On the occasion of the Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw exhibition, The NYHistory Store commissioned renowned ceramicist Kyle Scott Lee of Ceramic Meltdown to create an exclusive collection inspired by Thomas W. Commeraw.
As a 21st century ceramic artist known for his abstract design and colorful glaze applications, Lee was inspired by imagining if Thomas Commeraw were alive today. How would his work have transformed from the 1800’s into the 21st Century? Lee incorporated some of Commeraw’s markings and swag, inverted Commeraw’s colors, and utilized multiple focal points from top to bottom and from the center to the outer edges to bring movement to the pieces.
Crafting Freedom: The Life and Legacy of Free Black Potter Thomas W. Commeraw is the first exhibition to bring overdue attention to a skilled craftsman whose racial identity was long overlooked. Born enslaved, Commeraw rose to prominence as a free Black entrepreneur, owning and operating a successful pottery. Exhibition on view January 27 - May 28, 2023.