Virginia blacksmith Corry Blanc draws on old-world skills and tradition to craft his heirloom kitchen and home goods.
The founder/artist: Blanc grew up in Dawsonville, north of Atlanta, and discovered metalsmithing shortly after high school when he went to work at his uncle's metal fabrication company for four years. In 2007, Blanc moved to Charlottesville and worked with a blacksmith (Stokes of England) in nearby Keswick before going out on his own in 2009.
The company: Charlottesville-based Blanc Creatives started in 2011. The small company makes hand-forged carbon steel skillets and hand-crafted home goods.
What's hot: The 10-inch skillet ($225), one of three skillet sizes, is a best-seller and sized right for a home kitchen. Also cassoulet pans ($260 to $290) in two sizes (10 and 12 inches). Skillets and pans are pre-seasoned and ready to cook with upon delivery.
Other favorites: Hand-shaped wooden spatulas ($65); cutting and charcuterie boards and paddles ($75 to $175).
Big break: Winning Garden & Gun's Sixth Annual Made in the South Awards gave the business a big boost.
Where to buy: www.blanccreatives.com
Whether it is a cabinet or candle holder, Tennessee designer Peter Fleming artfully juxtaposes high style with down-to-earth functionality.
The company: Nashville-based Building #9 is a product and design company founded by Fleming in 2011. With a focus on home goods, the company custom-builds tables, cabinets, mirrors and tabletop accessories including candle holders, boxes, bookstands and easels.
The founder/designer: Fleming, who grew up in a small mining town in Southern Australia, earned a degree in interior design from Auburn University. After graduation, he moved to New York to study at the Institute of Classical Architecture and work in the office of architect Robert A.M. Stern, and most recently Bobby McAlpine, who lives in Atlanta. Before starting his company (Building #9), Fleming taught courses on the history of furniture and decorative arts at O'More College of Design in Franklin, Tenn.
The company name: When he was teaching, Fleming's classes were held in a converted shoe factory, specifically in the factory's Building #9.
Known for: Original designs and experimenting with a variety of materials, including steel, plaster, parchment, leather and solid woods.
What's popular: Mirrors ($1,800 to $3,000) and cabinets ($1,500 to $10,500) designed for specific rooms.
Other favorites: Side tables ($800 to $1,600).
Fun (or unusual) request: Producing some custom headphone stands for a singer/songwriter.
What's new: An exhibition of some 3-D printed furniture and other sculpture at the David Lusk Gallery in Memphis, which opened Sept. 1.
Where to buy: www.buildingnumber9.com
For one & all
In her contemporary works, New Orleans-based ceramic artist Sarah House takes inspiration from the fractal mathematics of nature.
The artist: Born in Baltimore, House earned a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from Tulane University in New Orleans. She took her first ceramics class in 2001 at a community college in Baltimore, and has been pursuing the craft ever since through study and artist in residence programs.
The goods: Ceramic sculpture (which may reference natural and ambiguous formations of big ice or turbulent water) and clean, functional objects for your table and home.
What's popular: Nesting Mug Sets ($100) and the Fractal Serving Dish Sets ($175).
Other favorites: Elemental Constructs are geometric white ceramics wall hanging sculptures ($125 to $600).
Big break: Last January, House was featured in the "Artist Spotlight" series at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. It was her first museum solo show.
What's new: Working on iceberg-inspired planters and sculpture inspired by a recent art residency in Iceland.
Where to buy: sarahhouse.net. In New Orleans, at the Ogden Museum Store and Center for Southern Craft & Design (ogdenmuseum.org) and the Foundation Gallery (foundationgallerynola.com).