This summer Richmond Craft Mafia proudly accepted four new businesses into our membership and we could not be more excited to have them on board!
First up, we would like to introduce Kyle Lucia and Johannah Willsey of Phoenix Handcraft!
What do you make?
We work in metal, mosaic, and wood. Much of what we make is functional art, like furniture and home dÃ©cor. One of our favorite items is our mosaic coat racks. We also make smaller personal items like bottle openers and pendants, and Kyle makes architectural ironwork as well.
Without giving away trade secrets, what is special about how you make what you make?
Blacksmithing and mosaics are each rather uncommon these days on their own. But what really makes our work special is the collaborative nature of our work and business. We work together on each and every project that leaves our studios.
How long have you been a maker?
We have been making together since we first met almost 20 years ago. Before that, we were each imaginative, artistic kids driven to make our whole lives.
Where do you sell your wares?
At the moment, Etsy, 43rd St., DeCor in Carytown, the Valentine Museum gift shop, and craft shows around Richmond. Coming soon, a shop on our website! And we’ll be adding a few more local stores over the holidays as well.
Where do you make your stuff? What’s your favorite thing about your space?
We have studios in Scottâ€™s Addition. Our space includes separate metal, mosaic, and wood studios. Our favorite thing about our studios is the gorgeous space and light in the metal studio, and the location in the awesome, vibrant neighborhood Scottâ€™s Addition has become.
Tell us about your inspiration…
There are two ideas that drive our work: bringing attention to the importance and relevance of handskills in the modern world, and working in a sustainable way. This is the significance of our businessâ€™s name. The Phoenix refers to the rebirth of both handskills, and the eco-
friendly, community-driven spirit behind our work.
What’s your favorite/least favorite things about being a maker?
The act of bringing an idea from an original thought to a finished creation is pretty heady. But thereâ€™s too many ideas to ever get to them all, and that can be disappointing and frustrating.
Favorite handmade gift you’ve ever been given and/or best handmade thing you’ve ever bought?
A beautiful glass and brass fusion window hanging that was a special gift from the makers, a couple of longtime artists and inspiring friends. Some of the artwork and projects our kids have made are among our favorites too.
Swedish Chef, of course!