Indianola art gets a Poulsbo storefront

Indi Studio owner Susan Butler shows her wares in Poulsbo. The Indianola-based artists is joined by several other local artists in the new Front Street shop. - Brad Camp/For the Herald
Indi Studio owner Susan Butler shows her wares in Poulsbo. The Indianola-based artists is joined by several other local artists in the new Front Street shop.
— image credit: Brad Camp/For the Herald

POULSBO — Susan Butler isn’t an artist limited by a single medium. Her ceramics have sold at local craft fairs and in Made in Washington stores, as has her infused glass decor.

When materials run extra, Butler tries something new. A mosaic, or a set of painted-glass house numbers. Often the experiments produce items that become popular among her patrons.

“I use everything,” Butler said.

So when customers began asking the Indianola artist which craft shows she was doing next, and where they could peruse more of her work, she calculated her options.

“Every time someone said that I thought, ‘Maybe I should have a spot,’” Butler recalled.

Now she does.

Indi Studio, 18850 Front Street, is Butler’s newest project. She and several other artists, most of them also from Indianola, have showcased their wares. Butler also relocated her studio to the shop, which opened just after Thanksgiving last year.

Along with Butler’s ceramics and glass, the shop contains handcrafted jewelry, paper luminaries, welded furniture and t-shirts.

Indianola charm designer Maggie Kunesh is selling her work out of Indi Studio. Having the shop as a place to expose customers to her work is “a huge value,” she said. Kunesh also sells through Made in Washington, a prolific northwest gift shop chain. She and Butler met through the Indianola community.

Many of the artists of Indi Studio have sold their work side-by-side at local fairs, including the Indianola Street Fair.

“When I decided to do this (studio), I thought I should invite these guys to join in,” Butler said.

She chose her storefront for its location at the heart of downtown, on the east side of the historic corridor, which unlike the west side offers cover for pedestrians in the rain. The shop allows her to deviate from the items she sells wholesale to Made in Washington.

“It sparked the idea to be able to do different things and have a place to put them,” Butler said.

Over the holidays she discovered residents return to downtown Poulsbo to appreciate locally made things.

Butler shaded her studio in greens and blues. The artwork inside it isn’t so much serious as it is fun, she said.

Each item is handmade, and is unique from the other items sold along Front Street, said Butler’s husband, Dan.

“The things that are in here are really just in here,” he said.

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