As a native Floridian, SCUBA diver and longtime potter, Glenda Taylor’s address plaques are inspired by her love of the ocean, beach and the state’s colorful, sunny style.
The artist: Taylor received her fine arts degree in ceramics from the University of Florida. After graduation, she began making pottery (mostly decorative vessels) and selling it at outdoor art fairs. In 1986, Taylor was asked to establish a ceramics program at the Vero Beach Museum of Art and taught there for 10 years. During that time, she teamed with two other female potters and created Tiger Lily Art Studios and Gallery. Known for her one-of-a-kind decorative vessels, Taylor wanted to create artwork that was more accessible.
The company: Created in 2015 in Vero Beach, Taylor Tiles offers custom house number plaques, which are made of individual tiles handcrafted by Taylor. Prices range from $160 to $190, depending on the size and number of tiles.
Top themes: Sea turtles and orchids.
Other favorites: Sailboats; mermaids; tree frogs; pineapple; hibiscus; beach chair and umbrella; tropical fish; dolphins; palm trees; and banana trees
Fun request: A customer in Cape Cod wanted specific lighthouses featured on her side tiles and flying seagulls on the crown tile of her address plaque.
Where to buy: For now, Taylor Tiles are sold exclusively through El Prado in Vero Beach (www.elpradoverobeach.com).
In her contemporary works, New Orleans-based ceramic artist Sarah House takes inspiration from the fractal mathematics of nature.
The artist: Born in Baltimore, House earned an BFA is from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and a MFA is from Tulane University in New Orleans She took her first ceramics class in 2001 at a community college in Baltimore, and has been pursuing the craft ever since through study and artist in residence programs.
The goods: Ceramic sculpture (that may reference natural and ambiguous formations of big ice or turbulent water) and clean, functional objects for your table and home.
What’s popular: Nesting Mug Sets ($100, shown below) and the Fractal Serving Dish Sets ($175, above).
Other favorites: Elemental Constructs are geometric white ceramics wall hanging sculptures ($125 to $600, shown below).
Big break: In January, House was featured in the “Artist Spotlight” series at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. It was her first museum solo show.
What’s new: Working on iceberg-inspired planters and sculpture inspired by her art residency in Iceland.
Whether it is a cabinet or candle holder, Tennessee designer Peter Fleming artfully juxtaposes high style with down-to-earth functionality.
The company: Nashville-based Building #9 is a product and design company founded by Fleming in 2011. With a focus on home goods, the company custom builds tables, cabinets, mirrors and table-top accessories including candle holders, boxes, book stands and easels.
The founder/designer: Fleming, who grew up in a small mining town in Southern Australia, earned a degree in an interior design from Auburn University. After graduation, he moved to New York to study at the Institute for Classical Architecture and work in the office of architect Robert A.M. Stern, and most recently Bobby McAlpine, who lives in Atlanta. Before starting his company (Building #9), Fleming taught courses on the history of furniture and decorative arts at O’More College of Design in Franklin, Tenn.
The company name: As a professor, Fleming’s classes were held in a converted shoe factory, specifically in the factory’s Building #9.
Known for: Original designs and experimenting with a variety of materials, including steel, plaster, parchment, leather and solid woods.
What’s popular: Mirrors ($1,800 to $3,000) and cabinets ($1,500 to $10,500) designed for specific rooms.
Other favorites: Side tables ($800 to $1,600).
Fun (or unusual) request: Producing some custom headphone stands for a singer/songwriter.
Where to buy: www.buildingnumber9.com
Virginia blacksmith Corry Blanc draws on old world skills and tradition to craft his heirloom kitchen and home goods.
The founder/designer: Blanc grew up in Dawsonville, north of Atlanta, and discovered metalsmithing shortly after high school when he went to work at his uncle’s metal fabrication company for four years. In 2007, Blanc moved to Charlottesville and worked with a blacksmith (Stokes of England) in nearby Keswick before going out on his own in 2009.
The company: Charlottesville-based Blanc Creatives started in 2011. The small company makes hand-forged carbon steel skillets and hand-crafted home goods.
What’s hot: The10-inch skillet ($225), one of three skillet sizes, is a best seller and sized right for a home kitchen. Also cassoulet pans cassoulets ($260 to $290) in two sizes (10 and 12 inches). Skillets and plan are pre-seasoned and ready to cook with upon delivery.
