Artist Profiles articles

Master furniture maker Joseph Elbert. PHOTO CREDIT: KATHY LEGG

Artist Profile: Joseph Elbert

Artist Profile: Joseph Elbert

Sometimes storm clouds truly do have silver linings. Certainly the wild derecho that swept across West Virginia in 2012, taking down devastating swathes of mature oak, cherry, walnut and maple trees, left in its wake an opportunity for award-winning furniture maker Joseph Elbert

Thomas Laraia’s passion for everything antique and vintage drives his creation of one-of-a-kind bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings.

Artist Profile: Thomas Laraia

“I’ve always been passionate about everything antique or vintage,” says jewelry designer and silversmith Tom Laraia. His passion drives his creation of one-of-a-kind bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces made from a rainbow of polished sea glass and repurposed materials set in elegantly rendered sterling silver. His Tommy Conch brand has become synonymous with uncompromising quality and craftsmanship.

Frustrated at their inability to find quality toys for their own sons, Erin and Aaron Nuland started their own company to create and sell them.

Artist Profile: Aaron Nuland

When does a screaming, crying customer spell success? When that customer is a child who doesn’t want to leave artist Aaron Nuland’s wonderful world of eco-friendly, handcrafted wooden toys. Aaron’s wife and business partner, Erin Nuland, says parents have a hard time leaving, too: “They often say our toys remind them of those they had when they were children.

At the root of ceramic artist Kate Harward’s success is her enthusiastic exploration of techniques.

Artist Profile: Kate Harward

“My ideas often come when I’m working on a piece I may have made many times—all of a sudden a new iteration comes to mind!” says Tygart River Pottery artist Kate Harward. “I rarely sit down and design; the ideas seem to flow while I’m working or perusing articles or books.” Harward feeds her creativity with diverse influences ranging from extensive international travel to studying Japan’s highly decorated pots of the Jomon period, large Chinese jars and Korean celadons.