Batchelder Tile Co.

Ernest A. Batchelder, 1875-1957, was a leading Arts and Crafts movement tile maker during the 1920s.  Many of his fireplaces and tiles can be found in homes around Los Angeles, including Hancock Park. Batchelder’s favorite motifs to incorporate into his tiles were Mayan designs, birds, foliage and geometric abstracts.

Mr. Batchelder founded Batchelder Tiles in his home in Pasadena in1909. He moved twice due to expansion, with his largest business site occupying six acres in Los Angeles. Batchelder’s products earned a gold medal at the 1915 San Diego Exposition. One of Batchelder’s last and largest projects was the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, Pennsylvania, built by the famous chocolate manufacturer in 1930. Like many arts and crafts enterprises the firm was put out of business by the Depression; all of its assets were sold in 1932.

Mr. Batchelder studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Birmingham, England, and also taught at the Harvard Summer School of Design, organized the Handicraft Guild in Minneapolis, and directed the department of arts and crafts at Throop Poly- technic Institute in Pasadena.

Mr. Batchelder published Principles of Design in 1904 and his numerous articles for The Craftsman were compiled as the book Design in Theory and Practice in 1910.

A Quote from Batchelder Tile’s 1924 Fireplace Mantel Catalog:

“The Fireplace- the place where the fire burns,- suggests at once a place of comfort, of cheer, of friends, of books. In a peculiar and intimate sense it is the center of the home. The mantel serves to unite the homely utility of fire, soot and ashes with a form, color and texture designed to bring the fireplace into harmonious relation with the decorative scheme of the room. The mantel becomes at once the focal point of interest; one can afford to devote thoughtful attention to its design. It should possess a distinctive character of its own sufficient to assert itself, but withal should not be unduly conspicuous. It should have a “built in” appearance as if it were an inevitable part of its environment.”

7 tons of vintage Batchelder tile were discovered and restored and are being sold, the tiles are available here:

http://www.batcheldertile.com/

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http://www.tilenut.com/Batchelder/Batchsynopsis.html

http://www.tilenut.com/Batchelder/FireplaceMantles/index.htm

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