Tuesday, July 21, 2015

MDC's All-American Road Trip: Michigan

We’re coming home to Michigan for the final leg of our month-long road trip. Michigan may be widely known for its auto manufacturing base, but our great state is also home to many companies that produce hand-crafted furnishings:

Before automobiles were flying off the assembly lines in Detroit, fine furniture was being produced in the warehouses of Grand Rapids by companies like Baker Furniture and Widdicomb Furniture Company. During the latter half of the 19th century, Grand Rapids was a major lumbering center, providing the source material necessary to become a premier manufacturing city and earn its nickname, “The Furniture City.” While many of the major players have gone out of business or moved elsewhere, there are still several manufacturers producing handcrafted fine furniture today. Kindel Furniture, who merged with Indiana-based Karges Furniture last year, has expanded again by acquiring North Carolina-based Councill Company earlier this month. Production for all three storied manufacturers will be based in Grand Rapids, bringing more manufacturing jobs to the state and keeping The Furniture City’s legacy alive.

Also based in Grand Rapids is a manufacturer brand new to MDC, Down, Inc., which will be available in the new Master Suites showroom, suite 27. They offer a large selection of down and feather bedding products, including duvet inserts, sleeping pillows, featherbeds, blankets, and many other fine bedding items.

If there’s one thing Detroiters know best, it’s making something. Art | Harrison, The Detroit Wallpaper Co., and Pewabic Pottery are prime examples, each producing quality products for the home.

Art | Harrison is a furniture collection hand-crafted in Royal Oak and is the creative offshoot of Art | Harrison Interiors, a full service design firm, offering more than 20 years’ experience from the principal designers of Arturo Sanchez and Barry Harrison. The collection features over 45 selected pieces – including seating, tables, mirrors, lighting, case goods and home accessories – each piece created from solid mahogany which can also be used outdoors.

The Detroit Wallpaper Co. was launched in 2012 by founders Andi Kubacki and Josh Young in Ferndale. They offer a collection of customizable wallpaper featuring bold, oversized patterns. Recently, they have ventured into floorcoverings, offering a collection of hand-tufted rugs that feature their unique designs. Check out this video interview with Andi talking about the origins of the company.

Pewabic Pottery has the same deep roots in Detroit history as the auto industry. Founded in 1903 at its historic home on Jefferson Avenue, the pottery studio is known for its iridescent glazes found on their collection of ceramic tile, vases, ornaments, and much more. Its product is featured in famous architecture throughout the country, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, and the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

Don’t miss your opportunity to meet two of these local artists on Thursday, July 23 during “The Craft.” Andi Kubacki, Co-founder of The Detroit Wallpaper Co., and Genevieve Sylvia, Senior Designer at Pewabic Pottery, will be part of the keynote panel discussion at 11AM, sharing insights into their craft.