Jay and Karrie Stemmler
The life plan: Food, pottery and travel. Educated as Microbiologists. Worked and lived in Japan. Owned a Natural Food Store and flour milling operation. And now, we are full-time potters.
We like to say that Jay was an accidental pottery apprentice in Japan. Having been fortunate to live in Japan for a few years in the early 90’s as English teachers, we were eager for another opportunity to go back. Jay’s dream was to study with a Japanese potter. In 2007, we were able to return to Japan for a year. Luckily, Karrie did the teaching this time so Jay was free to pursue the pottery dream. As things sometimes happen – there he was, Mr. Owashi, pottery master, sitting in one of Karrie’s English classes the first week. Really, no kidding. Before we knew it, Jay was working and throwing pots full-time at Washyu-gama, Mr. Owashi’s studio on the side of a mountain in Kojima Japan. Karrie spent her free time honing her pottery skills in the studio as well.
On our return from Japan in 2008, we set up our own studio and got to work developing our clay bodies, our designs and our glaze combinations. Our gallery opening coincided with our 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 in our studio in Indianola.
Much of the work we now produce in our Indianola studio reflects our love of the Japanese aesthetic. We produce wheel-thrown and hand-built functional ceramic ware for your kitchen and home. We each have certain items that we make, but many of our products involve the work of both of us. We specialize in the things you’ll use everyday, such as coffee cups, teapots and tea cups, serving bowls and platters, casserole dishes and much more. Our kitchenware is fired in either an electric or gas kiln. In addition, fun is had with fire, smoke and glowing hot pots in the making of decorative Raku-fired pottery.