CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Three years ago, the stained glass work by Sherri and Jamie Rhodes was rejected by Tamarack.
At the same time, and to their surprise, the Tamarack jurors accepted their small frame boxes decorated with stained glass.
"They loved them, no one else was doing anything like them," Sherri recalled.
As for her glasswork, she was told she needed to improve her soldering technique. The Tamarack Foundation paid for her to study under master stained glass artist Amanda Short.
"My technique was fixed in 10 minutes," she said.
The next year, in 2011, Sherri submitted her stained glass pieces to the Tamarack jury again and was accepted.
As for her mentor, they now work in nearby studios in Kanawha City. In January, Sherri and Jamie Rhodes opened Appalachian Art Gallery beside Amanda's Glass Art Studio at 3814 1/2 MacCorkle Ave. SE
Short bought the stained glass business from Martina Huson nearly six years ago, and then Huson rented studio space from Short. When Huson recently vacated the space, "I jumped on it," said Sherri Rhodes.
She and Jamie had been working out of their house near Culloden in Putnam County, where they had no space for or money to buy a glass kiln.
"Amazingly, word of our need for a kiln got out through friends and social media, and a few weeks later we received not one, but two wonderful working kilns; now we had to think about moving into a better studio," she said.
In Kanawha City, she said, it's easier for customers to find them and it's easier for them to get supplies.
The couple has more than 18 years experience in framing and in stained glass. Sherri worked at a framing shop while going to college at Marshall University, where she majored in art and music education. She loved it, and taught Jamie how to frame.
Meanwhile, he helps her in the production of stained glass pieces, making the patterns for her designs.
They have sold their products -- stained glass ornaments, panels, sun catchers and framed boxes -- online and at arts and crafts fairs, including the July 4th fair at Ripley, Vandalia on the Capitol lawn and Capital City in the Charleston Civic Center.
The couple started making crafts to sell when they both worked at Snowshoe; Sherri in sales and marketing and Jamie in snowmaking and other outdoors jobs.
With seasonal jobs, "We needed extra income," Sherri said. "We sold on ebay and that helped to make ends meet."
Then, she learned, that she needed only one class to graduate from Marshall. So they moved so Sherri could complete her degree.
Working out of their home studio, they sold mainly through online sites, shipping their artwork to customers across the country and in Africa, Russia, England, Japan and elsewhere.
Their prices range from $10 to $15 for ornaments to $300 for a stained glass panel of a red fox. A panel of the New River Gorge Bridge is $195. ("I took the pattern off of the state's quarter," said Jamie.)
Their framing services include conservation and preservation, portraits, canvas, diplomas, shadow boxes and mirrors.
In the future, Sherri said they wanted to give classes in stained glass and to expand their hours.
For now, their hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Other hours by appointment.
Reach Rosalie Earle at ea...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.