Do you love making beautiful things and wish there was a way for it to become your business?

Paul and Lisa Ibisch own the former Rhodes Woodworking building at 336 N. Spring St. in Columbus and would like to see it become an arts/crafts incubator. The building features great open work areas with 15-foot high wood rafter ceilings, 110/220 and three-phase wiring available for machines, hardwood floors and great natural lighting.

“The building was constructed by my grandfather the year before he was contracted for the Farmers & Merchants Union Bank,” said Ibisch. “My grandfather, Carl Ibisch, used the building for a number of business ventures and made it adaptable to a variety of projects.”

Besides being a workshop for projects of Carl and Alvin Ibisch, the building was used by Badger Casket Co., Scott Pea Viner Company, Ibisch Burial Vaults, Beier Burial Vaults and Rhodes Woodworking. With a focus on art the building entered a new chapter as Kara Ginther grows her leather engraving business, Kara Ginther Leather Studio, onsite through online sales.

“We would like to make this a place where people can refine their art or craft and share it with others,” said Lisa Ibisch. “We would like it to be a natural addition to our community where people can appreciate and learn more about these art forms.” The hope is that a community of artists can form who will share through display, workshops and classes the arts or crafts they love to make. The building has nearly 9,000 square feet of space that could be used for pottery, painting, textiles, quilting, woodworking and more. Open spaces could be used for studio classes. Along with space, artists can have a business address, storage and a loading dock and connect with others working in arts and crafts.

“The building has a great deal of character and we can arrange areas that will fit the artist’s needs,” said Ibisch. “We also will make it very affordable, as our goal is to attract people willing to work with one another and with the public in promoting the arts. We’d like to call the site the New World Creative Studio.”

Paul and Lisa Ibisch have made Columbus their home. Paul was born in Columbus to Alvin and Eleanor Ibisch and served 28 years as a pastor of churches in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota. He is still active clergy with preaching engagements, publishing weekly devotionals and presenting Bible classes. In addition, Paul works as a second-shift custodian at the Sun Prairie High School. Paul and Lisa have been married for 31 years and have six children. Lisa has worked as a teacher in a parochial school and has taught in child care centers in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Currently Lisa works for the Sun Prairie Area School District. Their youngest children, Gabriel (a junior) and Lydia (a sophomore), are enrolled at Columbus High School. The Ibisch family looks forward to working with members of the community to build a lasting legacy for arts.

Anyone who is looking for personal or classroom space for a hobby, craft or art may contact Paul Ibisch at 608-799-0990 or Lisa Ibisch at 608-799-9218 to get a tour of the building or talk about getting started.

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