A favorite little serving dish we bought at an art fair many years ago seemed to belong at Blue Skies, which is where it resides, and I don’t have a photo of it to show you.
It is a solid dark green, made of thick clay, and shaped like a leaf with a indentation at its center, perfect for a small scoop of whitefish dip or raw almonds. It was handcrafted by Michigan artists Mary and Tim Pritchard, who called their business Hammond Bay Studio for their location on Lake Huron north of Rogers City.
I remembered and liked their story: She grew up in Rogers City, moved away, met him, and returned to Northern Michigan to set up their studio, making art tiles and other clay objects like the leaf dish.
When I wandered into Domaci Gallery in Rogers City I had no idea that five years ago Mary and Tim had shifted their artistic focus from creating functional clay pieces and decorative tiles (except for commissioned installations) to showcasing the work of other creative souls. Mary now makes beautiful jewelry of clay and that is sold at Domaci; the gallery name means “coming back home” in Slovakian, her heritage.
Tim, who hails from the Albion area, was about to close up shop for the day when I popped in at 4:59 p.m. He let me browse while he finished up some bookwork, and as we talked I realized their connection with the beloved green dish.
He explained how they’d taken over a 1926 Johnson’s clothing store building in downtown Rogers City that had been vacant for 32 years.
After a two-phase renovation they have a beautiful open space to display a variety of objects by 55 artists, all but three from Michigan.
I made a quick tour and saw ceramics, fabric and fiber pieces, jewelry, woodworking, metal work, prints, paintings, and my favorite: lidded boxes made of legally salvaged shipwreck wood.
This is a gem of a spot in the Northeast area near the Tip of the Mitt. Try to time your visit for an artist’s opening reception; I hear they throw great gallery parties.
Visitor Info Click: Alpena, Michigan’s Advenshore