Posts Tagged With: glass

The Thanksgiving conundrum – deck the halls with menorahs?

With the advent of artificial Christmas trees, one of the Thanksgiving weekend traditions in many Kentucky homes is to decorate the Christmas tree. For those of us who celebrate Hanukkah, we can usually count on the eight-day festival of lights to start sometime later — maybe early December or maybe right in the midst of the Christmas holiday. This year, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, which means the first candle in the menorah will be lit after sundown the evening before. So if you happen to be looking for an exquisite Kentucky Crafted menorah, I have a few ideas for you. If you start decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend, I have more than a few Kentucky Crafted ideas for your tree. Incidentally, Christmas ornaments make lovely hostess/host gifts if you are invited to Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

Craig Kaviar Menorahs

Craig Kaviar Menorahs

These hand-forged menorahs created by Craig Kaviar can be family heirlooms for centuries. On the left is the “Curled Menorah” which is available at $245 and on the right is the “Menorah, Classic Style” at $380. They can be purchased at Kaviar Gallery in Louisville or ordered at 502-561-0377 or

Berni North

Berni North Menorah

This elegant glass menorah will brighten up the window for every night of Hanukkah. Kentucky Crafted artist Berni North offers this menorah at $450 and carries many other glass decorative items for the holidays at HawksView Gallery and Café in Louisville. You can also blow your own glass ornament and dine at the café for a fun experience. For more details, go to

Gavin Wilson Bells

Gavin Wilson Bells

Ring in the holidays with these charming bells made of solid hand-hammered copper. Each bell created by Kentucky Crafted artist Gavin Wilson measures approximately two inches across and comes with decorative Christmas ribbon or leather hangers. They are priced at $15 each or two for $25. For an additional cost, they can also be made with personalized lettering. To order, contact Gavin at or 606-330-1657.

Dick Scheu Snowflakes

Dick Scheu Snowflakes

Each handcrafted snowflake by Kentucky Crafted artist Dick Scheu takes on a faceted jewel-like quality by the way he juxtaposes the grains of different woods. The delicately crafted snowflakes are about four inches in diameter and only one-sixteenth of an inch thick, making them lightweight and ideal for any Christmas tree. Prices range from $20 to $32. For more selection and to order, go to

Kellersberger Ornaments

Kellersberger Ornaments

These handmade metal twister ornaments come with different center designs and two tone colors. Kentucky Crafted artists Scot and Laura Kellersberger offer a wide range of colors and themes including sports, Kentucky and, of course, Christmas. Reasonably priced at $15 each you can see the full spectrum of designs at To order, contact Scot or Laura at 859-866-8757 or

Money Folk Art Ornaments

Money Folk Art Ornaments

If you love folk art, this is a great way to start collecting. These adorable critters by artists Lonnie and Twyla Money will brighten up any tree and be a keepsake for generations to come. Sizes vary, but most are about five inches in height and sell for $28 each. To order, contact Lonnie or Twyla at 606-843-7783 or

Shambrola Ornaments

Shambrola Ornaments

These lovely hardwood ornaments are made by Mick Shambro with a scroll saw. Each ornament is dipped in natural mineral oil to seal the wood and bring out the color and grain of the wood. They come in two sizes and sell for $18 and $22 each. The ornaments don satin ribbons and a card to identify the type of wood and care instructions. To order, contact Mick at 859-576-2945 or

Steve Scherer Ornaments

Steve Scherer Ornaments

Amazing glass sculptures within glass globes are the signature pieces of Kentucky Crafted glass artist Steve Scherer. In addition to the birds featured above, he also has a wonderful selection of ornaments depicting horses, dragons and life under the sea. The ornaments are priced at $98 each and come with a brass stand for year-round display. To order, contact Steve at 270-432-3615 or

Hobbs Goose Feather Trees

Hobbs Goose Feather Trees

Goose feather trees are an old German tradition that has been carried forth in America by Kentucky Crafted artist Joanne Hobbs. Each tree is created one feather at a time on a sturdy wire armature, making a wonderful display for your most precious ornaments. They come in antique white, burnt orange and pine green and are beautiful decorative items, even without ornaments. They are available in five sizes, from 12 to 48 inches and are priced at $52.50 to $400. To order, contact Joanne at 502-348-4257 or Ed Lawrence, arts marketing director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Architectural artists shine a light on Kentucky and beyond

Did you know the Kentucky Arts Council has some real superstars in our programs? Have you ever heard of Guy Kemper? Or maybe you’ve heard of Maynard Studios? Arturo Sandoval?

