Cary Calhoun, the Atlanta jewelry designer and metalsmith, worked in corporate banking for 15 years before letting her creative side take over.
The designer & background: Calhoun graduated from the University of Georgia with a business degree. While working in corporate banking, she started making jewelry in her spare time. In 1987, Calhoun signed up for her first jewelry class at Chastain Arts Center. She later took classes and attended workshops at places like Spruill Center for the Arts, Penland School of Crafts and John C. Campbell Folk School, both in North Carolina. After her son was born in 1999, Calhoun started making jewelry as more than a hobby.
The company: Atlanta-based Cary Calhoun Designs handcrafts sterling, gold and gold-plated jewelry
What’s popular: Filigree earrings ($78); twig earrings in silver and vermeil ($120 and $140); and “link” bracelets ($200 to $300) to wear alone or layer with other bracelets.
Other favorites: Lace cuffs ($450 to $600), because of the story. After Calhoun’s mother died unexpectedly a few years ago, she found some amazing textiles and lace in the attic. After a year of experimentation, she perfected the process of casting the lace/textiles to create jewelry, mainly cuffs. Cuffs are cast in brass and then plated, either in sterling silver or 14k gold.
Fun request: Asked by a friend to make a lace cuff from the lace of her daughter’s wedding dress.
Where to buy: Frolic Boutique, 2339 Peachtree Road and 3728 Roswell Road, (frolicboutiqueatlanta.com). Also at the Spotlight on Art at the Trinity School in Atlanta from Jan. 30 to Feb. 4.
For information: www.CaryCalhounDesigns.com
A self-taught stone sculptor, Stephen Hutchins carves one-of-a-kind stone bowls and sculptures, made mostly from found and salvaged materials.
The artist & background: Hutchins career began in 2004 in the Lakes region of New Hampshire, where his passion for stone led him to architectural stone carving and eventually sculpture. He spent a summer on Whidbey Island in Washington working with the sculptors of the Freeland Art Studio before moving to Tennessee to open his studio.
The company: Hutchins Stoneworks, based in Nashville, produces art, masonry, and stone carvings. It also offers preservation work.
The goods: Free-form stone sculptures from one foot to four feet ($800 to $4,500). Also bowls carved from stones found along rivers, abandoned quarries, construction sites ($70 to $800).
Best sellers: Natural-edged river rock bowls ($75 to 300), especially granites gathered along the Appalachian Mountain range.
Other favorites: Helix-shaped sculptures of various stones and sizes ($600 to $3,500).
Fun request: A birthday gift for a client’s artist sister. Hutchins went out to the100-year-old family farm the sisters grew up on and picked a rock to carve into a bowl.
Claim to fame: Restoring and creating stolen or lost parts of the Nashville City Cemetery. For one task, he carved a ball finial for the family plot of James Robertson, the founder of Nashville.
Where to buy: www.hutchinsstoneworks.com. In Atlanta, at Spotlight on Art at the Trinity School.
Paige Kalena Follmann was drawn to art at an early age, but never thought she could make a career of it. Now the marketing-turned-abstract artist is known for her striking use of color, pattern and shape.
Artist & background: Follmann, originally from Highland Park in Dallas, Texas, is a graduate of the University of Georgia. She also trained at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.
The career shift: Follmann began painting to have a creative outlet from her marketing job. She started sharing photos of her work, and soon friends (and eventually clients) were commissioning paintings. In 2015, Follmann launched her website and online shop. Follmann works out of her home studio in Virginia Highland.
What’s popular: Hand-painted, Picasso-esque ceramic vases ($50 to $200).
Other favorites: Abstract figure paintings ($600 to $3,000). Also custom pieces for clients and interior designers.
Big break: Invited to exhibit her work at the Swan Coach House Gallery at the Atlanta History Center a week after launching her website.
Claim to fame: Having one of her paintings hanging in a custom designed home in the Hampton’s.
Where to buy: www.paigekalenafollmann.com. Also at Spotlight on Art at The Trinity School in Atlanta (Jan. 30-Feb. 4).
Atlanta-based Little Barn Apothecary is known for its simple and modern apothecary goods made from wild-harvested, certified organic ingredients.
