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man with a new pan


Saute Line Up

In September 2016, Southern made featured the work of Corry Blanc, a Virginia blacksmith who crafts heirloom kitchen and home goods, such as hand-forged steel skillets and handsome charcuterie boards.

The artist & company: Blanc, who grew up in Dawsonville, GA, started Charlottesville-based Blanc Creatives in 2011.

What’s new: Saucier pans (in two sizes, $345 and $380). Also roasters with two-loop handles (in three sizes, $230 to $280). The all-steel pans are pre-seasoned with coconut oil.

Also new: The “noir” line of wood boards ($145 and $165, pictured below). Made of oxidized walnut, the boards feature a brass pipe inlay. They are sealed with food-safe linseed oil and beeswax.

Where to buy:



delicate or decorative


Virginia’s Shira Brooks grew up in a creative family. Her mother is a glass artist. Her sister is an animator-turned-ceramicist. Brooks gets her creative fix from making jewelry.

The artist: Brooks started metalsmithing and rock climbing as a teenager. The climbing inspired her jewelry designs. She later studied metals at University of the Arts in Philadelphia and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2016, Brooks opened her studio in Richmond.

The goods & materials: Statement necklaces and delicate pendants; funky rings and cuffs; and lightweight earrings. Jewelry is made from recycled silver, and stones, such as moody opals, sapphires, white topaz and labradorite.

What’s popular: Annapurna necklace ($140 to $170) and Acanthus earrings ($140 to $200).

Fun (or unusual) request: Custom piece for a couple who was in the Peace Corps and wanted a necklace of the prominent mountain from their village in Madagascar. It was a surprise gift from him to her.

What’s next: Specific mountain ranges; functional compass pendants; and more pieces with large stones.

Where to buy: and Instagram @shirabrooks.

wood + bowls


Since childhood, Mark Gardner has enjoyed working with his hands. But there is something about working with wood that gives the renowned wood artist the most satisfaction.

The artist: Growing up in Cincinnati, Gardner started as a child working with wood, his father’s hobby. At 16, he enrolled in a furniture-making class at the University of Cincinnati, where he later earned a degree in theater design and production.

After college, Gardner took a woodturning class at Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg. That class help him decide to focus on woodworking rather than theater. He moved to Saluda, NC, to work with wood turner and sculptor Stoney Lamar.

The company: Mark Gardner Studio opened in 2000 in Saluda. Gardner has created sculptural wood pieces, but is currently focused on utilitarian pieces, like bowls and household items.

What’s popular: Bowls in five sizes and five colors: white (top seller), yellow, blue, green and orange. Bowls ($50 to $300) are finished with a food-safe walnut oil and beeswax paste finish that Gardner makes himself.

Where to buy: In Atlanta, at the American Craft Council show (booth 910) March 16-18. See Gardner’s work at

crow about

Fox and Crow

North Carolina’s Christine Kosiba became fascinated with ravens while living in Arizona. The striking black birds remain a central focus of the sculptor’s work.

The artist: Kosiba earned a master’s degree in education from North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia). She taught in public schools for 12 years in Georgia and Arizona, often using clay as enrichment tool while creating her art on the side. In 1997, the self-taught sculptor moved to Brevard.

The company: Christine Kosiba Sculpture started in Brevard in 2005 and creates primarily wildlife sculpture.

The materials: Stoneware clay combined with a variety of surface treatments.

What’s popular: Ravens and crows ($350 to $800).

Other favorites: Foxes. A single fox ranges from $750 to $950. Also owls ($450 to $850).

Fun (or unusual) request: Create a “Krampus” for an “Edwardian Dreamscape,” a gallery installation curated by artist Kirsten Stingle in 2015 at the Signature Shop & Gallery in Atlanta. After researching this medieval European folk lore figure, she sculpted a three-foot-tall rendition.

Claim to fame: Selected to create six bronze sculptures. In Brevard, the permanent community sculptures include: a turkey, chipmunks, raven, a fox, and an otter, to be installed this spring. In downtown Blacksburg, Va, 16 frogs have been installed.

Where to buy: In Atlanta, at the 2018 American Craft Council show (booth 114)  March 16-18. To see her work or commission a piece, visit:


metal maven

LowTide Neckpiece

Annie Grimes Williams uses traditional metalsmithing techniques to create her contemporary, nature-inspired jewelry.

The artist: Grimes Williams grew up in Welcome, NC, and studied metal design at East Carolina University. After graduating in 2003, she made her jewelry on the side while working full time for another artist. In 2009, she began teaching classes and workshops while starting her jewelry business.

The company: CopperTide Fine Metalwork and Enameling, started in Winston-Salem in 2011, offers fine jewelry and metalwork using copper, vitreous enamel, sterling silver accents and findings (such as clasps, catches, earwires).

What’s popular: Petal-shaped earrings ($40 to $150) in the Microcosm Collection, which feature pieces with torch-fired white enamel with organically inspired hand-drawn sgraffito (a form of decoration made by scratching) designs.

Other favorites: Chevron necklaces and dot earrings ($40 to $100) in the GeoChroma Collection, which includes simple geometric shapes with various color combinations. Many of these pieces are reversible.

Artist favorite: Pod forms in the SeaPods Collection ($100 to $300 with large cluster neckpieces ranging from $1,200 to $2,000).

Where to buy:

IMG_9752 (1)



take the cake

RT cake

Brian Noyes worked for years as an art director of several national publications. But he gave it up for a sweeter deal.

The owner & baker: Noyes graduated from California State University at Fullerton and worked as an art director for several national magazines, including Smithsonian and House & Garden, and at The Washington Post. At the small farm he bought in Virginia while working at The Post, Noyes started making jams, for fun, and selling them. He then turned to baking pies, cakes and other goods. Along the way, Noyes studied at the Culinary Institute of America (NY) to learn more before launching his company.

The company: Red Truck Bakery, started in 2009 in Warrenton, Va., in an old 1921 Esso filling station. The seasonal bakery is now based at its second location in Marshall.

The name: For the red 1954 Ford truck Noyes bought from designer Tommy Hilfiger, and used to deliver his jams and baked goods to local country stores.

What’s popular: The booze-infused cakes ($34) including: moonshine, bourbon, and rum cake. Also the gluten-free almond cake made with local amaretto.

Other favorites: Granola (three, 20-ounce bags, $44).

What’s next: The Red Truck Bakery Cookbook will be published in October.

Where to buy:


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