Shop-Small-Saturday Inspiration: A Few of Our Favorite Makers

Hint, hint: Goods from these local artisans are on our Christmas lists this year...

Amber E. Lea, Russellville

Maker: Amber Lea Smith

Makes: Minimalist, modern ceramic jewelry

“Sometimes I step back and think, Wow, somebody’s wearing this necklace all the time and someone’s drinking coffee out of that mug. It’s part of someone’s life. It’s like a body installation—it sticks with you. They’re little sculptures, I like to think.” Read more

Dower, Little Rock

Maker: Jack Lloyd

Makes: Hand-stitched leather wallets and bags

It’s a technique called “saddle stitching,” something of a forgotten art kept alive only by a few brands, like Hermès, and artisans like Jack. The stitching itself takes hours, not to mention the holes he punches by hand with a diamond chisel around the edges, on the sides and sometimes even on each of the multiple layers of leather. Read more

May We Fly, Fayetteville

Maker: Leana Fischer

Makes: Watercolor prints and cards

She’ll make several versions of the same image, and she’ll choose the one she likes best—because when working with a medium like this, things don’t always work out the way she envisions them. It’s all about asserting control and then being OK with losing it. It’s about taking liberties but practicing restraint—not going overboard with too many details and intricacies. She’ll then scan the painting, color correct it and move on to printing. Read more

Black Moss, Fayetteville

Maker: Nancy Miller

Makes: Woven wall hangings

“A lot of people like to use tools,” Nancy Miller says. She raises her hands and wiggles her fingers. “These are my tools.” Around her, on the dining room table of her Fayetteville home, there are skeins of multicolored, loosely coiled yarn. One in particular, made from merino wool, is so seamless and cloudlike that it almost looks like cotton candy… Read more