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fresh threads

Leisa Rich

In her abstract and colorful mixed-media work, Atlanta fiber artist Leisa Rich uses many processes and machines, including free motion machine embroidery and a 3D printer.

The artist/designer: Rich was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada and holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Western Ontario. She also earned a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of North Texas. As a fiber artist, she is trained in weaving, sewing, basketry, embroidery, and plant and chemical dyes.

The materials & techniques: Plastics, thread, fabrics, mixed media (and so much more) favors 3D printing and free motion stitching — otherwise known as machine embroidery, a way of “painting” and building texture with sewing thread

What’s popular: Interactive panels ($275 to $4,000), where viewers can touch and rearrange the plastic and metal framed works. Delta Airlines recently acquired four of her large panel works for its sky lounges, including Atlanta and Austin.

Other favorites: Wearable sculpture ($45 to $2,000).

Fun (or unusual) request: Make a 22-inch-tall top hat for a lead singer in a band.

Claim to fame: Has artwork in many permanent collections, including Emory Healthcare, the Kamm Teapot Foundation and the Dallas Museum of Art. Also PBS filmed an art segment about Rich.

Claim to fame 2: Wrote and illustrated a children’s book: “Animal Alphabet Traveling Twisters”

Atlanta ties: A descendent of the Walker family, who sold the land that is now Piedmont Park to the city of Atlanta. Her grandfather and great grandmother were born on the land. Rich didn’t find out this piece of family history until she moved to Atlanta 10 years ago.

Where to see her work: In Atlanta, at Studio Leisa Rich, her studio/art gallery/teaching space in the Goat Farm Arts Center (W214), 1200 Foster St. Also at the Summer Swan Invitational at the Swan Coach House Gallery (through August 4), 3130 Slaton Drive, and “South: The Grand Salon Show” at Kibbee Gallery (July 15-31), 688 Linwood Ave.

Where to buy:   

Splattered and fractured detail

IMG_8758 copy 2LACY performingSpikey Pokey excellent detail

start your engines

Wooden Wonder

Atlanta’s Richard Webb has had a longtime interest in cars. He has collected cars (374 over his lifetime). He also raced cars. When he retired, Webb was driven to paint them.

The artist: Richard Webb studied graphic arts at Pratt Institute (NY) and graduated from Florida State University, where he studied advertising design and painting. After graduating, Webb had a long career in advertising, specifically in developing brand concepts. After he retired in 2003, he resumed painting as a hobby, now his second career.

Known for: His colorful, large-scale automobile paintings ($500 to $5,000, plus), which often feature the side or front end (or grill) or a car.

What’s popular: Commissions. When it comes to cars, people tend to want a specific car, either their own or one that invokes a special memory.

Other favorites: Painting on non-traditional surfaces, such as classic Woodies on surfboards and vintage Land Rovers on barn wood.

Fun (or unusual) request: Often asked to use part of a car in painting, such as door handles and hood ornaments.

Claim to fame: Earlier this year, Webb was asked by Porsche Financial Services to create an original painting for its annual “Fusion” event, where top producing dealerships are honored. Each honoree received a framed, limited-edition print of the original painting, which hangs in the Porsche corporate offices in Atlanta.

Claim to fame 2: So far, he has completed nine paintings for Thomas Trissl (, one of the largest Porsche enthusiasts and collectors (also an art collector) in the Southeast. It’s has been fun to be around his collection of current and vintage automobiles and be able to paint hem, said Webb.

Where to buy: or by appointment at his Atlanta studio at Also in Atlanta, at the Piedmont Park Arts Festival (Aug. 19-20).

R17White Caddy

go fish

Bamboo Rods

North Carolina’s John Hollifield made his first bamboo rod in 2011. Since then, he has made nothing else. Hollifield hopes his custom, hand-made rods will be used for years. And passed down to the next generation.

The company: Hollifield Bamboo Fly Rods began in 2011. Located in Hayesville, NC, just north of Hiawassee, Ga. Hollifield not only hand crafts bamboo fly rods to the specifications of the customer, he also does custom engraving and offers rod-making classes.

The designer & owner: Hollifield earned degree in industrial technology from Western Carolina University in 1981and worked in various jobs during his career, including industrial and quality engineer. He retired in 2014 to devote full time attention to his growing rod-making business. Hollifield lives and works on property in Hayesville that has been in his family for eight generations.

What’s popular: Rods, in two or three pieces, in the seven to eight feet range in line weights from three to six. However, other rod sizes and line weights (2 to 10) are available. They include an extra tip which is traditionally included with bamboo fly rods. A two-piece rod with an extra tip starts at $1,600 and an aluminum rod tube. Three-piece rods with an extra tip start at $1,800.

Other favorites: Custom engraved rods (cost of hand-cut engraving is based on design complexity and whether 24k gold is required). Reel seats are available in aluminum, nickel silver and stainless Damascus (deluxe models only).

Fun (or unusual) requests: Make a rod for a customer in Mongolia. Also create a rod with an engraved buffalo, which was a company logo, on the reel seat.

Big break: Featured in the 2016 August/September gear issue of Garden & Gun magazine.

Where to buy: In the Atlanta area, at Fly Box Outfitters, 840 Ernest W. Barrett Pkwy., in Kennesaw. Hollifield and his rods will be on hand in Asheville, NC, at the Southern Highlands Craft Fair (July 21-23).


IMG_2883Buffalo Trout Reel Seats

atlanta modern



Spring ValleyJordache Avery lives in a modern house he designed. The Atlanta architect also has three modern homes in the Atlanta area on the upcoming MA! (Modern Atlanta) Architectural Tour.

