Belgium artist’s work featured at Historic Courthouse

Muni Ceulemans, pictured at right in his studio near Amery, Wis., will be at the Victorian Christmas at the Historic Courthouse in Stillwater on Nov. 18, 19 and 20. His work with candles, stained glass and wood will be on display.

Ceulemans started dipping candles for his own use 20 years ago in his native Belgium then began selling to stores. He moved to Minnesota a few years later and, after six years in Minnesota, he purchased some country property in Wisconsin. To enhance his line of dipped candles, Ceulemans began making molded candles, which he sold to gift shops across the country. In 2001, he started to work with stained glass. He took one class to learn the basic techniques and his skill and business have grown since then. He now makes stained glass panels and mission-style lamps. He even makes the wooden lamp base himself.

Ceulemans has had no formal art training. He formerly was a schoolteacher in Belgium and studied criminology. He learned many of his skills through trial and error and also shared trade secrets with other artists. Ceulemans now takes his art to children by visiting third graders at Amery Elementary School each year to dip candles. In addition, families with children often stop at the studio to dip their own candles.

Ceulemans only does a few shows a year and the courthouse will host a Preview Event on Friday, Nov. 18 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and also include appetizers and desserts from area caterers, along with champagne and sparkling cider. Hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $3. The building will be decorated for the show with costumed vendors, volunteers, live music, a Tea Room and 41 artisans. All proceeds go to the ongoing restoration of the Washington County Historic Courthouse. For more information, please call 430-6233 or visit www The Historic Courthouse is located at 101 West Pine St. in Stillwater.

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