Keimigs combine faith, quality product to build thriving pottery business
Jaxon and Shirley Keimig, owners of Glazing Grace Stoneware, know running a successful pottery business requires more than just knowing how to make pottery. The rural Butler County couple have combined a high-quality product line, sound business skills and their strong faith to become a well known artisan company.
The couple’s dedication to their faith is central to their lives and business.
Shirley was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2006 and has been in remission since 2008. She lost a son, who was also a cancer survivor, in a fatal car crash. Despite her trials and loss, she now helps others who mourn to still have hope – to find grace and peace.
Jaxon was introduced to pottery by his high school ceramics teacher and made pottery in his spare time while working a full time job. He attended some classes at the Wichita Center for the Arts and during that time, he met and married Shirley.
“God brought us together. We married in 2005. Shirley has been in remission since 2008 and I’m retired now. I’m blessed to be able to spend quality time with her,” Jaxon said.
He advises they’re both busier now than when they were working full time jobs. He credits Shirley with being the “CEO, CFO and PR person,” while he concentrates on the stoneware.
Their business provides them the opportunity to meet lots of different people. They love to travel to craft shows, fairs and events to sell their wares.
“We take the pottery to lots of craft shows around the entire area and surrounding states. We’ve been able to develop many friendships. And we love to travel, so it has been a blessing,” Shirley said.
Jaxon also enjoys teaching classes and has taught a number of home school student groups.
“I love teaching students of all ages, but it’s great when a young person begins in pottery and the process starts clicking for them and you watch their creativity emerge,” he added. “It’s lots of fun to see that happen.”
They also host pottery parties for groups who might enjoy “throwing” some pots.
Many of the items are functional and the selections for the kitchen, such as baking dishes and mixing bowls, are extremely durable and easy to care for. In addition to the functional items, there is a wide variety of decorative pieces, which range from cute to stunning.
For anyone fortunate enough to tour the Glazing Grace Studio and Workshop, they will enjoy watching the process – from raw clay to beautiful finished product. From the slab roller to the pottery wheel, being modeled, dried and fired – usually with a glaze – and on to the electric kilns or butane-powered kilns.
Jaxon is fond of Raku ware, a type of Japanese Pottery, fairly porous items, which result from low firing temperatures and the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot and subjected to post-firing reduction – or smoking – by being placed in containers of sawdust, which causes crazing in the glaze surface.
“It’s unpredictable and exciting. The pieces are all unique,” Jaxon said.
To find out more about Glazing Grace Stoneware, visit the Web site at: glazinggracestoneware.com. The Keimigs ask people call them at 316-775-3655 before visiting them at 17167 SW Ohio St. Rd. Some of their coffee mugs and other items are currently featured at A New Attitude’s Gourmet Market & Gifts, 225 S. Highway 77 in Douglass.
Belinda Larsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.