Can you imagine a program of super artists? No way they could all be in one program, right? Well, look no further. The Architectural Artists Directory is one of the newest programs of the Kentucky Arts Council. And, let me tell you, it is oozing with knock-your-socks-off talent!

Just to fill you in, if you were walking in Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Tempur-Pedic International Headquarters, University of Kentucky Hospital or the Mount Baker Light Rail Station in Seattle, Wash., you may have walked right by glass and mosaic pieces from our very own Guy Kemper.

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The Architectural Artists Directory is a program for artists that work with architects, builders, landscape architects, interior designers and private clients. Need a specialized railing that is one-of-a-kind and can be functional at the same time? Go to the arts council website to search through the Architectural Artists Directory. Or, you can call me and I’ll be glad to direct you to the right artist who can make that vision a reality.

This month, the arts council will address the 2013 American Institute of Architects Ohio Valley Region Convention that takes place Sept. 19-21, at the Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Ky. Let’s just say we will debut the range of talent Kentucky has for enhancing spaces with functional and decorative art.

We have also exhibited work from the program at Kentucky Crafted: The Market and the Central Kentucky Home, Garden and Flower Show. There is a wealth of talent. No matter how small or large your project – if you have a vision or if you need vision – there are artists in the Architectural Artists Directory that can make your project a reality.

Make your project go from “Nice” to “Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!” with one phone call. The Architectural Artists Program can do just that. We do not have operators standing by, but if you call me at 502-564-3757, ext. 485, I’ll be glad to assist you.

Charla Reed, partnerships and initiatives director 

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good food still deserves better!

Around Christmas, I wrote a post about Kentucky Crafted artists who make great things for the holiday table. However, as humans, we eat in groups all year round.  And since the summer weather is becoming more tolerable, many Kentuckians are dining al fresco again.  In celebration of people getting together “just because,” here are a few more decorative arts for the the outdoor table. Enjoy quickly before Labor Day!

Berry Bowl

You can rinse and drain your berries, then put them straight on the table with this beautiful and useful strainer.

Mitzi Fallis Lutes berry bowl

Bottle Stoppers 

If you have been invited to eat at someone else’s home, the least you can do is bring a bottle of wine or olive oil. The most you can do is pair it with one of these glass bottle stoppers.

Jen Walters Petry bottle stoppers

Pepper mill 

This pepper mill is crafted like a beautiful piece of furniture.

William Cook cherry pepper mill


I can’t condone using that pepper mill to grind spices for food resting on a paper plate. I can definitely imagine that peppermill providing flavor to something on these dishes.

Amy Elswick four piece place setting

Salad Bowl 

It’s an unspoken rule that eating outdoors requires a salad. Whether it is lettuce, pasta, bean or fruit-based, your salad will look delicious in one of the Hoefer’s expertly glazed bowls.

Bruce and Kelley Hoefer bowl


When the sun starts to set and the meal has been served, coffee is always a nice way to end the evening.

Laura George Lynch mugs

Greeting Cards 

Don’t forget to say thank you to your host or hostess. It’s the best way to ensure that you will be invited back.

Hound Dog Press folding cards

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Other, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Give a gift from Kentucky: good food deserves better!

Let’s be real. When you tell people that you will be entertaining for the holidays, it really means you will be serving a bunch of fattening foods and beverages in your brilliantly decorated home. The good thing is your guests are okay with that. They are not going to be impressed by your festive music (we’ve heard all those songs forty times each by now), and they can enjoy your lively conversation over the phone. Going to your house is the only way they can eat outrageous food, enjoy your home’s ambience and possibly peep into your medicine cabinet.

