Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio
Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

Shaker Woods ~ Festival Articles: Archive

Farrand and Kozik: Pottery Fills a Special Need

Proudly owned by Janelle Farrand and Dale Kozik, the Muddy Rose Pottery (MRP) clay studio serves differently-abled individuals. MRP was conceived after Janelle had a spiritual calling in 2007 that dramatically transformed her life. 

She says the Lord tapped on her heart with these words:  Become a potter and dedicate your life to teaching the autistic and individuals with special needs.

Janelle found humor in this message because she wasn’t a teacher, hadn’t thrown on a pottery wheel, and was working at an engineering firm at the time. After weeks of trying to ignore the persistent tugs on her heartstrings, she conceded, took a leap of faith, and began taking pottery classes with Dale.

Not surprisingly, Janelle and Dale grew to love pottery and have since developed their own unique styles and methods to create beautiful artwork. As anticipated, they’re now teaching differently-abled individuals how to express themselves through clay—regardless of their challenges. 

Early on, Janelle and Dale’s tiny garage and basement became mud, glaze, and kiln rooms. The news spread about the special needs program and within a few years, a larger facility was necessary.

Their new facility is a large storefront in the Crestmont Shopping Center in Hopewell. Initially, it needed lots of tender loving care. Thanks to the woodworking skills of Dale and Janelle’s father, Joe, they created a lovely studio where the rooms are divided by wooden fence walls. Using handcrafted furniture and carts, they’re able to wheel supplies and store pottery wares and tools.

The décor is nature themed with trees, grapevines, and bird nests. Wendy Wert, a member of the MRP family, said, “It’s a place where students can feel free to be themselves and work in a pleasant, calming environment.”

Within the studio is a retail gallery that’s chock full of unique pieces. The most popular items are apple bakes, wine decanters, and berry and yarn bowls.  Among the new products are fire starters being made by Lydia—one of the students.

The MRP team works with more than 100 individuals from various organizations, group homes, and of course families. During weekday classes, students develop their skills using pottery wheels and building functional projects by hand. What’s more, they get to interact with MRP’s mascot, an affectionate Cairn Terrier.

Volunteers are involved in all phases of the program. One dedicated volunteer said it’s inspiring to see clients learning and growing through Muddy Rose Pottery. Janelle acknowledged all the dedicated volunteers by saying, “We wouldn’t be entering our 10th year of service without the blessings of our Lord, support of family members, and awesome volunteers.”

Janelle and Dale incorporated Dale’s passion for woodworking by adding a wood cellar. It’s where they, along with Janelle’s family, create wooden project pieces that are assembled, painted, and embellished by MRP students. Recent projects include bird houses, rocking horses, and toolboxes. Janelle loves watching the students use a drill or screwdriver for the first time to create works of art: “Their eyes just light up.”

Being at Shaker Woods this year is a “blessing” for Janelle. She said it’s a means to begin the next phase of the Muddy Rose Pottery mission, which is meaningful employment for the students. In the new program, students’ clay products will be sold in the gallery and other outlets.

However, funding is needed to purchase additional equipment. Janelle said, “We hope and pray that Shaker Woods will give us the boost needed to make this dream a reality for our clients.”

Come see the what the students have made for MRP’s sewing line. Check out their clay products. Choose from pin cushions, biddy bowls, small vases, and clay nests. Don’t miss out. We’re at booth #35.

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Shaker Woods Shakerwoods Festival Columbiana, Ohio

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