Mount Horeb & Blue Mounds

9. Vicki France

200 Wilson Street
Mount Horeb


A self-taught photographer that was taught to see the beauty of this place I call home and to tread upon it lightly. I consider myself lucky to have grown up among the towering bluffs that surround the Wisconsin and Kickapoo Rivers in the driftless region of Wisconsin. My favorite past-time has always been getting lost in the wooded hills and valleys of southwest Wisconsin. I have always wanted to share what I saw and  felt in these places and photography opened that door. I work hard to capture the essence and emotion that comes over me when I visit these places.

During the tour Vicki will be discussing with guests all things photography.

7. Jessica Curning-Kuenzi

3492 Ryan Road
Blue Mounds


Jewelry, Photography

I have been photographing nature in the Wisconsin and the Midwest for the last 25 years. I spend as much time as possible exploring the trails, waterways and natural areas to create images that exemplify a sense of peace and tranquility. I sometimes spend hours in the same spot anticipating the perfect light. I hope that my images will help others see the beauty of nature and the need to preserve the animals and natural areas that are fundamental to our world. My subjects include landscapes, animals, waterfalls, old buildings, flowers, and anything beautiful I find on my travels. I also create one of a kind stainless steel chainmaille jewelry. Chainmaille is made by weaving different sized metal rings around each other to form a pattern, I then take that pattern and add different sized rings, natural stones, Swarovski crystals, or delicate chains to make a unique statement piece. I use stainless steel because it is strong, durable, hypoallergenic, will never rust, tarnish, change color, or make your skin change color.

I will be making chainmaille jewelry and can give tips on photography.

I will be set up in my garage at the end of a 30 foot gravel driveway. Somewhat wheelchair accessible just because of the gravel, no stairs. 

8. Christy Nesja

307 Green St
Mount Horeb


I’m an artist and graphic designer with a love for typography and letterpress printing. Step into my studio and take a step back in time. I create my work on hand operated presses, the oldest from the early 1900s. I hand compose moveable metal and wood type, and carve printable images from linoleum. My collection of early to mid-twentieth century ephemera inspires me, as does nature, my faith and the people I meet.

I work in my studio with cases of moveable type, my penchants for design, color, paper and letterforms have naturally manifested into one creative outlet. I enjoy the tactile nature of handtypesetting, and the puzzle challenge of fitting type and images of a fixed size together. I affectionately call what I do “old time graphic design,” but I’m not working completely in the dark ages. I use a computer to help me visualize new designs. I also have the capability to turn digital files into relief printing plates.

Christy will demonstrate traditional hand typesetting and letterpress printing. Studio guests will be invited to pull their own souvenir print with Christy’s help and instruction.

Our studio is located in our home on a walkout basement level. There are two entrance options: 1) Park on Green Street and enter through our home’s side door near the garage. You’ll walk down two steps outside, and six steps inside to reach the studio level. 2) A ground level entrance is available on the back side of our home on Highland Street. Park on Highland Street, walk across the grass to the studio doors and up one step into the studio.

8. Jane Nass

307 Green St
Mount Horeb

Mixed Media Assemblage

The first 40 years of my professional visual arts career focused on print media, working through design studios and corporate design firms. I use that design background today, but my artwork has a new concentration – expressing my gratitude for the blessed life I lead. My faith leads me to reflect and express what I experience day to day. Living on 15 wooded acres, nature and wildlife surround me. The beauty I see inspires me. The assemblages I create express the range of emotions I feel every day. My hope is to draw others in and encourage them to slow down, also reflect, and ultimately enjoy the glory all around us.

I will be on the main floor of the Nesja home studio which is not wheelchair accessible.

10. Ivy Klarer

120 N Grove St, Mount Horeb


I am inspired by traveling the world, far and near, experiencing culture and incredible natural wonders.

I am always in awe of the beauty and variety in these adventures. Jewelry is a unique art media in that it is wearable art and is made from precious natural materials. The wearer is able to carry and connect with that natural beauty as a reminder to the magic and mystery in this world. The wearable pieces can serve as a source of inspiration, curiosity, and empowerment.

During the tour I will be sharing an explanation and models of lost wax casting process, metal piercing, stone setting, and some repairs.

