Visitors Can Connect with Pewabic Through Time & Space

August 23, 2018

Any archivist or museum curator will likely tell you: Making historic artifacts tangible and interactive – particularly inherently fragile ones – can be a challenge. Take it from Kimmie Dobos, curator of the new historic exhibition, Pewabic Through Time & Space, now in the upstairs galleries through October 21.

Dobos had a mission to connect visitors with Pewabic’s rich 115-year history as an operating pottery through to its still-thriving present day.

“I wanted to pull together an exhibition a little more interactive than what we normally do to help people feel more immersed in the culture of what we do at the pottery,” Dobos explains.

She did. One visitor to Through Time & Space last weekend “particularly liked how the past story was woven to the present through the prism of past workers and contemporary pottery workers. The photographs were fun to see and the “hands-on” exhibits are an A+…. Well done! I spent over an hour, Saturday, circling the exhibit and then more time in the shop.”

Kimmie Dobos curated Pewabic Through Time & Space, in Pewabic's galleries through Oct. 21

 

Through photos and other artifacts, the exhibition offers a look back at the pottery’s last century. While certain materials have changed for safety reasons, along with kiln technology, Dobos says that many of the processes haven’t. What has, says Dobos, is the educational outreach. Pewabic’s founders certainly encouraged learning and established ceramics programs onsite and at Detroit Arts & Crafts Society, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. Pewabic today strives to provide educational components more on the local ground level.

“Our focus is to try to be more inclusive and to reach more people in our community in an impactful way,” Dobos explains.

Dobos began planning the exhibition more than a year ago, matching historic images of the founders and images from Pewabic’s middle years with current makers and other staff today. She recreated Stratton’s studio so visitors can get the feel of it, working with the Detroit Historical Museum to include an example of a style of dress Stratton would have worn in her time.

“The Detroit Historical Museum was extremely kind and very flexible,” says Dobos. “They pulled a few items they thought would be helpful and let me choose from the array.”

Ultimately Dobos hopes visitors have fun with the exhibition’s interactive components and enjoy learning more about the people behind the pottery. The makers may be different today, but their handcrafted artistry remains steeped in what mattered most to Stratton.

Pewabic cofounder Horace J. Caulkins, 1916

Executive Director Steve McBride, 2018




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

Historic Inspiration for Pewabic's Hex Paperweight
Historic Inspiration for Pewabic's Hex Paperweight

August 20, 2020 1 Comment

Our entire team was eager to reveal the newest hand-painted addition to our paperweight collection prior to the launch of this year’s 2020 Summer Catalog. The new Hex Paperweight was inspired by long-standing favorites piece from our archival collection, two glaze test hexagons.

View full article →

Inside The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer
Inside The Church of the Most Holy Redeemer

August 13, 2020 5 Comments

View full article →

Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.

June 05, 2020

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Pewabic has operated in Detroit for over a century. We recognize the inequity our Black community faces on a daily basis and we share the grief and horror following the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others.

The challenges currently facing this nation are severe and will require all of us working together to overcome. But progress will only be made when we recognize that the pain and suffering has not been equally shared. Black Lives Matter. We stand with those calling for an end to racism and injustice. We know that we have much more work to do ourselves, but we will continue our efforts to build an organization that is welcoming to and fully reflective of Detroit's diverse community.

We’ve been mostly quiet this week, listening, but we believe that art can be a powerful vehicle for understanding. In that spirit, we wanted to share some of the work being created by Kyle and Kelly Phelps, two of our favorite artists working in clay.

 

View full article →