EARTHLY & ELEGANT
South Carolina’s Kate Furman designs nature-based jewelry that is both rustic and refined.
The artist: Furman grew up in Greenville, where she began making jewelry in high school at the Fine Arts Center. She earned her undergraduate degree in jewelry and metalworking from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in metalworking at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2012. Between and after schooling, she worked for jewelers and taught jewelry and art around the country. Currently, Furman teaches jewelry and is developing the jewelry and metalsmithing program at Greenville Center for Creative Arts.
What’s popular: Twig bangle and wrapping bracelets ($150 to $200) in two sizes and two colors (sterling silver or bronze). Also one-of-a-kind wooden “art jewelry” ($300 to $1,500).
Other favorites: Twig wrapping rings in silver ($125) or silver with a flush set of diamonds ($225).
Claim to fame: Published in many magazines, including the American Craft, and (coming this year) in Metalsmith Magazine. Also exhibited internationally and nationally.
What’s new: Opening a new working studio and retail space in the Village of West Greenville, an emerging artist community.
Where to buy: katefurman.com. In Atlanta, at the ACC show (Booth 1108).
FEATS OF CLAY
A fascination with “all things mechanical” inspired Alabama’s Paveen “Beer” Chunhaswasdikul to create a fun collection of clay art that he calls “manly pottery.”
The artist: Born in Thailand, Beer is the nickname his father gave him. After graduating from high school, Beer moved to the United States to study English at Gadsden (Alabama) State Community College (1985) and later graduated from Jacksonville State University, where he discovered pottery. After several business ventures in Alabama — including running an auto repair shop — he bought a kiln and returned to his first love, pottery. He started Beer’s Pottery in Gadsden in 2002.
What’s popular: In the manly pottery collection: beer mugs ($69), grenade mugs ($59) and small teapots ($250 to $350). In the traditional pottery line: whistle mugs ($42) and bell goblets ($42).
Other favorites: Hummingbird feeders ($22 to $65) and teapots from the manly pottery line ($250 to $5,000)
Claim to fame: Awards from some of the country’s prestigious art shows, including: “Best in Ceramic” at the Smithsonian Craft Show in 2011, “Best in Show” at the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show, and an Award of Excellence at ACC Atlanta (2010).
Where to buy: In Atlanta, at the ACC Show (Booth 600). To learn more, visit: beers-pottery.com.
TAKE A SEAT
Award-winning woodworker Alan Daigre builds heirloom-quality chairs that are sought after for their clean, simple lines and handsome woods.
The artist/designer: Born in Natchez, Miss., Daigre came to furniture making after a lengthy career as a mental health therapist, mostly in Atlanta. He took up woodworking as therapy for himself. Then it quickly became a passion. In 2001 he attended a chair-making workshop at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Tennessee and became a full-time maker in 2005. Daigre lives and works in Woodbury, Tenn., about 55 miles from Nashville.
The goods: Furniture — including rocking chairs, dining and office chairs, bar stools and a chaise — is made from wood, most of which is sustainably harvested from Tennessee and North Carolina.
What’s popular: Rockers, especially the classic walnut rocker ($3,800). Other rockers range from $3,200 to $4,200, depending on the woods used and customization.
What’s special: Chairs are designed to adjust to a sitter’s body. A single cable threads through the chair and connects 80 or more individual blocks that make up the seat and back. When a person sits, the blocks adjust to the shape of that person.
What’s next: Opening his own gallery in Woodbury.
Claim to fame: Recently built a dining room set and a few rocking chairs for Al Gore’s new Nashville residence. His rocking chairs are also in Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s office and the Nashville mayor’s office.
Where to buy: alandaigredesigns.com. In Atlanta, at the ACC show (Booth 506).
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