News: Withee – New
Ceramic Shop (Fall 1976)
---------Source: Owen Enterprise (Owen, Clark County, Wis.) 17 Nov 1976
For several months now this fall, a new ceramic business has been in operation on the North Road in the Village of Withee. Owen and operated by Mrs. Ethel Batz, the shop is in the basement of her home.
Mrs. Batz and her husband Kenneth moved to Withee from Mercer, Wisconsin, where she had a gift shop, and taught ceramics, both private classes and adult education through the Nicolet Vo-Tech. The Batz’s have four children and ten grandchildren.
At present, Mrs. Batz is holding private classes, in the morning, afternoon, and evening, six days a week. During the second semester of Adult Education classes at the Owen-Withee High School. Mrs. Batz will have a ceramics class, which will be held in her home.
The basement, in which Mrs. Batz does her work, is filled with work in various stages of completion. The process to completion of the finished piece goes through a number of stages.
The first stage of the process is the molding stage, where “slip” or liquid clays is poured into the mold to line the mold. Then the mold must be turned and turned for the excess “slip” to drain off before it hardens. Is is left to dry in the mold for about two hours.
The mold is then taken off, and the “green work” is left to dry for about three or four days before further work can be done.
In the second stage, the green ware is cleaned with a “scribby”, and then washed out.
Now the piece is ready for the firing in the kiln. The piece can be primed and then fired. Finally the piece is glazed and then fired for the last time.
Mrs. Batz has many new molds for many different pieces from lamps and cookie jars, to chess pieces, and Christmas decorations. Green work and finished work can be purchased.
Watch for an announcement in the Owen Enterprise for an Open House, which is being planned following the Thanksgiving holidays.
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