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Here’s some Christmas shopping ideas from makers living in ‘The Maker City’

Knoxville is called the Maker City because there are lots of people here creating one of a kind pieces of art, jewelry, pottery, and even furniture.
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 3:49 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 6:42 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -Knoxville is called the Maker City. Meaning there are lots of people here creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art, jewelry, pottery, and even furniture.

Each maker creates one of a kind pieces that could be perfect for someone on your Christmas list.

What about pottery?

Diahn Ott makes beautiful bowls, coffee mugs, and sculptures. You might not have heard of this-a moonshine sipper. Ott says she loved making these one-of-a-kind pieces and leaves small fingerprints in her designs so you know it was handmade.

Ott says makers need the support of the local community to keep going.

“I think that the more we encourage people to go out and buy things that are made locally, the more opportunity that people who are making can continue what they’re doing. It’s handmade and it’s individual and it’s unique. That’s kind of what makes it special,” said Ott.

You can shop her pottery here.

New jewelry?

Dana McAlister says beautiful stones and nature inspire a lot of her work at Bead Chick Jewelry. She does her own metalwork too. Some of her most popular pieces have the outline of the state of Tennessee etched out of sterling silver with a copper shadow of the Smokey Mountains.

You can shop her jewelry here.

A fun toy?

Owner of Monsters Made With Love, Laurie Kay, sells monster kits for you to create your own plush monster.

The smallest size is perfect for a young kid, they take about an hour to make and helps beginner sewers learn basic skills.

You can purchase your kit online here.

A new piece of art?

Illustrator Elizabeth Kidder enjoys drawing and painting mermaids, Disney princesses, and everyday girls doing everyday things. Each piece is hand-drawn or hand-painted. Kidder says she gets joy making them too.

“Well, you can’t beat something that someone had their hands-on, making, crafting, and creating. Especially with your passion and then being able to say I even met this person who made this thing I can tell you about the story that we had when they sold me this piece,” said Kidder.

You can shop her pieces here.

Something Dolly Related?

There’s someone familiar popping up in a lot of Colleen Thornbrugh’s paintings- it’s Dolly Parton.

“I’m definitely a Dolly lover/ There’re lots of people in the area that love Dolly and she’s easy to love. This one is inspired by not just Dolly herself, but by her song Coat of Many Colors which is actually about the patchwork coat her mother made for her as a child so it has the quilted aesthetic,” said Thornbrugh.

She makes colorful Dolly paintings of all shapes and sizes. She says the support from the Knoxville community makes it easy to continue her passion.

You can shop for her Dolly artwork work here.

Something made from wood?

Michael Bobo has been woodworking for more than 30 years. He can make clocks, coasters, pens, magnetic bottle openers, and other things you might use in your home.

Each piece of wood has a story and character to match because it’s been reclaimed, repurposed, or recycled.

“This is from a 100-year-old piano. This was from a barn in Jefferson County that I got to tear apart. This one has funky colors with freeform,” said Bobo.

He works with his wife Julie Rabun who does illustrations that she transfers onto the wood.

You can shop for their work here.

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