Main Street Kansas

Color, creativity pack shelves at soulful ceramic studio in Courtland

COURTLAND, Kan. (KSNW) - An unusual business in the north Kansas town of Courtland is bringing out the artist in everyone and proving that small towns are full of surprises!

It's called "Soul Sister Ceramics," built into an old gas station dating back to 1927.

It's somewhere I remember as a kid when it was still actually a gas station," said Katie Carlgren, who grew up in Courtland. "Just one of those historic buildings that would make town a lot different if it wasn't here."

So when Shanna Lindberg and her partner-- both out-of-towners-- wanted to open a pottery shop in the vacant building, residents convinced them to restore it to its original charm.

"We have kept as many pieces from the original gas station that we could so we had the gas pumps out front," said Lindberg. "Our work table is actually the old car lift."

The outside of the shop looks so authentic that until the sign for the ceramic store went up, a few drivers pulled in for a fill-up. Instead, they found a place to recharge their own battery.

"It's just a good excuse to come hang out with your friends and do something fun," said Carlgren, a local teacher and mother of three. "Maybe a little therapeutic, too."

Customers pick out their own pottery to paint-- everything from Christmas ornaments to a wine glass or pie plate. Then they coat it with glaze to be fired in a kiln. 

No experience necessary!

"It's really fun to see," said Lindberg. "We've had two year olds to 80-year-old people painting, and it seems like everybody really gets enjoyment out of it."

And she's enjoying her first business, with backing from the locals.

"We've had lots of comments from the city and even the whole county," said Lindberg. "We've had so much support."

"Soul Sister Ceramics" hosts a lot of private parties, but you don't need a reservation. You can drop in and paint whenever you're feeling crafty!

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