Chrys Bonnay-Lewis, the director of programs at Pewabic in Detroit, is determined that the organization be known not only for its historical roots as one of city’s oldest businesses, and not only for its unusual glazes, which have made Pewabic tiles a local sign of interior design distinction. Bonnay-Lewis hopes Pewabic will also be recognized for promoting and advancing ceramics as a contemporary art medium.
Pewabic is one of 70 finalists in the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit, seeking funding to create a portable ceramics lab. The idea is to take a movable kiln to neighborhoods around the city, enabling participants to create raku pots on their own turf. This is an ambitious outward extension of Pewabic’s Education Studio, which recently hosted a guest artist workshop on Sept. 19. The event featured artist and Michigan State University Associate Ceramics Professor Blake J. Williams, who demonstrated the traditional flower hand-molding techniques she learned in China.