Batchelder tile at his home
Batchelder House (new landscaping in progress!)
Ernest Allan Batchelder (1875-1957) was a was a leading designer of the American arts and crafts movement. He had directed the Department of Arts and Crafts at Throop Polytechnic Institute in Pasadena, and written widely on the subject of design. When he left Throop in 1909, he built a kiln behind his home in Pasadena and began to produce decorative tiles. Batchelder's most popular motifs include Mayan designs, birds, foliage and geometric abstracts.
This enterprise was timely; Southern California's booming construction industry called for architectural tiles, and his products were much in demand. 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. Like many arts and crafts enterprises the firm was put out of business by the Depression; all of its assets were sold in 1932. Batchelder reverted to a home operation, later moved to a small shop in Pasadena, and continued to make pottery until the early 1950s.