Sister and brother, Deb King and Chris King, have been taking classes together in the Pewabic Pottery Education Studio for several years. Just like their studio practice, they collaborate about their experience as ceramic artists and educator. Deb and Chris co-author their post.
Chris and I appreciate the enduring historical importance of Pewabic Pottery and it’s exceptional work. We only became aware its ceramic arts classes a few years ago. We both have long-standing interests in cultural and artistic activities. So, classes at Pewabic were a natural fit for us. Taking classes at Pewabic has been a completely rewarding experience! It is such a joy to sit side-by-side at potter’s wheels throwing vessels. We motivate and critique one another, and Chris and I are each other’s biggest fans.
Pewabic Pottery’s Education Studio is an inspiring place where anyone can learn the ceramic craft in a community studio. The studio is a relaxing forum for serious and casual students to develop technical and creative skills. The various classes are greatly enhanced by the educators – Pewabic teachers are all local working artists. Working with, watching and sharing ideas with students and potters of all skill levels helps spur personal evaluations and critical views of our own work. There’s a great sense of community in the studio and we’ve received plenty of support from both studiomates and teachers alike.
While our individual practices and aesthetics are different, Chris and I share a deep love of beauty, form and harmony. In ceramics, the end result is always surprising. Your final product from the kiln may not always be what you expected… but somewhere along the process, there’s that point of understanding… an AHA! moment that is deeply satisfying. Kiln openings are exciting. There is a particular glaze application that you find especially attractive, a form that has a lovely balance or a project you’ve been watching someone complete. There is also the anticipation of seeing your finished work and the deep sense of satisfaction holding a pot you made, especially if you’re lucky enough to like it!
Now, after taking many classes, Chris has taken on the role of teacher. He has taught in Pewabic’s outreach program at Detroit Public School’s Mason Elementary and led this past August’s session of Pewabic’s Teen Wheel Throwing Camp. It’s gratifying for both of us that Chris is able to share some of the same lessons we’ve learned together with his students – perseverance, discipline and an appreciation of personal aesthetics. These are gifts that his students, along with the rest of us, can relate to in our everyday lives.
Deb King & Chris King
Classes are offered through the Pewabic Pottery Education Studio year round.