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Meredith Holt, Published April 27 2012

Leap of faith inspires Ada art studio

ADA, Minn. - Last June, Elizabeth Rockstad opened an art studio here in what used to be a gas station.

The six-year Ulen-Hitterdal art teacher took a leap of faith when she went part time to start the business.

Studio 4:13 is named for Rockstad’s favorite Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Rockstad, of Ada, says the verse is fitting for taking on a new challenge in life. “It’s very close to my heart,” she says.

In the studio – one big room broken up into different areas – both children and adults work on paint-your-own pottery, mosaics and other projects.

“The mosaics are starting to take off with the older kids,” Rockstad says.

Pottery prices range from $7 to $60, depending on the size of the bisque pieces. In seven to 10 days, they’re glazed, fired and ready to pick up.

Rockstad hosts kids’ birthday parties, 4-H, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts groups and ladies’ nights at Studio 4:13. One group painted plates and serving pieces for a bride-to-be.

Ladies’ nights have become so popular she’s had to bump them up from twice a month to three or four times a month. “Each month it’s a different project,” Rockstad says.

Women and girls have come to make washer necklaces, “BOO” frames, T-shirt scarves, coffee filter wreaths and cupcake bath bombs.

“They look just like a cupcake. If you didn’t know any different, you’d bite into it and get a mouth full of soap,” she says.

Ladies’ night attendees have also painted wine glasses with polka-dots and zebra stripes and to resemble tulips.

Rockstad plans crafts with the seasons and updates her supplies for holidays. She ordered special bisques for Easter and has a handprint keepsake special for Mother’s Day.

During the summer, Studio 4:13 holds kids’ art camps, where children can explore different mediums while learning a little art history.

Classes include “Art of the World” and “Mini Masters,” where kids try painting in the styles of famous artists.

When school starts in the fall, Rockstad scales back her hours. “I’m still open Wednesdays and Thursdays in the fall and winter, but I’m open longer hours and on Saturdays in the summer,” she says.

Rockstad’s 2-year-old daughter, Nora, often joins her in the studio. “She’s probably one of my best sample painters,” she says.

Her mother, also an art teacher, teaches a stamping class once a month at Studio 4:13. “I come from a very artistic family,” Rockstad says.

Business profile

What: Studio 4:13 art studio and classroom

Where: 100 E. Main St., Ada, MN 56510

Info: For reservations, call (218) 308-1714, email studio413@ymail.com or register online at www.studio413.org.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590