As summer turns to autumn, backyards, gardens and patios are in high demand for gatherings, cookouts or just quiet moments to oneself. We’ve gathered a selection of outdoor accessories that will help your customers beautify and personalize their at-home escapes.
Laurene Hunt left a powerful position in corporate advertising with good reason— to launch a line of tableware that is seemingly alive with color and movement. At Laurene Hunt Designs in Ashland, Mass., she uses acrylic paint and silk screening to create bold graphic designs on her ceramic trivets and wooden lazy Susans. Hunt brings Pop Art to the table, sure to enliven any gathering.
“I really wanted to create something that could be hung on the outside of the house,” says Chris Austin of Kiwi Studios in Solana Beach, Calif. That’s why she created her Geo White, Black and Silver recycled steel-and-glass wall art designs. Austin launched her studio in 2002 after leaving a successful career as an event planner. Today, she creates everything from personal accessories to tableware and wall art.
Ben and Kate Gatski of Gatski Metal create the perfect art for outdoor spaces: each bird feeder, shelf, table and sculpture is crafted from reclaimed farm machinery in their small studio in Pennsylvania. The Gatskis maintain the machinery’s vibrant colors and unique wear marks when handcutting and welding each piece, connecting the work back to its rural roots.
Prairie Dance in Sioux Falls, S.D., started miles away while owner Terri Schuver and her husband were on vacation more than a decade ago. Attracted to metal sculpture that would be difficult to transport home, he suggested they try to make it themselves. Schuver committed them to show their work at a local festival—andafter months of work (and many patina recipes), they sold out of several designs the first morning. Today, Schuver crafts sculptures and planters for the garden, as well as tabletop accessories.
Bonnie Greenwald and Jon Tury put a spin on wind chimes more than 12 years ago when they created their first solar chimes, powered by a small chip. The partners have since expanded their Manchester, Mich.-based Sunblossom Solar Gifts to include silent, ever-moving mobiles and “SoulMates,” calming figures that hold a spinning, bouncing flower, powered by a solar micro motor.
Corey Silverman and Horace Marlowe of C&H Glassworks in Lakewood, Colo., designed their popular line of hummingbird feeders to imitate glass flowers. The resulting work—which comes in an array of pleasing color combinations—is perfect for the garden, but is so beautiful many customers bring it inside to enjoy the glass year round. The team also creates an array of blown-glass work, including ornaments, vases and decorative figurines.
Sandra Webberking of Sandra Webberking Originals in Springfield, Pa., has been a metal sculptor since she graduated from Moore College of Art & Design in 1997. “I found a kinship with the process of bending, heating, hammering and welding,” she says. It’s natural that the avid gardener gravitates to outdoor sculpture like her popular pair “Peter Peacock” and “Penelopy Peahen,” along with “Filamina the Flamingo.” Her line also includes lanterns, sculptures and candelabra.