After 110 years, few conversations about art and Detroit happen without mention of Pewabic Pottery. Much like Corrado Parducci post this week I am here to tell you about another party celebrating art in Detroit. This party is for Pewabic Pottery’s 110th birthday as Michigan’s only historic pottery.
The party is Saturday, March 16 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the historic Pewabic Pottery location at 10125 E Jefferson Ave. in Detroit. There will be demonstrations, birthday cake and refreshments plus door prizes will be given away every hour. I am sure they will be fabulous.
I have loved Pewabic Pottery since I first found out about it as a child. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to collect decorative tiles. My collection is small, but each piece holds a special memory. This past weekend I had the chance to visit the Pewabic House and I wanted to buy every single piece I saw … especially the green turtle statue.
Even if you have never heard of Pewabic Pottery, there is a high likelihood that you have seen it around the region.
Have you ever been to the Belle Isle Aquarium? The green tile is Pewabic. The beautiful tile work on the Guardian Building is Pewabic. Lots of homes in the region have Pewabic pottery in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and as artwork.
The pottery is not just a Detroit thing. It is also known throughout the United States. You’ll find it across the country in places like Washington D.C., New York, Chicago and Nebraska.
Pewabic was started in 1903 by Mary Chase Perry Stratton and Horace Caulkins, who were neighbors on West Adams Street. Stratton was a china painter and knew about kilns. Caulkins had invented the Revelation Kiln, which was able to provide high heat and was portable. Although the Revelation Kilns were originally used to supply dentists with dentures, they soon found use within the arts and crafts movement.
Eventually Stratton decided to take her career to the next level and she and Caulkins set up a studio. Before she started making the tiles we all know, Stratton focused on making bowls, vases and jars. She decided to move into the architectural field by producing the tiles we all know and love. Each one is unique. There are no two alike.
As business picked up Stratton and Caulkins had Pewabic Pottery’s current home on East Jefferson built. Today it continues to produce tiles and other pieces of art and is also a place where adults and children can take classes in the ceramic arts.
Come out to the birthday party and check out all of the wonderful pieces available for purchase. You can also take one of the guided tours of the fabrication studio where the magic happens at 11:00 am, 12:30 pm, and 2:00 pm that day.
Pewabic Pottery’s beautiful, historic location is on the east side of the city at 10125 E. Jefferson Avenue Detroit, MI 48214.