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an earful

JJ Jewelry 2

When Jennifer J. Matchett couldn’t find a pair of tortoiseshell earrings that suited her, Matchett first designed some for herself. Then launched a modern, eco-chic jewelry line.

The designer: Matchett, originally from Maine, grew up in south Florida and graduated with an art history degree from Santa Fe College. She started making earrings using acetate jewelry she found in a second-hand store and sold them on Etsy. Last May, she started her jewelry collection.

The company: Atlanta-based Machete creates a line of eco-conscious jewelry, including super-lightweight earrings, cuffs and bracelets made of cellulose acetate, a natural and renewable material, imported from Italy.

What’s popular: Clare and Margot earrings ($38 to $58) in all colors.

Other favorites: Grande flat hoops ($78).

Big break: Profile and feature in Vogue in 2017.

What’s next: A new line of rings and earrings.

Where to buy: Shopmachete.com. In Atlanta, at Coco + Misha in Ponce City Market (cocoandmischa.com). Her studio in Marietta will open late this summer

JJ Jewelry - Orig

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mirror, mirror

Mirror

Atlanta’s Stacy Milburn is an abstract mirror artist whose work adds light, color and something unexpected to a space.

The company: Atlanta-based Stacy Milburn Studio started in 2014. Milburn uses many part-art, part-science techniques to create her versatile mirror art.

The artist: Milburn grew up in Columbus and graduated from Converse College (SC), where she studied international business. After graduation, she lived in London for two years where she found her passion for interior design and historic preservation. She moved New York and pursued a degree in interior design at Parsons (now the New School). In 1999, she moved to Atlanta and worked for Lori Tippins, an interior designer who encourage her to test her creativity. Milburn now works as lead designer at Modify Home in Smyrna.

What is popular: For color, blues. Anything from a stylish navy to a soothing beach glass blue. For location: powder room mirrors or tall panels over bedside tables. A 20-inch by 40-inch framed panel is around $1,100. A 30-inch-by-40-inch powder room vanity mirror is $1,600.

Other favorites: White mirror as opposed to white subway tile in a kitchen. Also mirror over abstract black and white photos of children, teens and beloved pets. Framed 20-inch by 20-inch works are around $500. Milburn refers to this as “etching the present in the past.”

Fun (or unusual) request: Create a large-scale mirrored piece of a vintage black and white scene of old Buckhead. Milburn added pops of color to add a more contemporary esthetic to the work, which is in the lobby of a renovated historic Buckhead office building. The work is pictured below.

 

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Where to buy: StacyMilburnStudio.com. In Atlanta, at Modify Home, 3691 Atlanta Road SE, in Smyrna (modifyATL.com), and Waiting on Martha, 4300 Paces Ferry Road (shopwaitingonmartha.com)

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modern edge

WiWat

Engineer-turned-artist Wiwat Kamolpornwijit uses polymer clay in his contemporary jewelry designs.

The artist/designer: Kamolpornwijit grew up in Thailand, where he attended an engineering college. He moved to the US to attend graduate school at New Jersey Institute of Technology and worked as an environmental researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee for six years. At fund-raising activity for his temple in 2004, he started playing with polymer clay. Three years later he opted to pursue his art/craft full time. Kamolpornwijit lives in Alexandria, Va.

The goods & materials: Super lightweight jewelry made from polymer clay, silver, and beads.

The process: The artist hand forms each piece of polymer clay and uses several techniques, including caning, engraving, weaving and layering in the designs. All colors are the original colors of clay (no paint is applied). Beads and wires are added to complement the clay work.

What’s popular: Designs in black and white (under $100). Also earrings ($35 to $195) and necklaces ($45 to $700).

Claim to fame: Exhibited for the first time at the 2018 Smithsonian Craft Show in May 2018 in Washington, DC.

Fun (or unusual) request: When someone asked him to say his name really fast.

Where to buy: Kamolpornwijit.com.

second-life wood

Welborn

Jon Welborn did not take a direct path to full-time wood artist. Before he did, the Texas native worked as a funeral director, math teacher, cabinet maker — and chicken farmer.

The artist & background: Welborn graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a forestry degree, a good fit, he thought for someone who liked the outdoors and hunting. Welborn started building cabinets and furniture part time out of college and continued to do so while holding other jobs before going full time in 2010. Welborn, who lives and works in Pittsburg, started turning in 2014.

