Midwest Living Review
The most famous business in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, is Ephraim Faience Pottery Studio Gallery, the preeminent Arts and Crafts revival pottery in the country. It is located in the old municipal building built in 1892 by the Fargo Dairy Supply Company. Potter Kevin Hicks founded the studio in Deerfield, Wisconsin, in 1996; it now has a national reputation. Collectors call Ephraim Faience's limited-edition pieces "antiques of the future." Using Midwest clay, this heirloom-quality pottery is individually hand-thrown, sculpted and glazed by seven potters and glazers. Each piece has a potter's signature, but the artists work collaboratively on the design and execution of each item, often incorporating naturalistic elements such as dragonflies, bats, berries and flowers. Only 500 of each design are made available, and the collection includes vases, bowls, lidded boxes, candleholders, pitchers, lanterns and tiles that rely on familiar naturalist motifs. A downstairs "museum" houses historical and educational displays. Historic pieces are displayed, and there is a history of the building and the company and information about how the pottery is made. Sometimes visitors can view the potters at work from a glassed-in observation area.