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Inside the historic building that Pewabic Pottery calls home

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Pewabic Pottery has been been handcrafting ceramics in Detroit for over a century

Michelle and Chris Gerard

In 1903, ceramic artist Mary Chase Perry and her business partner Horace James Caulkins started Pewabic Pottery in the carriage house behind the famed Ransom-Gillis House. Pewabic Pottery soon outgrew the space, and in 1907 moved into their current home in the Jefferson Corridor.

Today, the English cottage-inspired Arts and Crafts building is a historic landmark, and still produces the ceramics for Pewabic Pottery.

The house was designed by Stratton & Baldwin.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

The company has had a massive influence in Detroit. Perry (who later became Mary Chase Perry Stratton) revolutionized glazing, and her experiments have had a major impact in the world of ceramics. You can see the tiling in houses throughout the region, and in landmark buildings like the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Fisher Building, the Guardian Building, and Comerica Park.

The Pewabic Pottery building is divided into a few specific parts. The front has retail spaces—one for general items like tiles and ornaments, another gallery for studio artists, and a final one that’s a design studio for consultation on home projects.

Michelle and Chris Gerard
Michelle and Chris Gerard

In the back of the building is where the magic happens, as they say. Artisans mix clay, fire kilns, press tile, and create incredible pieces every day.

A worker hovers over a tile pattern for a fireplace.
We caught the process as one craftsman arranges the tiles according to the drawings, like a puzzle.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Upstairs, you’ll find two different spaces. One museum area has artifacts throughout Pewabic’s history, including journals from Stratton, medallions that were hidden behind walls, vases made with uranium to get a certain orange color (they're in a special case), and the kiln that was a game changer.

Pewabic Pottery Michelle & Chris Gerard

On the other side is a studio space where anyone can take classes and learn how to create their own pottery.

Michelle & Chris Gerard

The building is open for tours, classes, and shopping. It's also open for a variety of events and special occasions. Browse the gallery below to get a closer look at the historic space.


Pewabic

10125 East Jefferson Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 626-2000 Visit Website