10. Patty Klarer

120 N. Grove Street
Mount Horeb


Residing in the beauty of southern Wisconsin for most of my life has benefited me with the gift of an artistic mind. My custom creations seem to just flow from my hands so naturally as I catch life unfolding outside the window from my studio. This desire to create jewelry began years ago when was inspired from my high school 3D art teacher.

I have a reverence for working one on one with my clients, repurposing their old jewelry into a piece that suits them today. It feels good to recycle what I can or to work several old pieces into something new. My work is created in a strong fashion to provide years of enjoyment, using silver and gold to hold unique precious and semi-precious gems. Some of my favorites are the many different types of opals, fossils and distinct stones that my lapidary friend cuts from his collection of stones from around the world.

It feels good to share what I love to do and help others bring their ideas to life.

I, along with my daughter Ivy Klarer, will be discussing and demonstrating a variety of metal-smithing techniques such as: wax carving, metal stamping, piercing, stone setting and other fabrication techniques.


11. Heidi Clayton

302 E Lincoln St
Mount Horeb


Growing up as a Wisconsin farm kid the appreciation and veneration of food was ingrained at a young age, and becoming a potter was a natural transition for me. I fell in love with pottery in high school and continued my education at UW Oshkosh, graduating with a degree in Ceramics. Through my studies I solidified my desire to honor the act of sharing meals by creating honest, sturdy, and beautiful pieces made to be shared.

I am greatly inspired by connections: connection of food to farm, connection of meal with vessel, to the connection between potter and cook. By embracing the use of a handmade object the individual allows for a connection to be created between maker and user, giving a greater appreciation and purpose to the object. Each object is made to encourage the viewer to explore it with their hands; to feel the texture, weight, and the overall essence of the piece. Most of all they are meant to be vessels for the sharing of food made with the same amount of passion and care as the pot itself. My work is intended to be the supporting role, subtle and humble allowing that which it contains to be the star whether it is Bruschetta or a bouquet of spring flowers.

During the tour, I will be throwing pots on the wheel.

11. John Pahlas

302 E Lincoln St
Mount Horeb

Steel Sculpture

I was raised in family of artists that stretch back five generations. From professional painters/illustrators, musicians & blacksmiths on my mother’s side (the Armstrong clan) to jewelers, clock makers and authors on my father’s (the Pahlas clan) we have all dipped more than our toes into the creative stream and found our true callings therein. I grew up in my parent’s blacksmith studio in Ripon, Wisconsin. There is where I quickly became spellbound by the material and processes involved in metal fabrication and forge work.

By the age of twelve I was under a welding helmet standing behind my father as he went about turning mundane chunks of steel into immaculate railings and table bases… it was like watching a wizard! At home, our dinner table was used more as a draft table by my mother. I remember seeing her sit down at the dinner draft table early Saturday morning with an empty sheet of paper and by lunch she’d be rolling up a gorgeous line drawing of the next beautiful project for my father to weld and hammer out in the studio.

From a young cub to my teenage years I bared witness to the creative process on a daily basis. It is very safe to say that my fate of becoming a master Metal Muncher* was drawn up from the beginning!

To make a long story short, after high school I furthered my education at UW Oshkosh where I received a BFA with an emphasis in sculpture. There I met the love of my life of whom I now run Center Ground Studios, a very successful custom steel sculpture and pottery studio out of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. We specialize in working with clients from all walks of life who desire a steel sculpture that’s custom to their space, aesthetic tastes & budgets. My partner Heidi also does custom pottery along with teaching adult and kids wheel throwing & clay sculpting classes. Our goal from the start has been to create a safe and creative space where we can focus on producing dynamic quality works of art and invite members of the community in to take in that creative process that ignited the flame of attention in me all those years ago.

* The term Metal Muncher refers to a creative, but crazed individual whose ravenous artistic appetite is only soothed through welding and grinding vast quantities of discarded steel chunks.

My studio will be open for guests to walk through and see sculptures in different phases of completion. I’ll be doing a forge demo along with some welding. That will all take place outside the shop area where there is more space for folks to view safely.

12. Mikel Kelley

109 South 4th Street
Mount Horeb


I have been working professionally in clay for over 25 years (post graduate school).

I create objects that are both functional and sculptural. The techniques I employ range from traditional wheel throwing to slab building and sculpting. There is no overall theme to my work; it’s more about the fluid nature of clay and whatever presents itself as I’m working on a piece.