When looking for holiday gifts this year, Iron Ivy is the perfect place to shop. This local business is full of antique and vintage items ranging from feathered hats and sequined purses, dinnerware and china, toolboxes and crates with classic logos to furniture and lamps. They also carry a great selection of made-in-Michigan products handcrafted by 20 metro Detroit artists.
The owners of Iron Ivy are Jim and Donna Jalosky. Married for 39 years, they have always collected antiques. Jim knew how to weld from working in a collision shop and, when he taught Donna, these skills soon translated into art.
From bugs a few inches tall to giant 6-foot birds, Jim and Donna produce sculptures made from upcycled metal. This means that they turn anything and everything into art. Shovel heads are crafted into faces, dogs are constructed from tool boxes and watering cans and ostrich-type birds have buckets for bodies. Each is a one-of-a-kind, whimsical piece.
As a hobby, Jim and Donna started welding out of their garage in 1998. When they outgrew their space, they moved into a workshop on 9 Mile. In 2011, they landed in their present location on Gratiot near 10 Mile in Eastpointe. They live in Warren and really enjoy working close to home. They would like to see the area grow into a strip of specialty shops, making it an artistic destination on the eastside.
They worked for three years to renovate the current facility, adding artistic touches wherever possible. A tile mosaic stream cuts a serpentine path along a portion of the floor. It incorporates tumbling stones found in a decaying rural building and features fish comprised of broken pottery from a vendor at Eastern Market. They also added large windows facing Gratiot.
Iron Ivy artwork is sprinkled throughout Eastpointe. The public art can be found in the median in front of the store (Gratiot and 10 Mile), in the garden in front of Andary’s Family Grill and adorning the walls inside (Gratiot and Semrau Avenue), at the entrance of the Urban Seed Community Garden (9 Mile and Pleasant Avenue) and in the city manager’s office in city hall (Gratiot and Aurora Avenue).
In addition to Jim and Donna’s metal creations, interspersed throughout the store are handmade items by other local artists including jewelry, fused-glass pieces, photography and pottery from two local potters with 30 years of experience. There are items made out of license plates, framed word art made from photographs and collages.
One artist recovers discarded bricks from Detroit onto which he transposes photographs. Another artist sews pieces of fabric from old jackets into purses and transforms the comfort and warmth of sweaters into stylish gloves.
Iron Ivy offers a wide array of trinkets, accessories, home goods and art. Just in time for the holiday, they are stocking their shelves with vintage Christmas items, including ornaments. Shop local this year and walk away with some truly special gifts.
24935 Gratiot Avenue, Eastpointe 48021
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed Monday and Friday
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.