A favorite little serving dish we bought at an art fair many years ago is dark green, made of thick clay, and shaped like a leaf with a indentation at its center—perfect for a scoop of whitefish dip or a mix of nuts to nibble.
It was handcrafted by Michigan artists Mary and Tim Pritchard, who called their business Hammond Bay Studio for their location in the northeast near Rogers City, known as The Nautical City on the Lake Huron shore near the Tip of the Mitt.
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 Art Gallery in Rogers City I had no idea that Mary and Tim had shifted their artistic focus from creating functional clay pieces and decorative tiles 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 paperwork, and as we talked I realized their connection with the beloved green dish.
He explained how they’d taken over the 1926 Johnson’s clothing store building in downtown Rogers City, and that it had been vacant for 32 years.
After a two-phase renovation they’ve created a beautiful open space to display a variety of objects by 55 artists, all but a few 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 Rogers City. Be sure to allow plenty of time to browse, and if you can, schedule your visit when there’s an artist’s opening reception; I hear they throw great gallery parties.
169 N. Third St., Rogers City, Michigan
Closed on Sundays
Area B on map