Architect & background: A Florida native, Avery grew up in Jacksonsville, where his father was a senior planner for the city. As a child, Avery loved to look over the architectural drawings his father brought home. Avery graduated from Florida A & M University in 2004 with an architecture degree. When he moved to Atlanta, he worked for Corcoran-Ota Group in Atlanta before starting his own firm.


The company: Atlanta-based XMETRICAL, LLC started in 2009.

The company name: XMETRICAL is a play on words intended to describe the pursuit of balance in more complex and less rigidly defined relationships.

As seen in — or on: Atlanta magazine (March 2016), “A look inside 3 modern homes in Atlanta.” And on the Atlanta modern home/architectural tours in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. This year, Avery has three homes on the 2017 tour (june 10 & 11) in Atlanta: Spring Valley, Hardendorf and Overbrook.

Design pet peeves: Traditional homes with modern lipstick. You can’t just change the finishes, flatten the roof and call it modern. It should be designed as such.

Current design obsession: Using ceilings to better define space and draw attention to specific areas and features, such as floating a ceiling over the kitchen island or changing the materials and texture of the ceiling in a dining room.

New (or re-emerging) looks I like: Adding warm and rustic materials to the design, such as re-claimed wood veneer to contrast with the clean and sharp modern lines. In appropriate amounts and in well-chosen locations, it’s a great choice for accent walls and in ceilings treys.

… And looks I am glad to see go. A horizontal brick tile (running bond pattern) installed vertically. Personally, it just feels wrong and arbitrary when the tile is obviously designed to be installed in a different direction.

Latest project(s): Ashley Point. Three modern homes under construction on a triangular shaped lot across the street from Old Fourth Ward Park.

Up next/what’s new: Six modern townhomes in Ormewood Park near Ormewood Square and another five modern units in Poncey-Highland, footsteps from Ponce City Market.

Find Jordache Avery & XMETRICAL, LLC at:

  • Instagram:@xmetrical
  • Twitter: @xmetrical
  • Website:





word play


With its retro-inspired prints and clever word play, Unusual Occasion Cards are fun to send. Or keep and frame.

The company: Unusual Occasion Cards is based in Austin, Texas. The company is comprised of two divisions: one, dating from 1993, handles private client work, including Laura Bush’s birthday luncheon as First Lady. The commercial greeting card division launched in 2001 at the National Stationery Show in New York, and was selected “Best in Show.” The “pointed wit” card collection is the company’s only line.

The owner: Cindy Bell Morgan, who has lived in Austin most of her life. A self-described conceptualist who has no formal art background, she co-authored an article about “Art Yucko” in Texas Monthly magazine in 1978. The next year, she (and her now ex-husband) opened a small “vintage department store” in Austin called Morgan’s. She then started producing cards and invitations for store events. When the store closed after 11 years, she was asked to create cards, invitations and branding that was unique.

The goods: The “pointed wit” card collection includes 100 cards, each with a nostalgic looking graphic with a printed word, kind of like a rebus. Read together, they create a slang that is embedded in the culture. For example, “bucket list,” “bride-zilla, and “mommy dearest” (for mother’s day). The cards retail for $4.50 to $6.

Popular new card: “hey girl.”

Old standard: “puppy love,” for new puppy owners.

What’s new: Screen Printed Posters ($36) in limited styles.

Where to see & buy: View the line and order a minimum of 10 cards.




go small

O OOOOO sailboat

 A fascination with miniatures inspired Alabama artist Karen Libecap to think big. But paint small.

The company: Tiny Paintings is based in Hoover, Ala. Libecap started doing tiny paintings in 2015.

The artist: Grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and was encouraged by her mother, an oil painter and sculptor, to pursue her passion for drawing and art. She attended Kent State University for graphic design and worked as an art director in Chicago, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. In 2009, she moved to Alabama. In 2013, she entered her first art competition and was awarded the Hoover Arts Alliance Award from the Alabama Pastel Society.

The goods: Realistic with keenly observed details, the tiny paintings ($100 to $200) are no larger than 1.25 inches by 1.25 inches (about the size of a quarter or postage stamp). Random and popular subjects include animals, books, celebrities, favorite foods, places, and vintage toys.

By the book: Learn how to draw and paint the art of the miniature in Libecap’s guidebook,” The Big Book of Tiny Art: ($21.95)

Where to buy:

O OOOOO heartO OOOOO palmtreelandscape

beach inspired

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After a walk on the beach, Bryce Brock and Kelly Revels designed sculptural containers inspired by an oyster shell found on Sapelo Island, off the Georgia coast.

The designers/founders: Georgia natives Bryce Varin Brock and Kelly Revels. A self-described creative, Revels earned a degree in business administration from GSU and worked at a software company. Brock graduated from UGA in 2001with a degree in landscape architecture and joined the Sea Island Company in its landscape department. A few years later, she became the landscape director. She also assisted in the landscape design for the Cloister, the spa and beach club landscape. In 2007, the flower shop was put under her direction. Needing help, Brock called her friend Revels. Over the next few months, they came for a business was born.

The company: The Vine Garden Market on Saint Simons Island opened in 2008. The company consists of three different yet complimentary departments: Landscape design, events and a garden market, which sells plants, plus garden and home decorating items.

What’s popular: Oyster shell containers in three sizes ($75, $150 and $250).

Big breaks: Connecting with The Southern C, a resource group for Southern entrepreneurs. Also moving the store to its current location at 12 Market Street, where there is more foot traffic

What’s next: The Greenhouse, a new event space, will open this fall.

Where to buy: In Atlanta, find the oyster containers at Steve McKenzie’s, 999 Brady Ave. NW (

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