Farther east along Jefferson Avenue, not far from Belle Isle, is another oasis, Pewabic Pottery (10125 E. Jefferson Ave., 313/822-0954, www.pewabic.com, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., noon–4 p.m. Sun.). Founded by Mary Chase Perry Stratton in 1903, this arts-and-crafts pottery is housed within a picturesque Tudor Revival building.
Best known for their innovative and iridescent glazes, shown to great advantage in the tiles commissioned for many of the city’s civic and residential structures, Pewabic tiles can be found in the stunning 1929 art deco Guardian Building, several downtown People Mover stations, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Now a nonprofit ceramic arts center and a living museum, Pewabic continues to produce the handcrafted vessels and architectural tiles that brought it initial fame. Visitors peer into huge, fiery kilns on a self-guided tour during business hours.
A landmark of Detroit’s arts community, the pottery is a pilgrimage for potters and ceramic artists from around the country as well as the site of popular workshops for all ages. But don’t look for the secret to the pottery’s lustrous glaze—Stratton took it to the grave, leaving her successors to carry on with only an approximation of the original formula.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel