Rhinoceros Beetle Redux in blue curdle shown with 2 retired early beetle vases – #118 Climbing Beetle Vase & Miniature Special Edition of #010 Rhinoceros Beetle. Just five of the mini special editions were made.


A clipping from the Wisconsin State Journal & an image from the 2000 catalog which included the first “Rhinoceros Beetle Vase”.

Ephraim Pottery made its first Rhinoceros Beetle vase in the year 2000. Remember Y2K, hanging chads, the first season of Survivor?

The first Rhinoceros beetle vase, inspired by the success of our early bat pieces, represented an initial departure for the studio from our reproduction style of pottery. The great success of this piece spurned even more experimentation with new nature themes leading us to spider, salamanders, octopuses, seahorses, koi, birds, etc. With this pivotal piece, a world of possibilities opened before us.


Kevin Hicks working at the farm in 2000.

In 2000 Ephraim’s studio was at “the Farm.” Kevin recalls that back in those days we were very close to nature. The pole barn that housed the studio had walls but didn’t exactly keep nature or the weather completely out. Just outside the door nature was on full display with woodlands and marshes surrounding the rural farm. The Farm was a great place to be inspired by nature.


Laura Klein & Kevin Hicks at the farm in 2000.

Reminiscing is a funny thing. In some ways it seems like yesterday and in some ways it seems like a lifetime has passed. Makes a person wonder: what will our little pottery look like 16 years from now?