Made in the South Awards

2011 Home Category

The 2011 award winners prove the best things are made in Dixie

Photo: Stacy Newgent

Home Category Winner

JC Wood Artisan
Louisville, KY

Everybody in Kentucky makes furniture out of bourbon barrels, but craftsman Jason Cohen makes art. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that his studio is just down the block from Bourbon Barrel Foods, where he sources his white oak barrels. Last June, Cohen made his first stool. “The tripod shape really balances you out, and you sit differently in it,” he says. Next, he tackled the pub table, using bourbon barrel staves for the legs. “Some people think the wood is going to break because of the angle,” Cohen says. “But the wood has been trained for years to that form, and it makes it strong. It’s green when they cut it, and then they pour liquor in it. It’s almost petrified.” Sturdy as white oak may be, Cohen takes care to apply an outdoor finish, making both the table and stools durable enough to use on a porch. “The set has an old-world look to it,” he says, “but it’s contemporary too.”

$150 (22-inch stool ), $335 (table);

Home Category Runners-Up

Machine Shop Lighting Co.
Austin, TX

Marc Knight may work as the president of a construction company by day in Austin, Texas, but at home he’s a designer, dreaming up nostalgic lighting. “I have varied interests, but my fascination with design comes from being around old, timeless things,” he says. Knight turns to a handful of retro manufacturers to bring his sketches of metal and glass to life, using companies such as Sundial Wire to make his throwback wiring and a local metal shop to weld the raw steel.


Uncorked Glass
Atlanta, GA

Daniel Hart was sitting at dinner, feeling low about getting laid off from his job in Atlanta, when a wine bottle rolled off the table and split in two. As Hart looked at the shape, a memory of seeing drinking glasses made from wine bottles came back to him. The next morning he set out to put his stamp on the idea. It took him three months to finish a glass without the vessel shattering. Today he makes fifteen hundred a week. “When I was let go, I was at square one,” he says. “This is like a dream, really.”

$36–$40 for four