From rings to necklaces, Steve West’s jewelry makes a statement.
Photo: Steve West
Photo: Steve West

Southern-made jewelry, jackets and handbags

LORD OF THE RINGS

As a kid, Steve West loved Indian Head nickels. Now the Atlanta jewelry maker cuts and uses them in his signature rings and other accessories.

The company: Silver Piston, located in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood, makes rings, cuff links and necklaces with a rugged, yet unisex Americana feel.

The name: Wanted a company name with a motorcycle theme since that is the crowd West runs and rides with. He brainstormed with John Ryland, founder of Classified Moto. Silver Piston stuck.

The artist: Originally from Asheville, N.C., West graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in graphic design. He moved to Atlanta nearly 13 years ago for work. In 2009, West took a jewelry-making class on the side and was hooked.

What’s popular: Hobo and Indian Head/Buffalo rings ($48 to $1,750). Also the heavy hammered silver ring ($150) for weddings.

Other favorites: Necklaces with Indian Head nickels ($70).

Fun requests: Made pieces for A-listers as gifts from people who work with them or are friends and want to get them something different. The list includes: Steven Tyler, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bones Owens, Yelawolf, Billy Joel and Ewan McGregor.

Where to buy: SilverPiston.com.

BAGGING RIGHTS

Becky Stayner worked as a food photographer for most of her career. Stayner is still working with her hands, but she has shifted her focus.

Alabama’s Becky Stayner designs soft leather bags that get better with age.
Photo: BiscuitLeatherCompany.com

The owner/artist: Stayner grew up in Lexington, Ky. She attended the University of Kentucky for two years before transferring to Brooks Institute of Photography, where she earned a degree in commercial photography. Stayner worked as a food photographer and was on the staff of Cooking Light magazine for nine years. After one lesson with a friend, she started making bags.

The company: Started in 2014, Biscuit Leather Company makes soft, buttery leather bags, purses and clutches by hand in Birmingham, Ala.

What’s popular: Original Grand Biscuit in vegetable tan with Indigo stitching, ($550); the Morning Biscuit (a smaller, cross-body version of the Original Grand, $450); and the Two Bite Biscuit, a cross-body clutch with enough room for a phone, lipstick, cards and cash ($160).

Big break: Appearing on “Absolutely Alabama,” a weekly TV show.

What’s new: Full and half aprons ($110), plus napkins, coasters, place mats and table runners ($40 to $160) made with a lovely heavy-duty canvas in solid cream. Also, creamy canvas riveted curtains ($100 to $130).

Where to buy: BiscuitLeatherCompany.com

GO UNDER COVER

A lifelong outdoorsman, Radcliff Menge created a distinctive jacket suitable for the field and town.

Tom Beckbe’s products, like his popular jacket, combine classic design with timeless, rugged materials. Waxed cotton and distressed leather give each product a unique look.
Photo: TomBeckbe.com

The owner: Raised in Winchester, Va., Menge graduated from the University of Virginia in 2004 and Washington & Lee University’s School of Law in 2008. While practicing law in Birmingham, Ala., he started Tom Beckbe by happenstance.

The company: Tom Beckbe, founded in 2015, is based in Birmingham. The company makes classic outdoor apparel and accessories. The name is derived from the colonial name for Alabama’s Tombigbee River.

What’s popular: The Tensaw Jacket ($495, S-XXL). The cotton twill liner is dyed in Alabama red clay.

Other favorites: The new Kinsman Vest ($395, S-XXL) and Weekender Duffel ($449). Also, Field Hats ($125) and Shooting Gloves ($95).

Fun (or unusual) request: Limited-edition jackets for an American distiller of some note.

Big break: Garden & Gun Editors’ Choice, “Outstanding in the Field” (August/ September 2016).

Where to buyTomBeckbe.com. In Atlanta, check H. Stockton; Guffey’s; and Chuck’s.

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