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IRON &

"She'll have a pitcher in every state!"

By Steve Shriver, Leader-Record newspaper, May 19 2005

     "It's been a busy winter for Bentonsport potter Betty Printy.  In addition to her usual workload of turning out various Queen Anne's Lace pottery items, she has devoted a considerable amount of time on a "special" project.

    She has made 50 of her two-quart pitchers in a "country blue" color, one for each of the 50 governors in the United States.  At the request of Iowa's First Lady Christie Vilsack, Printy made the pitchers as a gift for each governor attending the National Governor's convention to be held in June in Des Moines.  It's the first time the convention has been held in Iowa.

     Printy said that Vilsack was in her Iron and Lace Shop in Bentonsport last fall and picked up a few samples before deciding on the two-quart pitcher.

     Printy excitedly said her first thought was, "Arnold Schwarzenegger is going to get one of my pitchers!"

     Printy has owned and operated her own pottery since 1971 and turned out the first piece of her own Queen Anne's Lace Pottery in 1986.  Ironically, she remembers picking her first piece of Queen Anne's Lace on the very spot that is now home to Iron and Lace, the business she and her husband, Bill, own and operate in downtown Bentonsport, Iowa.  Since that time she has made an untold number of Queen Anne's Lace pottery items from cups, pitchers, plates and bowls to crocks and flying pig ornaments.  "My order list is never empty," she says.

     A special shelf above a door in her shop is home to a piece of pottery she has made every year since she began her life-long occupation.  She got back the very first piece she made, a cookie jar, when her mother, June Scearcy, passed away in December of 2004.

     The pitchers will be picked up this week and taken to Des Moines and will eventually be placed in each of the governor's hotel rooms, along with a package of Queen Anne's Lace seed and brochure and a Villages of Van Buren brochure.

     Betty had some help on the pitchers.  Her oldest daughter, Teri Showman, did some of the glazing; daughter-in-law, Emily Sedore, designed the seed packages and husband, Bill, helped with the clay and "provided moral support".

To order a Governor's Pitcher of your very own, see our Orders page.