Moravian Tile Fireplace

Private Residence, Bryn Mawr, PA



He founded the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works, located in Doylestown, PA, producing handmade decorative tiles and pottery using traditional methods. Mercer’s tiles are beautiful and utilitarian, and demand for them grew as they were commissioned for buildings across the country.

In this private Bryn Mawr, PA residence scenes and characters from Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle operas inspired this 1920s custom-designed fireplace surround. Forty years later, the entire tableaux was painted over by an overzealous decorator using an extremely tenacious paint.

After extensive research and testing, a combination of chemical and mechanical methods were used to remove the paint without compromising the underlying polychromatic unglazed tiles. Any remaining residue was inpainted to match the original color. Cracks were repaired and Mercer’s masterpiece was restored.

Sukari Keetin