Tiny Tableware for the Smallest State

Michelle Phaneuf makes ceramic bowls sized just right for Lil Rhody

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As Michelle Phaneuf’s tagline proclaims, this potter strives to make “tableware a little less ordinary” – and succeeds. A designer by trade, on evenings and weekends Phaneuf heads to her Barrington studio, where she can be found rolling balls of clay to be formed and fired in her kiln. “My two lives have joined together to create simple, graphic, modern tableware,” she notes. “Highly usable and highly beautiful.” Her work is wheel-thrown and altered before the first firing, then glazed and fired again. Next, custom-designed decals of favorite Rhode Island landmarks – like the Roger Williams statue at Prospect Park and the Rhode Island State House – are applied. Each piece is then fired for a third and final time, ensuring that images are permanent. All work is food, microwave, and dishwasher safe, but as with all handmade ceramics, handwashing is recommended. While she creates pieces of different shapes and sizes, Phaneuf’s Teeny Bowls are a popular signature item. Measuring at approximately two inches high by four inches in width, these vessels are perfect for entertaining. Whether it’s a buffet of bite-sized foods, holding an array of sauces and toppings, or keeping salt and pepper loose for cooking, these small basins make a big impact.