The company: Little Barn Apothecary started in early 2015 and recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store, called Little Barn Apothecary + Co., on Atlanta’s Westside. The unisex bath and body line includes washes, scrubs, oils and balms, plus candles. The small-batch products are handcrafted in the company’s warehouse and studio located in Scottdale.
The founders: Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins are self-taught herbalists.
How they got stated: In 2012, Morgan and Scoggins began researching botanicals and experimenting at home with recipes for safe, alternative self-care products. They shared some items with friends and family and expanded the line to today’s core selection before going public
Where to buy: littlebarnapothecarycom. In Atlanta, at its flagship shop, 1170 Howell Mill Road (next to Room & Board).
Brandi Couvillion tells a story of New Orleans in her contemporary and historically inspired jewelry.
The artist & background: A New Orleans native, Couvillion graduated from Tulane University and studied woodworking and jewelry at the Penland School of Crafts (NC). While working as the CFO of a non-profit historic preservation center in New Orleans for six years, she was involved in a 10-year restoration of a Victorian-era home in the Lower Garden District. The project further fueled her passion for the city, maps and historic architecture and inspired her mixed media art and jewelry.
The company & goods: Brandi Couvillion started in 2005 in New Orleans. Her jewelry work, comprising metal etchings of historic New Orleans maps culled from archives, includes bracelets, earring and necklaces.
The process: To create her pieces, Couvillion begins with raw sheets of metal and uses an intensive, handcrafted process involving heat image transfers, various etchants, patinas and polishes, as well as hammer forming.
What’s popular: The Nine Muses Cuff Bracelet and the Bayou St. John Cuff Bracelet (the map is from 1880) range from $160 to $325, depending on the metal (brass, copper or sterling silver) and amount of detail in the piece.
Other favorites: The Mississippi River Cuff Bracelet (from Baton Rouge to New Orleans and out through the delta in 1863). Prices range from $175 to $350
Where to buy: www.Bcouvillion.com
Cindy Leaders became obsessed with handmade books in 2006. Ten years and more than 4,000 journals and books later, the Georgia artist says it is the best job she has ever had.
The artist: Leaders stumbled upon the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, and attended a week-long class in bookbinding and fell in love with the process.
The company: Toccoa-based Free Range Bookbinding started on a whim as Useful Books in 2007. It produces handmade personalized journals and special-occasion books using maps and unexpected materials, like manila envelopes and index cards
What’s popular: Versatile travel journal with pockets and envelopes ($45). Also, two other travel journals for longer trips with pockets, envelopes and an expandable spine ($75 to $110). All travel journals can be personalized with maps to reflect the customer’s personal travels, as well as names, dates and short phrases.
Other favorites: Wedding photo guest books ($90 to $160) and a variety of photo albums and scrapbooks ($22 to $170).
Where to buy: www.FreeRangeBookbinding.com
North Carolina artist and architect Karen M. O’Leary creates modern city maps with an x-acto knife or pen.
The artist & owner: Born in Seoul, South Korea, O’Leary grew up in Pennsylvania She graduated with a degree in architecture from Virginia Tech, where she first made a hand-cut map as part of her fifth year architecture thesis. After graduation, while working in New York City, she made a hand-cut map for herself. It was six feet by eight feet and took nine months to complete. In 2009, she listed the NYC map on etsy.com, sold it — and unintentionally started a business.
The company: Studio KMO, based in Charlotte, started in 2009 and sells custom maps of favorite cities and places. It offers three collections: handcrafted maps of any city or location, ink drawings, and city-pressed prints.
The hand-cut process: Once ordered, the paper maps are hand-cut, block by block . Cutting them by hand allows O’Leary the opportunity to design and customize each one.
What’s popular: The 10-inch by 10-inch original maps ($125 to $175). Some of the most requested cities include: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York City and Paris.
Other favorites: City-pressed prints, the newest collection ($36 per city).
Most time-consuming city map cut: London. The blocks are irregular and dense, unlike any other.
Big break: Featured in Oprah’s O Magazine (2014) and a 2016 finalist in Garden & Gun magazine’s “Made in the South Awards.”
Where to buy: www.StudioKMO.etsy.com