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    Kansas couple opens art gallery, doesn’t let brain tumor keep them from creating

    By Carina BransonPayton Steiner,


    HARPER, Kan. (KSNW) – Roughly one mile outside of Harper sits something slightly unusual for small-town Kansas, an art gallery of homemade pottery.

    Isaac and Karina Shue are the founders of Gallery Mostaza , meaning mustard in Spanish. Their work has been sent all over the world. After Karina received a recent brain tumor diagnosis, the artists are drawing strength from their gallery’s name.

    “It derives from the parable ‘the mustard seed’ from the Bible. Talking about a little bit of faith. With a little bit, you can do big things,” said Isaac.

    Isaac met Karina on a Mennonite voluntary service trip to Bolivia

    “When we came back to the United States, we had basically had two suitcases full of clothing and a computer, and I had a wheel and a kiln, so in the evenings, we would make pots,” said Isaac.

    Humble beginnings blossomed into a business that became dependent on their relationship.

    “A lot of people say you can’t, it’s tough to do a business; it’s tough to work full-time with your partner. However, it’s just natural for us, it’s what we’ve always done. It just works out,” said Isaac.

    Near tragedy guides Kansas firefighter to make fire trucks

    The couple was putting pots on five continents until recently.

    “It’s been a long year of working alone,” said Isaac.

    Isaac has been working without a partner

    “So, in December, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and they did surgery in early December. She’s recovered, she’s good, but it’s still just it’s hard,” said Isaac.

    Karina fought through adversity and, after six months, made her return to pottery.

    “We were out of creating, out of our normal lifestyle, but she’s back; she’s good; she just didn’t want to be on camera. We’re still a family, we’re still together,” said Isaac.

    Like the mustard seed, just a little bit of clay has molded Isaac and Katrina into full-time potters.

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