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bowls & burls

Steve Noggle

After Steve Noggle discovered woodturning, the North Carolina craftsman turned a favorite pastime into a fulltime passion.

The artist: Noggle was interested in trees and wood long before he graduated with a forestry degree from Louisiana State University in 1976. After a few years as a timber cruiser in the Pacific Northwest, Noggle returned to his home state, where he spent 25 years as an engineer in the furniture industry. He left to pursue his “turning” craft and has a workshop behind his house in Morganton.

The materials: Primarily local domestic hardwoods such as maple, cherry and walnut. But also exotic burl wood from Australia, Africa and South America.

The goods: Lathe-turned bowls and vessels that include hollow forms and natural-edge pieces.

What’s popular: The ambrosia maple salad bowls ($195 to $295). Also natural-edge bowls, particularly out of any burl woods, such as maple burl, cherry burl and eucalyptus burl ($100 to $1,000).

Where to buy: At the Ariel Gallery ( in downtown Asheville. Also at Artisphere (May 11-13) in Greenville, SC. To see Noggle’s work, visit


tree to table


Birmingham-based Alabama Sawyer transforms fallen trees and reclaimed materials into modern tables and home accessories.

The company: Alabama Sawyer, founded in Birmingham in 2015, makes furniture, including solid wood tabletops, made to specifications as well as other goods from urban timber.

The owners: Cliff and Leigh Spencer. Cliff, an Alabama native who graduated from Rhodes College in Tennessee, worked as a master craftsman in New York City and on set designs in Los Angeles, where he ran Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker, a custom cabinetry and furniture business, before returning to his hometown. Leigh, a California native and award-winning graphic designer, earned degrees from UC Santa Barbara and Otis College.

What’s popular: The best-selling Noaway Countertop Comport Bin in walnut and magnolia ($175, pictured below). Also the Sputnik tables ($300 to $500) and dining tables. Based on wood species and base selection, an 8-foot-by-3.5-foot dining table ranges from $3,800 to $9,500.

Other favorites: Trays in walnut, oak and magnolia ($275 to $350, pictured below).

Fun (or unusual) request: A 26-foot trapezoidal conference table for a company in Alpharetta, GA. The solid walnut table required 18 slabs of wood. It had to be delivered in six pieces to get it up the elevator.

Claim to fame: Overall winner in Garden & Gun magazine’s 2017 “Made in the South” awards (award for table below).

Where to buy: Smaller products are also sold on  and


so wearable

Mary Frances Flowers

North Carolina’s Mary Frances Flowers uses a time-honored technique to create her contemporary jewelry designs.

The artist/designer: Flowers grew up in Columbus, GA, and graduated from Wofford College (SC).  She attended Studio Jewelers, a trade school in New York, and then headed to Asheville for a few years. She moved to Raleigh last year.

The company: Mary Frances Flowers Jewelry & Gifts, based in Raleigh, started in 2014.

The goods: Women’s jewelry, men’s goods (cufflinks, tie bars) and, in 2017, ornaments. The collection is made by hand first in wax and then cast in brass, sterling silver, gold plated and solid gold.

What’s popular: The Birch Bark series: the Skinny Birch cuff ($150 to $250); the Skinny Birch necklace ($250 to $565); the Birch cufflinks ($125 to $295); and the Birch tie bar ($75 to $140). Also the Morse code series ($90 to $295), a semi-custom line of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings that can be encoded with special message in Morse code for a birthday or anniversary.

Other favorites: The Web cuff ($215 to $550) and the Morse code Fin Climbers. The earrings are $250 for a pair in gold.

Fun (or meaningful) requests: From men buying necklaces or bracelets for their wives with the initials or name of a new child in Morse code.

Where to buy:




just add color


Whether she works on canvas, wood or metal, color is an essential element for self-taught artist Michelle Y. Williams.

The artist: A Houston native, Williams started creating art in 1996 on her kitchen table in Boise, ID. For the last eight years, she has lived and worked out of her studio in a renovated 7,000-square-foot building in the heart of Houston.

The goods: Original works of art on canvas, wood and metal. Also some sculpture on occasion.

What’s popular: The “cut” series, developed in 2001 (pictured above). The small works, which feature mostly abstract subject matter, on metal float between two layers of Plexiglas and utilize bronze hardware. The core size is 15 inches by 15 inches ($750), though any size can be done. Typically, a minimum of three pieces are purchased.

Where to buy: Williams is also represented by Pryor Fine Art ( and the Atrium Art Gallery ( in Charleston, SC.


Award-winning Georgia artist Ethan Lillemoe, known for his white ceramic vessels, has some new pieces that will add some wow to your wall.

The new work: Three-dimensional metal wall sculpture ($950 and up to $10,000 for custom pieces). Bold and modern, the sculpture is welded by hand and accented with clay pieces in abstract shapes and a variety of colors.

How it works. All of the attached pieces can be flipped over, rotate, and swapped out for others, allowing for almost endless customization. Most of the attached pieces are made of clay, but he has also made them out of metal and custom tinted resin for clients. Lillemoe also created an easy wall mounting system for the sculpture. Most installations require only two screws.

What’s next: Building a new studio outside Clarkesville, GA.

Where to buy: Also at the Trinity School’s annual Artist Market (Jan. 29-Feb. 3), which will feature original art by 350 artists in categories such as contemporary, folk, sculpture, pottery and jewelry. Free parking and admission. Visit

go big


Heather Lancaster’s deep appreciation for the beauty in nature and wildlife is evident in her exquisite, hand-drawn works on paper.

The artist: An Atlanta native, Lancaster grew up in a family of professional artists and graduated from Mary Baldwin College (Va.) with a degree in art history and historic preservation. After college, she lived in New York City, working for “John Danzer, founder of Munder-Skiles, a firm specializing in the production of both original and historically inspired garden furniture.

In 1999, she returned to Atlanta to pursue a Master’s Degree in Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University, with a concentration in historic landscapes. Lancaster works out of her studio in the Goat Farm Arts Center in West Midtown.

The goods & materials: Works on paper created by layering graphite, charcoal, India ink and sepia. Occasionally, Lancaster incorporates small amounts of watercolor or gauche.

What’s popular: This year, a series of large-scale pieces ($5,000 to $14,200) inspired by the migration, anatomy, and dances of Sandhill Cranes. The last piece recently sold.

Other favorites: Large-scale ostriches, elephants and egrets. Also compositions which depict forward movement and direct eye contact. Prices range from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on size and composition.


Where to buy: Spalding Nix Fine Art, ( in Atlanta and Camellia Art ( in Hilton Head, SC, where Lancaster will have a show May 3 through June 8. To see some of her work, visit

sculptural lighting


In Savannah, Kalin Asenov designs lighting that is equal parts practical and artistic, traditional and contemporary.

The artist: Originally from Bulgaria, Asenov moved to Boston in 2011 to pursue a career in law. After few years of practice, he decided to pursue his passion in the creative arts. After graduating in 2013 from Savannah College of Art and Design with an MFA in furniture design, Asenov opened his studio in Savannah, where he designs lighting including chandeliers, pendants and sconces.

What’s popular: The AXIS collection ($800 to $6,000) of lighting, which follows principles of Art Deco and uses stained glass and gold leaf in new and non-traditional ways.

Fun (or unusual) request: Creating a custom installation for Daniel Lismore’s exhibit during Art Basel in Miami in 2016. The request was to take “Sceptre” light, a piece from his Axis collection and enlarge it three times so it would be appropriate for a public venue.

Where to buy: In Atlanta, at Martin Nash (, a showroom in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, 351 Peachtree Hills Ave.