“Scribble Forked Salad Set” by Jonathan Simons of Jonathan’s Spoons.
They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. With the handmade work of each of these seven artists, you can provide customers with kitchenware that does indeed have heart.
For Jonathan Simons of Jonathan’s Spoons, it all started when he forgot to pack a spoon in his lunch bag while working as an apprentice to a furniture maker. After using a piece of scrap wood to make the utensil, he realized he was on to something. “I love making wooden spoons. They are the simplest tool in the home, yet remain profound; there are unlimited designs and uses to explore, and for me, this is only the beginning,” he explains. More than 30 years after creating his studio in Kempton, Pa., Simons creates all types of kitchenware, from spaghetti forks to spatulas, all using cherry wood.
“Our intent is to design and create products that touch the heart and delight the spirit,” explain Bonnie Bond and John Caraberis, the husband-and-wife team behind Basic Spirit. For more than 25 years, they have been doing just that with their whimsical pewter pieces. Their studio—located Pugwash, Nova Scotia, a town known for its pewter smithing heritage—is a tribute to the versatility of metal, handcrafting everything from home essentials to giftware.
The death of a tree provides Spencer Peterman with opportunities for new beginnings. The rustic look of Peterman’s Boards & Bowls’ functional art is no illusion. The artist is always on the lookout for trees rotting in the woods near his Turners Falls, Mass., home to create his one-of-a-kind pieces made exclusively from fallen or felled trees. Lathe turned and made from spalted oak, cherry, walnut and maple, the bowls are kiln-dried at a very high temperature to sterilize and stabilize the wood.
“A bit of my soul is in each piece I create,” says ceramic artist Sylvia Coppola. For more than 20 years, the artist and teacher has created pieces that combine functionality and beauty from her Indian Trail, N.C., studio, Duck Creek Pottery. Her work is crafted on her wheel or handbuilt and altered by adding unique textures using a variety of found objects to add depth and visual interest. Dishwasher and microwave safe, warm colors such as plums, browns, tans, blues and greens enhance the richness of each piece.
As the daughter of a natural history scientist, animals and plants have always been part of Lisa Schallert’s life. As a child, she wanted to become a koala keeper, then a dolphin trainer, but she turned to art in the early 1970s—“It was through art that my lifelong love of natural history found expression in the medium of 18kt gold and enamel jewelry.” After working with a Philadelphia jeweler for 14 years, in 1991 she started Animal Vegetable Mineral, working out of a small, renovated factory in Philadelphia, Pa. Her designs are modeled in wax, then cast in married metal such as silver and brass, brass and copper and brass and stainless steel to create fine tableware and small household items.
Growing up in the Maine woods, Kim Dailey’s craft chose him. The truck and trailer parts salesman turned self-taught woodturner discovered his passion in 2000 while building bunk beds for his two daughters. “I had to teach myself how to use a wood lathe in order to turn the legs and spindles for the beds,” he says. “I started turning pens and pencils for practice and have been hooked ever since. Following a serious car accident in 2005, Dailey decided to work with wood full-time, opening Dailey Woodworking in 2007 in Carthage, Maine. His products are inspired by shapes and turned by eye—making each perfectly unique.
“I work in blown glass, seeking both beauty and functionality,” says Minh Martin of Romeo Glass. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, and raised in Southeast Asia, he attended Yale University to obtain a degree in geophysics and environmental science. Following graduation, he moved to Santa Barbara, Calif.. There he met and apprenticed under renowned glass artist Brioni, who taught Martin to value well-wrought craftsmanship. At his studio in Staunton, Va., he specializes in elegant and functional stemware.