Sunday, February 14, 2010

Celadon Tile Company

This incredibly detailed building was created as an advertisement. It showed the many different tiles that the Celadon Tile Company could produce, which was located where McLain gym and the football field are today. This company used the terra cotta clay that was indigenous to the area to create beautifully crafted tiles. The little building which was about the size of a small shed was made just to show the many different types of tiles that the company was able to produce that ranged from purely abstract and decorative to faces and fruits. The tiles completely cover the building and are produced in various sizes and colors. Other examples of these tiles can be seen around town as decorative elements on some buildings.
These tiles serve a purely aesthetic purpose. They were created to adorn architecture with. Other tiles of this time period have a similar design. They were heavily decorated to provide an interesting sculptural addition to buildings. The tiles were produced in many different patterns. Some were abstract with circles and floral designs. Others were much more realistic with faces with flowing hair or fruit. During the 1890ís, when this company was beginning to produce the tiles there was a high demand for this type of decoration. In a time period when decorative elements served to show the wealth and status of the owner, these tiles were well designed to show this. These particular tiles were special because of their material aspect. This terra cotta was of very high quality, helping to reinforce the notion of superiority. In addition to the decorative building tiles, they also produced roofing tiles. These tiles had a unique petal shape. They were very thick and also made of the terra cotta clay.
A factory was built nearby that produced the tiles on the little show house. Clients and customers could view the pieces they wanted to purchase and then they would be produced. The factory was very large, covering over an acre of land. They were a highly popular company and began producing a very large amount of tiles. However the factory burned down in 1909 and was never rebuilt. The little house survived because it was built down the street. This tiled house has now been declared as a national landmark and resides on Main Street in Alfred where it can be still be viewed today.

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