Online Haven Simplifies Discovery of High-Quality, Artisanal GoodsAuthor:Elysa Hill
The hunt for high-quality handmade products just got easier, thanks to curated online haven All Things Artisanal. Dreamed up by Regina Connell, founder of Handful of Salt, and Forest Dickey, All Things Artisanal allows homeowners to discover and support the crème of the maker crop without having to sift through mediocre goods.
“From the artisan’s perspective, they wanted to be seen with their real peers, and they wanted to be found more easily so they could sell more work,” Connell says. “We want All Things Artisanal to be the first place people come when they’re looking for artisanal products.” The selection process was a mix of applications and hand-selecting revered artisans from their personal address book. They invited tastemakers in the industry to nominate artisans as well, since who better than to refer talent than the talent themselves?
The pair wanted to be sure that readers knew they weren’t in the business of selling, since all of the artists have websites or shops to sell their wares themselves. “We wanted to hand control back to the artisans to manage their own pages and decide where they wanted to sell, whether it’s through their own site, or through a retailer,” says Connell. By connecting consumers directly with the artisans, Connell and Dickey hope that people will get a taste of the artisans’ aesthetic on All Things Artisanal, then search deeper to learn more about the artists and their craft on their respective sites.
When asked to note a few stand-out artists, their answer was perfect and genuine. “In terms of choosing just a couple of people whose work we love the most–we can’t. We really do love them all.”
Here’s a taste of the wares you’ll discover when perusing the new creative hot spot:
SF-based woodworker Danny Montoya, husband of our own editor in chief Erin Feher, honed a passion for designing and creating custom furniture during his 12 years of teaching kindergarten and first grade. Under the brand key&kite, he creates unique, gem-shaped pieces out of found wood, palettes, and acrylic scraps. Montoya made this gorgeous blue CA-bordered gem one of the State of the Art features for Spring ’13 issue of California Home+Design. (Lusting after this gem? Bid on it here!) Visit the key&kite website.
With top-tier commercial clients like SFMOMA, W Hotel SF, and Medlock Ames Winery, Branden Adams of Oakland studio BaDesign knows what makes the furniture industry tick. Coming from a diverse background and education in sculpture, environmental design, and photography, Adams has an amazing grasp on and eye for the composition of all his meticulously curated materials. His main tenet of craft? “I want people to have the same connection to my work as I have with the materials I use to make it. I want people to stop, look, touch and smell the piece. I want them to connect with something tangible. What people value is changing by degrees and part of my job is to help them stay rooted in the physical world.” Visit the BaDesign website.
Previously a designer for Williams-Sonoma and a photography and stylist whiz, it came as no surprise when Christina Weber set out to make tea towels a well-designed kitchen accent that provides a glimpse of color and inspiration. “I love that the simple kitchen towel can become a special token, and still remain its humble and hard-working self,” she notes. LA-based Studiopatro came to fruition three years ago, thanks to Christina’s passion for functional and fab accessories at work and at home. Her handprinted tea towels and aprons use eco-friendly water-based inks, all in an effort to realize her mission: everything in the home should be useful and beautiful. Visit the Studiopatro website.
Leslie Shapiro Joyal is the creative mastermind behind 407 Furniture, a Los-Angeles studio that specializes in modern handcrafted furnishings, all custom-built to suit homeowner’s needs. Available in ash, birch, mahogany, maple, oak, and walnut, these designs are, as Joyal says, “not complicated, but far from plain.” The shapes and curves of each piece are thoughtfully crafted and pair perfectly with colored surroundings or similar neutral tones. From cabinets with adjustable shelves to sculptural consoles to elegant tables, these pieces are beautiful in their simplicity. Visit the 407 Furniture website.
Los Angeles-based ceramic artist Lesley Anton looks to nature to inspire the color palette infused into her gorgeous lamps. Her designs pull out the natural hues of snow, sky, mud, and algae (looks prettier than it sounds). You can spot her bold, textured designs in hotels, hotels, and residences around the world. Whether she’s dreaming up a porcelain lamp with lotus root imprints or black mountain stoneware with sea green glaze, her “organic modern” designs are flawless in their imperfections. Visit Lesley’s website.
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