Pewter Artist, Metalsmith, Tile Painter
These expert crafters have found their niche making fabulous furnishings for the home.
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Fred Danforth, Vermont Pewter Artist
In Middlebury, Vt., Fred Danforth is fulfilling a legacy handed down from generations of pewter smiths. He started out as a woodworker, but when he saw his teacher spin pewter on the lathe, he knew what he wanted to do. Today Danforth works on a modern table lamp made of both wood and pewter. After spinning the bottom of the two-part column for the lamp, he's ready to link the pieces together. He uses bubinga and ebony as decorative accents for the lamp. For the top, nothing else will do but a traditional pewter finial — completing the sophisticated lamp.
Jim Russell, Iowa Metalsmith
Jim Russell is as excited about the tiny range of motion in creating jewelry as he is in swinging a hammer on a steel table. Today this Iowa artist is making what he calls jewelry for the home; he's building a chair out of steel. Once he has cut, bent and welded the chair together, he lets it rust to give it an organic look.
Leslee Jago, Idaho Tile Painter
Twelve years ago, Leslee Jago decided to leave her career as a corporate pilot so she could spend more time with her family and pursue her art. Today, this clay artist creates tiles for a kitchen backsplash. She paints a scene with swimming trout that will have a permanent place behind the stove and not on it.
Karen Landey of Beaverton, Ore., is a bit of a wanderer, and her tile collages reflect where she's been.