Other favorites: Hand-shaped wooden spatulas ($65); cutting and charcuterie boards and paddles ($75 to $175).
Where to buy: http://www.blanccreatives.com
Like many parents, Natasha Lehnert McRee wanted a way to frame her children’s art work that was both stylish – and super easy to change. After teaming up with Morgan Kimble Doherty, a professional muralist, the design duo came up with a simple and elegant solution.
The company: Wexel Art Displays started in 2010 in Austin. The Texas company designs and makes acrylic frames, which come in various colors, shapes and sizes and work in two styles: a single panel of acrylic that uses strong magnets to hold the art in place and a double-panel frame that sandwiches the art between two pieces of plexiglass.
The founders/designers: A Houston native, McRee graduated from Louisiana State University and worked at GSD&M, a Texas ad agency, before going out on her own. Doherty grew up in Vineland, NJ, and earned her degree in printmaking and painting from Rowan University (NJ). She worked as custom framer before meeting McRee and collaborating on several design projects prior to starting Wexel Art.
The materials: Acrylic and rare earth magnets that it has a patented design on, plus hardware in silver, bronze, black or (new) brushed gold.
What’s popular: Mondrian Set of Wallscapes ($800 to $1,800 and shown below). Sizes include 60 inches, 90 inches or 123 inches in 18 different colors.
Other favorites: Eva Zeisel Collection of three frames ($165.95).
Fun requests: Wall frames shaped like states, including Texas, Tennessee and Oregon; acrylic kennel doors with puppy paw prints; and snowflake ornaments made from leftover acrylic scrap materials.
Claim to fame: Made frames for CNN when the media company wanted to frame 30 of its most pivotal broadcast images.
As a deeply committed homesteader in North Carolina, Jessica Green’s weaving business is truly homegrown. Green spins wool from the sheep she raises and forages for natural plant dyes before designing and weaving her modern version of traditional textiles.
The artist/designer: Green grew up in Austin, Texas, and graduated from Bennington College in Vermont. It wasn’t until after college that she started weaving, learning the craft through a series of traditional apprenticeships. Drawn to southern Appalachia because of its deep craft history, Green started A Little Weather in Sandy Mush (just north of Asheville) in 2013.
The goods: Handwoven home goods, including coverlets, pillows and wall hangings influenced by colonial American textiles, Scandinavian designs.
What’s popular: Fireside Blanket in Indigo and Poppy ($748). Also everyday cloths in a range of indigo variations ($39).
Other favorites: Framed pieces, including overshot drawings ($288); woven paintings ($1,200); and smaller woven paintings ($350 to 500).
Claim to fame: Featured in the American Craft Council and Garden & Gun magazines.
What’s new: Baby blankets ($280) and Green’s first solo exhibition at the Bradbury Art Museum in Arkansas in the spring of 2017.
Where to buy: www.alittleweather.com
Since 1993, Atlanta’s Christopher Moulder been designing, fabricating and installing one-of-a-kind lighting sculptures and a line of limited edition lighting fixtures that are both functional and decorative.
The founder/designer: Grew up in Jacksonville, Fla, where the sand, wind, clouds and electrical storms of his childhood influenced his later light work. He studied furniture design in Germany, and in 1997 received his MFA from SCAD in Savannah.
Best sellers: Schproket Pendant crafted from aluminum, nylon and stainless steel and available in silver metallic, red or white ($1,050 to $1,980); the Schproket Sconce ($700 to $1,740; and the “Rain, Drizzle, Droplet series of a pendant/sconce and chandeliers made from nickel-plate brass bead chain and stainless steel. Prices range from $295 to $6,000, depending on the number of droplets used.
Big break: Winning the Absolut Vodka Furniture competition (1997) with the Absolut Enlightenment Chandelier. This piece, created from Absolut Citron bottles, aluminum and stainless steel, is a conglomeration of Absolut bottles, in the shape of one large Absolut bottle.
Claim to fame: Mammatus, a one-of-a-kind lighting sculpture commissioned by the City of Atlanta for the Arrivals Hall in the International Terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Inspired by clouds, the 3,000-pound piece is made with more than eight miles of nickel-plated bead chain.
What’s new: Two new collections: The Forest and The Royals. Both airy collections of limited-edition chandeliers, pendants and sconces, are characterized by integral light sources, sculptural silhouettes and shadow effects.
Where to buy: www.christophermoulder.com for made-to-order pieces.