Knoxville is known as the Maker City, a welcoming mecca for artisans of all disciplines. This monthly Gift Shop post focuses on our exceptional jewelry makers, each of whom highlights Knoxville’s charm in their own unique way. Whether glass, wood, or metal, read about these artists and their products and shop the links to add some crafted baubles to your – or a friend’s – wardrobe!
Cullen Brown Jewelry was created by local maker Cullen Brown, whose jewelry can be found almost exclusively at Visit Knoxville. Brown’s journey began through his love of woodcarving, his love for his wife, and one inspiring afternoon enjoying WDVX’s Blue Plate Special – a live radio program performed in front of an audience at our Visitors Center). He and his wife simply stopped in to listen to a Blue Plate performer one afternoon when his wife’s earrings spontaneously took center stage for another Knoxvillian. His wife’s one-of-a-kind earrings, handmade with love by Brown, caught the eye of a local who then commissioned his work, and so began his jewelry-making journey. Brown’s earrings use special pieces of Knoxville such as stamped coins from Zoo Knoxville and guitar picks from Broadway Sound.
SoKno Woodworking was carved from the hands of woodworker Aaron Gallagher right here in South Knoxville. The use of wood as his art’s natural canvas offers a classic balance to his modern method. Gallagher’s hand-designs and laser-etches earrings that speak to the heart of Knoxville. He creates dangles and studs that incorporate Knoxville’s specialties, like the Tennessee Theater blade and the World’s Fair Sunsphere. The designs are light, comfortable, and offer variety to satisfy any style. Our gift shop is honored to carry Gallagher’s wearable art. SoKno Woodworking also offers a variety of other handmade, wooden products, like cutting boards, chess and checker sets, and birdhouses on his website and at the local Farmer’s Market.
Makes Cents Jewelry was inspired from the stories of locals as heard by jewelry-maker Christinea Beane. Beane fell in love with our town and its locals as she got to know the residents intimately through her career as a representative for Black Abbey Brewing. For Beane, “every penny has its story” and she doesn’t take a single penny or story for granted. She transforms her inspiration into art through jewelry made with pennies. Her necklaces and bracelets provide a meaningful statement piece for both casual and elegant occasions. Many of Makes Cents necklaces and bracelets also feature a guitar-string heart detail, allowing its wearers to hold Knoxville’s musical heart closer to their own.