every year, this show celebrates tiles. All kinds, but only tiles!
For information on the site, you can look up Henry Chapman Mercer on your own, but as a quick bit of background, he is the man who built the concrete house (Fonthill) and established the tile works. His life was dedicated to several things, among them being the preservation of implements and objects of pre-industrial everyday life, and making tiles. The tile works continues to produce tiles according to his designs and in a handmade manner. The house is Mercer’s interests all in one place. Both are open for tours and are worth seeing if you are ever in the area.
So you can see why the Tile Festival is held at this location. It’s an annual event and draws a devoted crowd of people who appreciate and like and love tiles! As a tile artist, it means a lot to me to have the appreciation I get for my work at this show. And I also am honored to be part of the group of tile artists in this show.
OK, I’ll get to the actual event. We set up on Friday afternoon, a blazing hot day. By Saturday morning, though, the weather had turned chilly and rainy.
We were able to come in and relax until the show started, but others were setting up.
Here are Joe (in the booth) and Sheila of the Tile Heritage Foundation. This organization is dedicated to research and preservation of ceramic and tile surface. I enjoy talking to them each year.
In the next picture, you see what art shows run on – coffee and dougnuts. And it’s great when the show organizers have some ready for you. This show also puts on a dinner for all the tile artists on Saturday night. We sit outside the tile works building and socialize. It is a great chance to talk to people – not something you get to do much of during the show, when we’re all busy.
Our tables were set in the middle of the second tent. I’ve had this same space for several years and I love it.
Some of my neighbors’ work:
On Sunday, the weather was still cool but the sky had turned a lovely blue.
I checked out the silent auction at the entrance gate: planters made by various artists in the show. I saw several I’d be happy to take home…
The show was very busy for me. Over the years, I have built up a group of people who look for me and my work; people come to this show year after year and they develop their favorites. As for me, the same thing happens. I have formed personal attachments to many customers and there was a lot of hugging and catching up on things. Several friends also stopped by.
I reflected on this aspect of doing shows – the bonds that form with people. Not only customers who become acquaintances or friends, but also with the other artists. As we were getting ready to leave after packing up, we made the rounds of our neighbors, wishing them a safe journey home, reminding each other that we will meet here again in one year and hoping that the intervening months will be good ones. I have sold tiles in my booth surrounded by familiar faces at this show now for some years and as one artist said, we are like a family.
Nice idea. Have a family reunion and sell tiles. That is what we do here at the Tile Fest!
It’s May, and that means it’s time for the annual Tile Festival held at the Moravian Tile Works in Doylestown, PA.
If you wonder what the show is all about, take a look at last year’s roundup here.
If you like tiles of any kind, this is the place for you. It’s also a very comfortable environment for a show – it’s held in large tents, so that no matter what the weather is, you can be comfortable while you look around.
The show card tells it all! If you are in the area I hope to see you. My booth is in the second tent, in the middle of the space.
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.
And here is a view of the interior of my tent, before the show started.
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?
Next Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, I’ll be exhibiting at the Tile Festival at the Moravian Tile Works, Doylestown, PA.
I’ve done the show for several years and if you like tiles, this is the place to go – the show is totally devoted to tiles. Just tiles.
I’ll have my relief tile work on view as well as what I’ve been doing lately, colorful images on 6″ x 6″ tiles.
Another thing – the entire show is held under large tents. Weather is of no consequence – you’ll be comfortable no matter what the skies bring us.
In addition to the Moravian Tile Works, Fonthill, the home of tiles works founder Henry Chapman Mercer, is only a few steps away and a tour of that building is worth doing. Doylestown is also home to the Mercer Museum, another of Henry Chapman’s contributions; the Michener Museum; and a lot of good restaurants and shops. It’s easy to make a day or two outing here.