Made in West Virginia: Jewelry

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoyed spending it with your loved ones — I know I did!  I also hope that if you ventured out in the shopping extravaganza that was Black Friday, that you were safe and able to score some good deals on your family’s must-have items.  However, as exciting as deals from big box stores are, there are plenty of small businesses in West Virginia where you can find the “must-have” gift for each person on your list.  This holiday season, I’d like to challenge you to shop local, purchasing at least one West Virginia made item for every mass market item you buy.  And I’d like to start that challenge by sharing with you some of my favorite Made in West Virginia items.

Originally, I was going to do a long post and lump everything together but oh my — there’s so many great items that I couldn’t narrow it down!  So I am going to break it up into two sections that will feature locally made items for everyone on your wish list, especially those who may be hard to buy for.  I simply cannot include every artisan, no matter how spectacular they are, but I do promise to give you a highlight of offerings for that special lady in your life regarding jewelry and fashion.

This first Made in WV post is for the fashionista in your life — your daughter, your sister, your wife, your mother, your friend.  These are some of my favorite jewelry pieces and I know from experience that they make the perfect gift.  If you have someone on your list who likes to express her personality through her jewelry, then these are perfect!

Price Range:
$       $0 – $25
$$       $25 – $50
$$$       $50 – $100
$$$$       $100+

If your giftee is…. Quirky and Unique
The Queen of Arts-Curiosities by Adrienne

Funky and expressive, The Queen of Arts creates wearable sculptures out of polymer clay.  Her signature item is her colorful octopus followed closely by her vibrant owls.  She also specializes in screen printing and mosaics and can do custom pieces.
$ – $$ The Queen of Arts Website

Judy Belcher Designs

Known worldwide as a master artisan in polymer clay, Judy Belcher creates intricate designs that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.  Her attention to detail is reflected in the quality of her work and she offers something for everyone and at every point.
$$ – $$$$ Judy Belcher Designs 

Chrizart

Always designing the unexpected, each jewelry line that Chrizart offers has a completely different personality.  From twisted aluminum pendants to intricate brooches and copper wrist cuffs, your hardest decision will be choosing which line to purchase from.
$ – $$$ Chrizart Webpage

If your giftee is… Fresh and Simple
Connie McColley, Handmade Jewelry

Connie hand makes each piece of jewelry, starting with a sheet of metal and adding texture via hammers and and a rolling mill.  The end result is an earthy, fresh piece of silver, copper, or brass.  She offers a full line of jewelry from necklaces to bracelets to earrings.
$$ – $$$$  Connie McColley, Handmade Jewelry

Emmers Jewelry

A great selection of wire-wrapped and beaded jewelry, Emmers Jewelry is the perfect place for earrings that are a little bit quirky, a little bit earthy, and definitely a breath of fresh air.  You can’t go wrong with one of her designs.
$ Emmers Jewelry Etsy Page

If your giftee is… Classic and Elegant
WV Gems

WV Gems transforms rocks, gems, minerals, and even fossils into beautiful pieces of jewelry they wrap and design themselves.  Their line offers a variety of styles from casual to formal and no two pieces are ever the same.
$$$ – $$$$ WV Gems 

TLH Jewelry

Teresa of TLH Jewelry dabbles in a bit of everything from pearls to gems to wood to hammered silver and each piece has one thing in common: their timeless designs.  Whether your giftee prefers chunky statement necklaces, a pop of color in her earrings, or a classy strand of pearls, TLH jewelry has something for everyone.
$$ – $$$ Holcomb’s Woodworking / TLH Jewelry

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)

Disclaimer:  I may know and may own an item from the artisans listed in the above post.  However, all opinions are my own and are not influenced in any form.  Also, I do not own any of the photos listed above; they were all retrieved from the artisan’s website.  Please let me know if there is any conflict and I will remove the photos.

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Mountain State Monday: Handcrafted With Care

I’m going to guess that if you’ve ever cooked in a kitchen, that you’ve used a kitchen utensil for stirring or flipping.  And chances are, at some point in time, you’ve used a wooden spoon to stir or strain, correct?   What if I told you that some of the country’s best wooden utensils are made right here in West Virginia?  And what if I told you that you can take a tour to see the process from beginning to end?  Pretty neat, right?

There are dozens of artisans in West Virginia who specialize in crafting wooden utensils by hand.  Among these artisans is master artisan duo Stan and Sue Jennings, owners of Allegheny Treenware in Preston County.  At Allegheny Treenware, a team of skilled woodworkers take blocks of wood and transform them from dull and lifeless slabs into a functional work of art.  The process is completely handmade from the first cut of wood to the wood-burned logo on each piece.  The company has a full line of products to choose from, including spoons and spatulas to knives and tongs to butter dishes and bowls.  Each item is thoroughly checked for consistency and defects, ensuring only the highest quality products are available for sale.

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A sign inside the Allegheney Treenware studio in Preston County

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Every spoon starts out similar to this; a general form cut out of a block of wood. It then goes through a series of shaping stations and sanders to achieve its final look.

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Can you believe this is the same piece of wood in the picture above? The final step for each piece is to let it soak for 24 hours in this special mixture. This allows the wood’s true color to shine through and it seals and protects it.

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A small gift shop is located inside the studio with a wide variety of products.

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These Heart Straining Spoons are a favorite of mine!

Allegheny Treenware’s products can be found at specialty retailers nationwide, including West Virginia artisan retail outlet Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia in Beckley.  Studio tours are by appointment only and may be scheduled by calling (304) 892-5008 or 1-866-279-7526.  For more information on Allegheny Treenware and to view their full product line, please visit their website at http://alleghenytreenware.com/.

Until next time,
Sara (WV Travel Queen)

*Note:  This post is not sponsored or endorsed in any way; I am simply a fan of Allegheny Treenware’s products and wanted to showcase them with my followers.