Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Masonry in Alfred, NY: The Celadon Tile Works

Alfred, NY is a small town in Allegany County, rural western New York State.  It is home to Alfred University, and Alfred University's New York State College of Ceramics.

Alfred was once the home of the Celadon Terra Cotta Company, until a fire destroyed the company and a decision was made not to rebuild the facilities.  The New York State College of Ceramics exists today largely because Alfred is the former home of the Celadon tile works.

Alfred has a clay shale, known as Alfred shale, from which the tiles produced by Celadon Company were made.  Currently Alfred shale is mined and used by Tufty Ceramics.  Karen Tufty, owner and principal of Tufty Ceramics, is a friend of mine.  She produces some great ceramic work, which can be viewed on her company website, linked just above.

Here is a cliff, which shows an exposed sedimentary layer of Alfred shale.  This is where Karen Tufty mines her clay.  It's also a fun hill that I enjoy mountain biking down. 
Here are a few pictures of the old office of the Celadon Company, located at the entrance to Alfred University.  Each picture below shows masonry made from the stuff in that sedimentary outcrop shown above: Alfred shale.  The following are all thumbnail photos, click on any image to see detail.

Tile work, decorative ceramics and brick from the Celadon Company are found on buildings, homes and garages throughout Alfred.  It is some truly beautiful work which has withstood the test of time and is a rewarding visual treat to anyone who visits Alfred and bothers to look around. 

I just love the old garage above.  Isn't it beautiful?  Only in Alfred!

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