If the food is the focus, then this is not a time to go cheap and easy with the red Solo cups and paper plates. If you are going to all the trouble to fix holiday specialties, then serve them using deserving kitchen and dining ware. As one Kentucky Community Scholar in Paducah told me, “Good food deserves better than to be served on trash.” There are several Kentucky Crafted artists working in multiple media who make beautiful and functional items for your holiday table.


Harriet Giles, the Weavery 

The first thing you need for your table is a solid foundation, which includes placemats, napkins, table runners and table cloths. You want something to defend your table from heat and spills, but you also want it to be attractive. Harriet Giles of the Weavery has the perfect woven runner and placemat patterns for that. Festiva© is made from chili pepper and olive fabric with a sprinkle of white. Porcelain© is a blend of blues and cream that evoke the chilly joy of New Year’s Eve. The colors are perfect, and the woven texture is thick enough to protect.

Harriet Giles

The aptly named Festiva©


Craig Kaviar, Kaviar Forge and Gallery

The next thing you need is something to set the mood and serve as the centerpiece of your table. Candlestick holders take on both tasks all year round. All you have to do is change the candles to match your textiles. Craig Kaviar makes tough metal holders that appear as delicate as glass and as flexible as fabric. The pieces are tall and add height to décor. Did you know that dimming the electric light and using candles hides dust?

There is nothing dull about iron.


Robert Ellis, Robert Ellis Woodworking

Now you must lay out something to hold people over while you finish the last of your baked dishes, but you don’t want to overwhelm them before the “main event.” What’s easier and more elegant than a cheese board? Just unwrap the cheeses, put them on a wooden board, garnish with grapes and let people serve themselves. Robert Ellis makes exquisite cutting boards in a number of shapes and styles. They are almost too beautiful to use, but Robert reminds his customers, “there are two sides, one for show and the other to cut or serve on.”

Too beautiful to use, but we will anyway.


Scott Gilbert, GH Productions Inc—The Basket Makers 

Baskets are one of the first functional pieces of art humans endeavored to make. They’re light and sturdy with the added benefit that items in baskets tend to arrange themselves! Crackers, breads, whole fruits, cutlery and napkins all look great in a basket. Scott Gilbert makes baskets in a variety of traditional styles using white oak. Use the classic egg basket to keep rolls from crushing under their own weight. It works for the eggs!

It's okay to put all your eggs in this particular basket.


Melvin Rowe, Pottery Rowe

Melvin Rowe can make a whole set of bakeware and an entire tablescape. Of his work, he writes, “In clay, I have found a material that allows me to make almost anything.” That’s not an exaggeration. Just look at his gallery. He has everything from wine glasses to casserole dishes. If you’re looking for the right tool to improve your baking, he offers Colonel Mel’s New Fangled Modern Miracle Bread Baker & Colonel Mel’s Practically Perfect Pottery Pie Plate. Both have been tested and approved by Aunt Gertrude and the entire Lady’s Auxiliary, according to his website. He even makes cookie dunkers, a cup specifically designed for dunking cookies in milk to “allow maximum dunking coverage with minimum milk waste.” Won’t Santa be impressed?

You can read all my advice, or your could just buy this and call it a day.


Mark Payton, Payton Flameworks Inc.

Now for the pièce de résistance. It’s time for a toast, and it’s bad luck to toast the New Year in an ugly glass. Luckily Mark Payton makes beautiful toasting goblets and champagne flutes just for such an occasion. When you finish, you can cork the bottle (if there is anything left!) with one of his elegant or whimsical bottle stoppers.

Now these are "good luck" goblets.

I could have written a book on this topic using only Kentucky Crafted artists. For the sake of time and space, I had to leave out some really great examples like salt and pepper grinders by Carl Hall, baked brie dishes by Amelia Stamps, wooden trivets and bowls by Richard Adams, table rugs by Fox Hutt and wine racks by Jim Jones. Explore their galleries. Even if you are not hosting, you might find something appropriate for the host or hostess’ gift basket.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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