Batchelder Tilemaker

$29.95

Ernest Batchelder’s ceramic tile-making enterprise began as a modest backyard venture in rural Pasadena, California but quickly grew to a place of prominence far beyond. New York, Minneapolis and Vancouver would soon become host to major Batchelder architectural ceramic installations. His clients ranged from restaurants to churches to highrise office buildings but perhaps the most striking installations remain the many fireplaces gracing modest American bungalows throughout the country.

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Robert Winter

Award-winning historian and author Robert W. Winter is the Arthur G. Coons Professor of the History of Ideas Emeritus at Occidental College where he chaired its History and History of Civilization programs. His many books include Hidden LA (Gibbs Smith), Toward a Simpler Way of Life: Arts and Crafts Architects of California (University of California Press), American Bungalow Style (Simon & Schuster), and the multiple editions of the seminal Guides to Architecture in Los Angeles and San Francisco (Peregrine Smith). The governor has appointed him to the California State Historic Resources Commission. A scholar of the Arts and Crafts movement, Dr. Winter has lived in Ernest Batchelder’s bungalow in Pasadena, California for 27 years.

Description

Ernest Batchelder’s ceramic tile-making enterprise began as a modest backyard venture in rural Pasadena, California but quickly grew to a place of prominence far beyond. New York, Minneapolis and Vancouver would soon become host to major Batchelder architectural ceramic installations. His clients ranged from restaurants to churches to highrise office buildings but perhaps the most striking installations remain the many fireplaces gracing modest American bungalows throughout the country.

In 1908 this enterprising young man left a prestigious teaching position to start his own school and factory with the goal of establishing a West Coast guild of craftsmen joined by the Arts and Crafts ideal of dignity in hand labor. Although an artistic idealist, Batchelder did not neglect the financial affairs of his business. By1930, the Batchelder-Wilson Company had showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco as well as representation in virtually every major city in the United States. Batchelder remained the preeminent leader of handmade tiles in the West until the Depression forced the closure of his operations in 1932.

Those among us who appreciate fine craftsmanship can imagine the glow of a crackling fire on mellow earthenware tiles while we reflect upon the principles that guided this man’s remarkable life.

Additional information

Dimensions 9 × 9 in
About

Cloth, 112 pgs, 130 color photographs, Pub Date: September 1999

ISBN

1-890449-03-2

5 reviews for Batchelder Tilemaker

  1. Avatar

    Cleota Reed Syracuse University Author, Henry Chapman Mercer and the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works

    “Robert Winter’s masterful and much-needed new book establishes Ernest Batchelder as a giant of the great age of American decorative tile making and a key figure in the history of design within the Arts and Crafts Movement.”

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    Richard Longstreth Professor of American Civilization George Washington University

    “Ernest Batchelder was a major contributor to the fresh thinking and the great creative output that made southern California one of the most important centers of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the United States. Along with Henry Mercer, he was a leader in tile manufacturing, with both national practice and reputation. Until now, however, he has eluded the scholarly treatment he deserves.”

  3. Avatar

    Joseph A. Taylor, Tile Heritage Foundation

    “The importance of Ernest Batchelder as an Arts and Crafts tilemaker cannot be overstated. For his innovation in design, his entrepreneurial spirit, his living his life true to the principles that he espoused, he is a man to be admired by all generations.”

  4. Avatar

    Sue Schechter, Chair, California State Historical Resources Commission

    “Ernest Batchelder is representation of the many talented individuals who were drawn to Pasadena and the Arroyo Seco at the turn of the century. In this book Robert Winter has captured his independent spirit.”

  5. Avatar

    Edward R. Bosley, James N. Gamble Director, The Gamble House, Pasadena, California

    “This first comprehensive look at Ernest Batchelder’s successful tile-making enterprise is long overdue. Batchelder’s essays on Arts and Crafts design theory reached a national audience in his time, and continue to inform the contemporary revival of the movement today. Dr. Winter brings careful scholarship, lively writing, and a long-nurtured passion to his subject.”

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