Set a Landmark Table with Michelle Phaneuf’s Teeny Bowls

Barrington ceramicist’s work combines love of pottery, design, and Rhode Island


Late last year, Michelle Phaneuf posted an image of a chalkboard to her Instagram account. “GOAL!!!!” the caption began. The Barrington-based ceramicist had reached making 3,000 Teeny Bowls, her trademark two-by-three-inch vessels. “The big question now is… what’s next year’s number?”

A designer by trade, and full-time ceramic artist since 2010, Phaneuf can be found in her studio prepping clay to be thrown on the wheel and fired in her kiln. “My two lives have joined together to create simple, graphic, modern tableware,” she explains. Her work is wheel-thrown and trimmed before the first firing, then glazed and fired again. Next, custom-designed decals of favorite Rhode Island landmarks – like the Industrial Trust Building in Providence and Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown – 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. “Highly usable and highly beautiful,” she says, smiling.

Once you know what to look for – state scenes and motifs, sometimes shapes and flourishes – it’s easy to spot Phaneuf’s work. Her line includes mugs, shot cups, vases, and planters, all cohesive and easy to mix and match. Her eponymous brand has amassed quite a following, along with a list of stockists around the state and beyond. Whether it’s a buffet of bite-sized foods, holding an array of sauces and toppings, or keeping salt and pepper out for cooking, Phaneuf’s Teeny Bowls make a big impact. Learn more at; @michellephaneufceramics


See Phaneuf’s work at Bloom Flower & Home Market, April 6-7, WaterFire Arts Center.



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