Detours: The Call of the Tile

By Kate Grip Denon | |

Ken Besheer’s fascination with tile began 37 years ago when he was stationed in Brazil with the U.S. Air Force.


Ken Besheer’s fascination with tile began 37 years ago when he was stationed in Brazil with the U.S. Air Force. “This beautiful tile was everywhere,” he says. “I hadn’t seen anything like it back home.”

After seeing all the tile available in Brazil, Ken taught himself the art of tile-making through experimentation, and he and his wife, Jacqui, started their handmade tile operation, Besheer Art Tile, in Hudson, New Hampshire. “We design and develop all of the enamels,” says Ken. “And all of the tiles are painted by hand and then fired in our kiln.”

More than 300 styles of tile can be found on the Besheer web site, including Victorian, historic and animal designs, as well as nature and country scenes. While their tiles can be used as wall hangings or as trivets, Ken says many customers use them on kitchen backsplashes, in countertops and around fireplaces.

Although the Besheer studio is not open to the public, customers can buy any of the tiles online or at local stores, including the Museum Shop at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Keep an eye out for Besheer tiles at the U.S. Capitol Building and the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. “We were commissioned to create a panda bear and baby image for the National Zoo, and reproductions of Minton tiles from the 1850s-1860s for the Capitol,” Ken says.

>> For more information, call 888-307-8308 or visit www.besheerarttile.com.