The Founding of Pewabic

decorative toile plate lot

Horace Caulkins, owner of the local kiln, harrumphed when he saw her paint. “That’s a pretty pattern, but what an ugly color.”

Mary Chase Perry dipped the brush in the delicate glaze and swept the liquid over the plate. She formed a delicate circle, close enough to perfect that few would notice any off-center bits. “You own the kilns. You should know this olive-green will become the loveliest blue when it’s fired.”

“I make teeth, ma’am. I use only white glaze, not this frilly stuff.”

Mary dipped her brush back in the pot. “Would you like to change that?”

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 95

This was written for the July 4th Carrot Ranch prompt, Keweenaw Microhistories. You can read some of the microhistories from the National Park website here. I chose to write about Mary Chase Perry because the idea of her and Horace forming their company was interesting to me. Also, if you follow the link to the kiln’s page, you can see the history of Pewabic Pottery and glean more info on how Perry founded her company.

Photo by Toa Heftiba ลžinca on

20190525_Community Hands_Instructions

25 thoughts on “The Founding of Pewabic

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      When I did research to write this flash, I found out there are quite a few places out there where people can pay some cash and get coached to make their own piece of pottery. My mom has a clock she made in the 70’s that way.

  1. Jules says:

    I had three years in high school with an art teacher and a Kiln. Then I also got into using polymer clay that you can bake in your home oven. I haven’t done any in our ‘new’ oven yet. But I’ve made beads and other small things.

    It is amazing how fire changes things. I might do a second too… but with travel (yep again) in the forecast I might not. Your link isn’t up yet at CR – you might want to post a link in the comments there. As I think with house stuff and travel for Charli she’s got quite a bit on her plate.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Yeah – I filled in the form, just haven’t gotten time to comment. I usually like to come up with a response to her post first, and this is a pretty big time for Charli so I want it to be appropriate, haha.

      • Jules says:

        I think it’s OK for more than one story on the same person. Different perspectives can be enlightening too. Glad I found your piece.

        We’ve got some local pottery places around. I haven’t done any kiln work for a long time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jackie says:

    The word “harumphed” helps shape Horace Caulkin, as does his name. Nice Characterization in a tiny space.

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