Barkley is a long-time friend – he started out as our farrier and has evolved into a master ironworks artist whose work can be seen all over the country, as well as our humble little farm. Place this exquisite wrought iron wine cradle in your dining room or kitchen and it’s sure to capture everyone’s eye – not to mention become a treasured heirloom to be passed down for generations.
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We simply love these bangles by Lisa Hutson. For each bracelet, the natural blue and rare coral turquoise beads are wire wrapped together, then hooked on a hand-forged gold tone brass band. Once the bangle is finished, it tumbles for 18 hours in a blend of stainless steel shot which hardens it and smooths out any rough edges — a step that sets Lisa’s distinctive jewelry apart. Once they’ve been tumbled, each bracelet is polished by hand for the highest heirloom quality. Lisa creates all of her jewelry from her studio in Nashville, where she’s kept company by her two canine BFFs who often lend an ear to long conversations and serve as final judges when she just can’t decide on a design she’s working on.
These handmade block prints are the vision of Meg Tannehill Justice, an artist/illustrator who makes her home in Scottsboro, Ala. We discovered Meg’s works during a weekend trip to Mentone, Ala., where her prints are featured in a local gallery. It was love at first sight! We soon got in touch with Meg to learn more about her creations and to see if we could feature some of her works in our Mercantile. A Southerner who has lived and traveled to all parts of the world, Meg graduated from Auburn with a degree in Art and in 2010 returned to Alabama to make her permanent home, which she shares with husband Jerry, a dog named Jack and six hens who provide fresh eggs and comic relief. When asked what inspires her the most, she says, “I’m influenced by all things from nature and strong emotional memories of my past and the countryside where I live. I’m an avid gardener and at my happiest with handfuls of dirt and plants. Nearly all my art is connected to these things in some way. My favorite subjects to draw include animals, plants, mysteries of nature and the stories they tell.”
For years we used standard, store-bought rolling pins…that were probably made in China. Now we only bake with these heavy, hand carved rollers by Arne and Pat Jonesen of Dogtown, Alabama. Each pin is unique and created using a variety of elegant wood. Weighing in at about .5 lb and approximately 15 inches in length, rolling pins like these are a must-have for the baker in your house.
Carved from cedar wood by Arne Jonesen, this primitive wooden tray has the most lovely grains and smell, and is sure to warm up any room in the house. We use ours to hold small fruits and sometimes an assortment of cheeses. 11 1/2 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide.
Lisa Bienko’s ceramic berry boxes will remind you of summer all year long. A beautiful and functional kitchen accent, each is glazed and fired to a cone 6 and measures 5.75 inches square by 3 inches deep. Rinse and display your beautiful berries in each basket, or give a set as a housewarming gift. Insert a liner and create a darling floral arrangement, or set them out on the brunch buffet filled with fruit for dessert. Dishwasher and food safe.
Pat Jonesen captured our attention with these gorgeous kitchen spoons at a holiday party. She was stirring a big ole pot of oyster stew (her mama’s recipe) with one of the large spoons and it was love at first sight (and we’re not just talking about the utensils here). Pat has since become a good friend, along with her sister Carol, and we’re so excited to feature her handmade works here at Cerakko Farm.
These particular spoons have a wonderful back story…. They’re made from a giant black walnut tree that was located at the corner of one of the fields on Pat’s 40-acre farm in Dogtown, Ala., not far from where she grew up in Mentone. When Pat and her husband Arnie moved back to Alabama from Washington State, they bought the 1926 farmhouse and surrounding land and at the corner of one of the pastures was the dead walnut, which had to be taken down. Not too much later they were paid a surprise visit by the White sisters — Joyce and Edna — children of the original homesteading family who owned the land for generations. The sisters came to the farm to reminisce about growing up there and upon seeing the felled walnut, told Pat and Arnie they had planted that tree as a seedling in 1919 with their father. The Jonesens were so touched by that visit they wanted to preserve the sisters’ memories by carving a set of wooden spoons from the old tree and giving them as a keepsake. Joyce and Edna have since passed on but we have no doubt that Pat and Arnie’s gift brought back some sweet memories in their final years. And the rest of the wood from the old black walnut? Well, it just keeps giving, having provided for many lovely spoons, bowls and other beautiful objects in the years since. We feel so lucky to now have some to offer our friends.
Order a set of four small spoons or one of the larger ones — or start a collection. That’s what we did! (Note: each spoon set varies due to their unique nature.) Custom orders are also available; just email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Cook in style in one of these chic aprons. The denim aprons pictured here are made with premium material from Japan’s Kurabo Mill, known for some of the finest denim in the world. They’re server craft quality and come in two styles: Indigo with White Stripes and Restaurant Deco Black-and-White Stripes. The Red Stripes apron, one of our newest additions, is made from Lithuanian Linen in which the red yarn is interwoven with the rustic linen for a country chic look. Easy to clean with deep pockets, Cheryl makes these beautiful gourmet aprons by hand, and adds cotton twill tape and metal grommets to finish. This is the gift for the gourmand in your house!