The goods & materials: Decorative, live-edge hollow forms and vessels ($200 to $3,000). Welborn uses local found wood, including hackberry, walnut, sassafras and sycamore, showcasing flaws that give each piece character. All work is sanded to an ultra-fine grit for a smooth surface and oiled.

Claim to fame: Best in Show winner in wood at the 2018 Beaux Arts festival in Miami.

Where to see & buy: JonWelbornStudio.com.

 

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nature in metal

Thompson

 A lifelong creator and crafter, North Carolina’s Kim Thompson likes to keep her hands busy. She skillfully put them to work in traditional broom and basket making. Also sewing projects. But once Thompson discovered metalsmithing, she was all in.

The artist: Thompson earned a fine arts degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and worked for more than 25 years as an art director/graphic designer in both retail advertising and corporate marketing. The avid hiker and backpacker moved in 1993 to Western North Carolina, began taking jewelry classes in 1999, and ultimately made a career shift.

The company: Kim Thompson Stone & Sterlingwear started 2007. Thompson, a full-time metalsmith, works out of her home studio in Waynesville.

The goods & materials: Contemporary-styled necklaces, earrings, cuffs and bracelets are made of sterling silver with a combination of finishes (oxidized, brushed and polished). Using real leaves, ferns, feathers, Thompson uses a roller mill to apply texture and pattern during fabrication. In her other collections, she includes natural unaltered found stones and semiprecious cabochon stones.

What’s popular: The Meditations on a Leaf collection ($48 to $384). The softly  pillowed and brushed pieces feature delicate patterns from leaves.

Other favorites: The Rainforest collection ($68 to $595), inspired by a camping trip to British Columbia and hiking in the ancient rain forests, feature pieces with leaf and fern frond patterns accented with natural stones from that region.

Big break: Becoming a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

Where to buy: KimThompsonJewelry.com.

paper cuts

 

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Florida artist Lucrezia Bieler creates scherenschnitte, also known as paper cuttings or silhouettes. Her delicate yet detailed cuttings remind viewers of woodblock prints or etchings.

The artist: Bieler was born in Switzerland and studied art for six years at the Hochschule der Künste, Zurich, where graduated with honors as a scientific illustrator. When she and her husband moved to Seattle in1994, she started to pursue paper cutting professionally. The self-taught artist has lived in Tallahassee since 2003.

The goods & materials: Small, surgical-like scissors and a single sheet of paper.

The process: Like woodcutting or sculpting, Bieler starts with a blank resource, such as a single sheet of paper, and creates the art by cutting parts of it away. She can make extremely intricate cuttings with lines that are no thicker than thread-width.

What’s popular: Nature-themed paper cuttings in black and white ($25 to $15,000), though sometimes part of an image is painted with watercolors and the other part is cut.

Claim to fame: Participating in the Smithsonian Craft Show for the 10th time. The  show is April 25-29. The award-winning artist has donated a piece of art for the 2018 Smithsonian online auction. Visit smithsoniancraftshow.org

What’s new: A signature member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists and of “Artists for Conservation,” an international group of nature and wildlife artists. As an AFC member, she will participate in the “Silent Skies” mural project. The 100-foot mural will feature all 678 endangered birds. It will be unveiled Aug. 20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Where to buy: Bieler-beerli.com. In Georgia, at the annual Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival show in Thomasville in Nov. 16-18.

 

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later gator

michael guidry

New Orleans painter Michael Guidry has been called a “Punk Rock Audubon.” It’s a label he likes.

The artist: Guidry grew up in Metairie, near New Orleans, and close to Lake Pontchartrain, where he loved spending time on the water and bird watching. He started to study sculpture and painting while at Louisiana State, where he earned a degree in journalism. After graduation, Guidry attended the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts to learn the fundamentals of drawing and painting from life. In 2006, he opened Michael Guidry studio in New Orleans.

The goods & materials: Oil paintings on combinations of wood, burlap, canvas, and linen. Guidry also hand frames his paintings in his wood shop.

What’s popular: Alligators and pelicans in his Louisiana nature series. Prices range from $700 to $12,000.

Big break: Last year, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival installed a 50-foot version of one of his alligator paintings at the fairgrounds. It is still there.

Where to buy: Mguidrystudio.com. Also at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in Contemporary Crafts, May 3-6 (the second weekend of the festival).

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