Sep 27, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterPhylinda Rapp has always had a passion for ceramics.
"I've liked playing in the mud since I was a little bitty kid," Rapp said with a smile. "I still like it."
She has refined the pastime into a business, Rapp It Up Ceramics, which opened this month at 314 S. Federal Blvd. in Riverton. The building is lined with ceramics, from practical salt and pepper shakers to whimsical sculptures and full chess sets. The figurines fill every shelf in Rapp's front room.
"We have 20,000 molds back here from various mold-makers around the country," Rapp said, pointing behind her toward the rest of the building. "There's no way we can possibly display everything."
Customers can browse through books of sculptures if they are looking for something not on the shelves. After they have made their choice, Rapp supplies them with paints and glazes they can use to individualize their ceramics.
"Everybody can pick out something, sit down and start working," she said, adding that most people find it relaxing to personalize their own keepsakes or presents.
"It always turns out that people enjoy it," she said. "They come for the classes, and it's kind of therapeutic. You get to visit, paint and create."
Rapp has been hosting ceramics lessons on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and she plans to start offering more advanced sessions in the future.
"We'll be doing classes on specific techniques," she said. "There are many different ways to finish ceramics."
She said she has fun meeting people who share her love of the pastime. Since moving to Riverton, Rapp said she has found a community of ceramics enthusiasts who have been waiting for another shop to come to town.
"There are more people that have kilns than I realized, and they're so excited," she said. "A lot of people do it as a hobby and are tickled to get back into it."
She runs the business with her husband, Jerry Rapp, and her son, Jesse Dreiling, who helped her build the shop in Riverton. The men work in the back of the shop while Phylinda tends to customers with her 16-year-old daughter, Rachel Rapp, who helps on weekends.
The family will have a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, when they will offer discounts, door prizes, snacks and refreshments to customers. Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information, call 463-0788 or visit Rappitup.com.
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