It’s a sight thousands of visitors know well….The flocked Christmas tree adorned with dazzling teardrop shaped ornaments in shades of pinks and purples - the very ornaments that Eleanor Ford used to decorate a tree beginning in the 1950s. It stands majestically in the grand hallway and greets guests each year as they enter the historic Grosse Pointe Shores estate to embark on a journey back to look at the sights and sounds of earlier Christmas traditions.
Visitors to Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (Ford House) can now take a piece of this illustrious tree home with them. More than 60 years after Eleanor Ford commissioned the development of these miniature works of art, Ford House has recreated the ornaments and is offering a limited number for sale in the Gaukler Pointe Gift Shop.
The ornaments were created for a gala that Eleanor hosted in honor of a Modernism exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She and her design team transformed her home’s grand Gallery from the look of an English baronial hall to a sleek, modern wonderland, complete with white shag carpeting and the towering flocked tree. Since the unique ornaments were not available commercially, she engaged the talents of glass blowers at the Ford Rouge Plant to fashion them.
Like the originals that inspired their creation, the new ornaments are each hand blown, offering a one-of-a-kind treasure. They are available for purchase exclusively at Gaukler Pointe Gift Shop [Gaulker Pointe] at Ford House for $29.
Another new piece of Ford House history available this holiday season are two nursery rhyme tiles. Ford House commissioned Pewabic Pottery to create two tiles that feature the designs from the estate’s historic Play House. The stone art on the Play House’s exterior was created by famed architectural sculptor Corrado Parducci, who is known for his work on such Detroit icons as the Guardian Building and Masonic Temple.
After 3-D scanning of the Play House was completed for preservation purposes, the Ford House team realized there was a new opportunity to share these unique works of art.
“The Play House is nearly 80 years old and the stone carvings have shown signs of deterioration, so we began the process of detailed three dimensional scanning to preserve the amazing detail that still remains,” said Kathleen Mullins, president of Ford House. “Following the scanning process we realized we had a blueprint for developing and sharing the art in new and interesting ways. The artisans at Pewabic Pottery did a beautiful job in the development.”
The tiles are available with two nursery rhymes – Mary Mary Quite Contrary and Banbury Cross, each in two different Pewabic glazes. They retail for $40 at Gaulker Pointe.
From books to art to exclusive Ford House memorabilia, Gaukler Pointe offers an array of unique gifts for both children and adults. Ford House memberships also make great gifts - annual membership packages start at $25 and allow exclusive access and discounts to numerous events throughout the year.
The shop is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5p.m. and Sundays noon – 5 p.m.
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is located at 1100 Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe Shores. Since 1978,
Ford House has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to share in Eleanor
Ford’s vision of preserving the estate for future generations to enjoy through
interpretive tours, family activities, lectures, exhibits and gardens and
grounds events. For more information, visit www.fordhouse.org or call 313.884.4222.