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Former teacher opens new art studio in downtown Ferndale

September 25, 2013

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West Bloomfield resident Mary Higgins sits in her new art studio, Inspiration Uncorked Art Parties, Sept. 20 in Ferndale. Higgins is sitting next to a mannequin with a hand-dyed silk scarf that adults can make in one of the classes she offers.

FERNDALE — Mary Higgins spent 15 years teaching preschool at Kirk in the Hills in Bloomfield Hills. Her favorite activity to do with the children, she said, was getting out the art supplies and creating unique pieces of art for their families.

Art time wasn’t just popular with Higgins and her kids, but also with the parents of the students. Higgins said she heard from parents all the time who wished they could have an art class with her and make something unique.

On Oct. 4, Higgins will provide that opportunity when she officially opens Inspiration Uncorked Art Parties in Ferndale.

“I was a teacher of small children and an artist, and all of the moms said they would enjoy the same type of experience their kids were going through,” Higgins, of West Bloomfield, said. “But I thought they would love to do more than just painting, so my goal is to provide projects for just the average person who may not be artistically inclined, but who wants to come in and have fun and bring some friends.”

Inspiration Uncorked will be located at 23245 Woodward Ave. and is aimed at teaching big groups of people at one time — between 20 and 30 — something Higgins is familiar with. The choice to set up shop in Ferndale was an easy one for Higgins, but also something of an “omen,” she said.

“I own an apartment building in Ferndale, and I love the community. And the last five years, I have got to know people, and I love how the community is art-oriented and there is artwork throughout the city,” Higgins said. “When I found a building and met the landlord, I found out it was originally Higgins Pontiac and the building is called Higgins Building, so I knew I had to have this space.”

Katie Rife, who has helped Higgins with getting the word out on her new studio, said Ferndale is a logical place for a business like the one Higgins has planned, and she has no doubt Ferndale will be accepting.

“Downtown Ferndale is a hot place to be, and if you are an artist or you are looking for something art-related to do, it is the place to be,” Rife said. “There are a handful of (do-it-yourself) studios and art studios, but a lot of those places are focused on one thing, like painting a picture or painting pottery, but Mary’s passion for art is in a perfect spot, and she has a love and respect for art that she can do a lot of things.”

Higgins said she has always been drawn to art, and jewelry, in particular. While she has experience in several mediums, jewelry- making is something different than all the others.

“I like the medium; I like working in three-dimensional work, and I like doing all the details,” she said. “I started doing jewelry because of the small details and the material. It is shiny, and there are so many different types of materials from silver to copper and even gold. It is malleable, and you can do so many different things with them.”

Creating art is unlike any other experience, Higgins said, and that is why she thinks people will follow in the steps of their children and get out and experience something new.

“I think art, the experience, it is such a rewarding experience and it is just fun to be with friends … and do something that makes you feel satisfied and you enjoy,” she said. “People want to make something, take it home and be proud of it.”

For more information about Inspiration Uncorked, visit

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