The Stemmlers recently returned from a one year pottery apprenticeship with the Owashi family in Kojima, Japan. "We like to say Jay was an accidental pottery apprentice in Japan," admits Karrie. Having been fortunate to have lived in Japan for a few years in the early 90’s as English teachers the Stemmlers were eager for another opportunity to go back. Jay’s dream was to study with a Japanese potter. In 2007, they were able to return to Japan for a year. On this tour Karrie did the teaching so that Jay could be free to pursue his pottery dream. As things sometimes happen – there he was, Mr. Owashi, pottery master sitting in Karrie’s first English class. Soon afterwards Jay was working and throwing pots full time at the Owashi mountain studio in Kojima Japan. Karrie spent her free time working in the studio as well. They immersed themselves in the traditional, Bizen style of Japanese pottery.
Upon their return from Japan the Stemmlers "were eager to set up our own studio and get to work," says Jay. They set about to develop their clay bodies, their designs and unique glaze combinations. The opening of Indianola Pottery Studio coincided with their participation in the 2009 North Kitsap ‘Art in the Woods Studio Tour’. In addition to his own work, Jay teaches pottery at the Eagledale Pottery Studio for Bainbridge Parks and Recreation and out of thier Indianola studio.
Much of the work the Stemmlers now produce in their Indianola studio reflects their love of the Japanese aesthetic. They make wheel-thrown and hand-built functional ceramic ware for the kitchen and home. They also work with fire, smoke and glowing hot pots to make decorative Raku pottery.
Visit Indianola Pottery's website at https://sites.google.com/
# # #
West Sound Academy: an independent college preparatory school for grades 6-12 on the Kitsap Peninsula in Poulsbo, Washington, providing a rigorous academic and art curriculum and offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in grades 11-12.