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colin’s creatures

Creatures

Colin Richmond’s expressive porcelain creatures are well known for their attention to detail and heirloom quality.

The artist: Richmond grew up in a creative family in update New York, but has no artistic education. He earned his MBA and worked in the corporate world in New York City for several years before moving to Asheville, NC.

The company: Colin’s Creatures, founded in 1991, is based in Asheville. When it began, Richmond carved mixed medium angels. He later added miniature animals to his collection, which he exhibited at the Atlanta Gift Market for many years.

The materials: Porcelain for the animal’s detailed appendages; a woven fur for its tactile appeal from Steiff, the German Teddy Bear maker; and a cast stone body for stability.

What’s popular: The sixty breeds of sheep and lambs ($40 to $200).

Other favorites: Highland cattle ($149 to $199); Scottie puppies ($169); and Nativities ($59 to $749).

What’s new: Stoneware. With it he makes cremains urns in the form of a sleeping pet. So far there are eight dog breeds and cats in a variety of colors. Also in stoneware are figures of short-haired dogs like the English bulldog.

Fun (or unusual) requests: For life-sized sheep and dollhouse-scaled sheep. Both are now part of his collection.

Where to buy: www.colinscreatures.com. In Asheville, at Richmond’s studio by an appointment. Call 828-215-6006.

 

 

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pickled pink

Pickled Pink

Using century-old family recipes and fresh, all-natural ingredients, Charlie Stephenson and Jim Lawlor created Pickled Pink, a line of gourmet pickled foods.

The Atlanta-based company’s best sellers are Smokin’ Okra, Spiced Watermelon Pickles and Sweet Heat Jalapeno’s.

Other favorites include Sweet Gourmet Pickles and Picked Peaches. Sixteen-ounce jars range from $5 to $10.

Where to buy: Pickledpinkfoods.com

nature inspired

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Atlanta artist Chris Condon hopes his sculpture will help raise awareness of the natural world we live in.

The artist: Condon grew up in Westport, Mass., with an early interest in art. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in sculpture and spent a year in Italy learning stone carving. Condon moved to Atlanta more than 20 years ago and maintains a studio at the Art Farm at Serenbe.

The goods & materials: Sculpture, including animals, birds and plants, using a combination of wood, stone, bone and other mediums.

What popular: Birds, by far ($400 and up).

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Other favorites: Foxes ($2,200); hives ($1,200 and up); and Terrapin shells ($325 each).

Claim to fame: Commissioned to carve the Green Man at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The limestone sculpture is at the entrance of the Children’s Garden.

What’s next: Maybe a series of bird nests.

Where to buy: ChrisCondonSculpture.com. In Atlanta, at Pollen, 432 E. Paces Ferry Road (pollenatlanta.com). Pollen, a flower and home store, is owned by Condon and his wife Bonnie.

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boho chic

Vicki Love

Influenced by nature’s elements, Vicki Love emphasizes texture and movement in her unique leather bags and accessories.

The artist: A Tennessee native, Love attended the University of North Carolina and graduated from the University of Tennessee. She taught high school English in Knoxville before becoming a full-time artist in 1977.

The goods: Handcrafted leather bags ($58 to $468) and large, one-of-a-kind bags ($900 to $1,200). Also vests ($250 to ($550, pictured below), which feature a lot of movement.

The materials & colors: Deerskin, which is soft yet strong and easy to clean. Bags are adorned with semiprecious stones, bone, glass, fringe and vintage pieces. Popular colors include black, dark chocolate, latte, toasted almond, white and pastels like raspberry sorbet (pictured above), a signature color Love’s tannery developed exclusively for her.

Where to buy: VickiLovedesigns.com.

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clay feats

Chess set

 

Jim Bridgeman, a former air traffic controller, found a new calling as a ceramic artist.

The artist: Bridgeman grew up in Maryland and graduated from Virginia Tech.  For most of his career, he worked as an air traffic controller and instructor in Georgia before retiring for health issues. In 2007, unsure of what to do with himself, Bridgeman, took a pottery wheel class in Fayette County.

In 2012, he made the shift from traditional wheel-thrown pottery to hand-built pottery using slabs of clay. The method allows him to create the architectural and geometric forms that define his current work.

The goods: Vases, salt and pepper sets and the occasional mug ($25 to $575). The horizontal and vertical vases (pictured below), often finished with steel nails, are functional but also decorative. The rustic yet refined look of his clay work is often mistaken for wood, Bridgeman said.

Special gifts: Chess sets ($2,125) are comprised of more than 400 pieces of clay that have been cut assembled and refined prior to firing in the kiln. Bridgeman, who does not play chess, challenged himself to create a set.

Awards: Chosen as an emerging artist scholarship recipient for the (2013) 4 Bridges Arts Festival in Chattanooga.

Claim to fame: One of his chess sets is in the San Francisco home of a cofounder of a high-profile tech company.

Where to see & buy: On Instagram at bridgeman studios.

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beaded splendor

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Karin Slaton grew up in a family of artists. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that she became one.

The (accidental) artist: Slaton spent most of her career in sales and marketing in Louisville, Ky., where she grew up. Twenty years ago, she moved to Georgia with her husband for his job. She worked as a regional accountant and a corporate trainer in Fayetteville, where the family lived.

On a sister’s getaway weekend in Florida, Slaton was introduced to beads and was bewitched. As her interest grew, Slaton attended bead weaving classes and received training at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts (Tenn.). She continues to explore different mediums and techniques, both current and time-honored.

The company: Backstory Designs, based in Fayetteville, officially started in 2016. In her studio, Slaton weaves the smallest precision-cut beads, incorporating semi-precious stones and crystals in her contemporary jewelry designs.

What’s popular: Gemstone lariats, in garnet, sapphire and black spinel, that can be worn long, short or as a wrist wrap ($148 to $295).

Other favorites: Geometriks collection, which combines classic shapes with gemstones and crystals ($78 to $210).

Good cause: Slaton donates 100 percent of the profits from her designs to Doctors Without Borders.

Where to buy: Backstorydesigns.net

preserves & cheese

CheesePairing

In Thomasville, GA, Blackberry Patch and Sweet Grass Dairy have teamed up to offer a tasty cheese and preserves set.

Blackberry Patch, known for its handmade, small-batch goods using real fruits, offers Blueberry Lemon Thyme and Peach Bourbon Cardamom preserves ($6.99 per 10-ounce jar) for cheese.

Purchase preserves individually or as part of the Perfect Pairing Gift Set ($48), which includes a hand-crafted soft and hard cheese from the award-winning Georgia cheese maker.

Where to buy: Blackberrypatch.com