Text by Cindy Smith Cooper
Nestled in an 1880s barn in the countryside of New York is the ceramic production studio of Moore-Merkowitz Tile Ltd., owned by ceramic artists Susan Moore and Neil Merkowitz.
Formerly the studio of renowned ceramic artist Robert Turner, this barn has been the origin of ceramic art for more than 70 years, preserved and enlarged by Susan and Neil for the production needs of their unique artisanal tile company.
After meeting and graduating from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, considered by many to be the finest school for both ceramic art and ceramic engineering in the world, and with a shared love of pattern and design, the two began to dream of a plan to design and manufacture tiles and start their own business. Prior to arriving in Alfred, Susan studied art in Florence, Italy, and Neil worked with numerous artists at Greenwich House Pottery, a community ceramics school in New York City.
Moore-Merkowitz Tile was founded in 1986, and the artists began the journey of developing a line of tiles, which they hand-carved and molded with their own glazes, for kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms, fireplace surrounds, and more. Now they offer 230 original tile designs in more than 150 colors. Along with using their intuitive gifts and technical knowledge, Susan and Neil study historical references, visit museums, utilize libraries, and explore natural surroundings for their design and glaze inspirations.
Their tiles have been sold through a network of the finest tile showrooms, their work has been published in numerous publications, and they have worked with homeowners, interior designers, and architects nationwide. Their designs and craftsmanship have been influential in the resurgence of artistic tile manufacturing in the United States.
Susan and Neil are excited about their newly updated website, where they show the complete breadth of their work. They are now able to reach a wider audience. Homeowners, interior designers, and architects can now see all of their original designs, glazes, and tile samples and work directly with the artists and their team to create beautiful tiled spaces.