Moravian Pottery and Tile Works
Just 4 miles away from Stone House Antiques Center in Doylestown, PA, you will find The Moravian Pottery & Tile Works history museum. It's owned by the County of Bucks and operated by TileWorks of Bucks County. The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Handmade tiles are still produced in a manner similar to that developed by the pottery's founder and builder, Henry Chapman Mercer. Tile designs are reissues of original designs. Mercer was a major proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement in America. He directed the work at the pottery from 1898 until his death in 1930.
Mercer generally did not affix a potters mark to tiles made while he directed the work at MPTW. Following his death, there were several marks used to indicate that a tile had originated at MPTW.
When the Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation took over the MPTW as a working museum, all tiles made by the museum were impressed on the obverse with a stylized "MOR," the words "Bucks County," and the year of manufacture (see illustration).
The reproduction tiles made today are made using Mercer's original molds, clay that is obtained locally and has properties similar to those of Mercer's original source, slips and glazes that follow Mercer's final formulations. However, some have been modified to reduce the lead and heavy metal content to less toxic levels.
The Tile Works is one of three cast-in-place concrete structures built by Mercer. The others include Fonthill, which is located on the same property and served as his home, and the Mercer Museum, located approximately one mile away.
The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works offers workshops and an apprenticeship program to teach the art of handcrafting ceramic tiles and mosaics.
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