K & B Ceremics
07/01/2011 - By Gayle Irwin
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Creativity and energy combine to produce beauty and to help one deal with emotions at times. That is the back-story of K&B Ceramics, formerly Mouse Nest. Owner Kathy Street was involved in a car accident 11 years ago, and ceramics helped her deal with the emotions she experienced afterwards.
"I was looking for something to do, to take my mind of it," she said. "Ceramics is a great stress reliever."
The business began as a partnership with her father and sister. Now, Kathy and her husband, Bill, own the shop; therefore the 'K&B' for the business' name.
Located on Legion Lane behind Kmart, K&B Ceramics is "a traditional ceramic shop," Kathy explained. She not only holds classes but also sells green ware and bisk ware, from bridal plates and Christmas Santas to moose, bear, frogs and other creatures for the yard and garden.
Kathy also helps the disabled explore their creativity. She teaches people from NowCap, I-Reach, and I-O (Independent Opportunities); she also works with Kelly Walsh High School's ABLE program.
"It's a rewarding experience," she said. "I love watching people's faces when they create something."
Her classes, including those open to the general public, are most often held in the evening. From September to May she has a Saturday class. Also, people can come in to paint their pieces during her daytime hours of operation, which are generally 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"When I don't have a class, my classroom is open," she said.
She teaches people the entire process, including cleaning and painting the pieces.
"You do it all," she stated.
Kathy cautioned those who may be impatient to see their creative works in 24 hours or less.
"It doesn't happen just like that," she said, snapping her fingers.
Her customers are not just Casperites. She services people from around the state and beyond.
"They come from all over," she said. "When you're into ceramics, you look up the stores (in a community) and go check things out, see what they have."
Many of those who participate in her classes enter their creations in the county fair – and win.
"Lots of my participants win ribbons at the fair," she said. "I get a lot of satisfaction watching someone who's never painted before, someone who says, 'I could never do that', and then see what they create. You can give everyone the same piece and you'll get something different from each one."
Kathy usually participates in the Sunrise Center Craft Show, however, due to health issues, she was unable to do so last year. She hopes to have a table this year.
Additionally, Kathy hosts birthday and bridal parties at her shop. She enjoys teaching both youth and adults – there is no age minimum or maximum, she said. Moose, bears, frogs, monkeys and snowmen are the most popular items right now, Kathy said. Christmas pieces are also popular and not just during the holiday time, she added.
For more information on K&B Ceramics, Kathy's products and classes, contact her at 258-5536.