Return to The Little Church

Dear Liza,

The Little Church

When we first moved to Portland, we rented a duplex apartment at the corner of 29th and SE Pine. Just a block from that place stands a tiny white church, built sometime around the 1920s and, until recently, a functioning place of worship.

Signs of renovation and ceramics!

But neighborhoods change and congregations shift, and the church had to close. It was bought by a fellow who planned to turn it into a home. His plans have slowed down, but are still in the works.

Adorable rabbits

In the meantime, ceramicists Catherine and John Rondthaler use the space as a studio and, occasionally, have exhibits.

Catherine and John Rondthaler

Last year we met Catherine. This year, saw both of them! They are really sweet folks. They met 38 years ago and have been silly-in-love ever since.

Accidental perfection

Besides enjoying the variety of ceramics they create and sell, we got to enjoy their stories. One piece was created when a throwing wheel malfunctioned and pitched a few gallons of indigo blue glaze into the air, splashing everything in sight. They liked the splashes, and some great bowls were created. I love accidental perfection!

Besides their ceramics, John and Catherine were showing beautiful prints made by another friend. Needless to say, we got some Christmas presents… but shhh! Don’t tell anyone!

Love, Grandma Judy