Mike Caemmerer’s roots go deep at the Grünewald Guild in Plain. That is because he literally helped build the Christian artists’ retreat with his co-founder parents. He learned to throw pots there as well, under the tutelage of Empty Bowls potter Dawn Kranz. While Mike’s chosen career path is teaching and theatrical production, ceramics is a strong avocation.
For many years he taught raku workshops at the Guild. But then life took him overseas, mostly recently to India where he spent fifteen years teaching at the American Embassy School in Delhi. Throwing pots was very challenging in India—the available clay is a heavy terra cotta with large chunks in it. So Mike put his potting on hold. Now he finds himself back in the United States, pondering what is next for his career. But in the meantime he is relishing the opportunity to throw pottery again.
When asked about his support of potting for Empty Bowls, Mike said, “I love the whole concept of an interactive charitable project. The organizations that benefit are one thing. But people don’t just buy something, rather they participate in the process of creating it. Seeing food going into an empty bowl that you hold in your hands is a reminder of how fortunate we are.”