Ernest Batchelder was a local tile manufacturer in the San Gabriel Valley. His tiles where used extensively in Craftsman homes that accentuated the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century. Earnest Batchelder had a studio on Arroyo Blvd. in Pasadena before moving to Los Angeles as his business grew.
He featured nature scenes in his hand made tiles and accents. He is famous for his fireplace mantels that are featured today in some of the most beautiful Craftsman homes in the area.
The clay tiles where handmade and air dried. The subtle colorations in his tiles where accomplished by using multiple layers of mineral stains applied with small sponges. After a month of outdoor drying while birds would often land on the tiles giving them minor indents the tiles where kin fired at 2000 degrees to fuse the colors and make the tiles extremely durable.
Original Batchelder tiles are quite valuable. Common 4” square field tile often fetch $40 each. The decorative freezes often go for several hundred dollars. If you are not lucky enough to live in a home with a Batcheler Fireplace there are reproduction tiles available. They are made the same way and reproduce the same beauty that Ernest Batchelder captured some one hundred years ago.