Emily Kiewel

Tombo Studio

After receiving my bachelor's degree I had the opportunity to live in Japan. While there I had the good fortune to be instructed in the Japanese tradition of making pots. This was my most formative training. My Sensei is a third generation production potter and was generous enough to teach me some of his craft. The training was rigorous. Often, a day would consist of forming a single shape hundreds of times over. Each was recycled until a perfect item was created.


The techniques I learned are over 2000 years old which includes making my own tools for each piece in my repertoire. One of these is a "tombo" which is made from bamboo. It is used like a caliper and measures the depth and width of the pot to keep the size consistent. Tombo means dragonfly in Japanese. This is the inspiration for my business name.


I fire in a gas kiln to 2350º F (about 1250º C) which makes my pots and glazes strong and waterproof. My work is made to be used in the home so I use no lead or other harmful metals. All my work is completely food safe.