As the holidays near, Cityview wants to help you find perfect gifts — and support the local small business community — by sharing some creative gift ideas made by Knoxville area makers.
Over five weeks, we’re featuring suggestions for unique locally produced wares. Some have appeared within Cityview’s pages over the past several months, and others are new finds. This week we’re focusing on items for the home.
So if you have a homebody on your list, read on:
1. Native Maps. David Harman connects his customers with their favorite cities by creating detailed maps that take an up-close look at the neighborhoods that make them up. About 50 city maps are currently available, including Knoxville. Each Native Map is screen-printed by hand in Harman’s shop in the Fourth and Gill area. He uses water-based inks, no solvents and 100 percent recycled paper from French Paper Co., one of America’s last independent paper mills. “We want to create a product you feel proud of and are comfortable bringing into your home,” he says. Read more about Native Maps in our Cityview story or find him online here.
2. Hollywood in Knoxville. Holly White’s hand-painted signs often tend to be very specific to her customers. They might record the name of a newborn along with his height, weight, and birthdate. They might duplicate Aunt Wilma’s Mexican Style Cornbread recipe. Or mark the date of a house purchase. White uses latex paint and a variety of stains on her wooden signs, which are mostly made from birch. She learns as she goes and feels like she’s honoring her family’s craft tradition: “I feel like I’m doing what they would want me to do.” Read more about Hollywood in Knoxville here or drop in at her Etsy shop.
3. Saturday Box Company. Woodworking started as a hobby for Daniel Clay in his small apartment in Atlanta, so he began building wooden Shaker boxes. Now he’s in Knoxville and creates a wide range of wooden goods, including custom furniture. “I like solid-wood construction and traditional joinery, but I like modern design too. I like the minimalist mid-century modern look and I have an affinity for Japanese design. And Shaker furniture shares a lot of the same aesthetic.” Read more about his work here or go to his website.
4. Michael Robison Pottery. Michael Robison carves intricate Celtic designs into colorful pottery creations. “I enjoy integrating simple shapes with highly detailed patterns that are drawn from my love of botanical motifs and Celtic designs influenced by my Scottish ancestry.” Read more about Michael and his work here or visit his website.
5. The Iron Studio. Kevin Johnson turned the craft of metalwork he learned as a California teenager into a Knoxville business when he opened The Iron Studio in West Knoxville. He creates vent hoods, benches, fireplace screens, chandeliers and other decorative custom items. His three employees include his daughter, Kortlyn. Read more about The Iron Studio or go to his website.