"been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down…"

Category: Durham Made

Irons in the Fire, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop


A graduate of Central Michigan University, Mark Kozma creates functional pottery and woodwork with a strong emphasis on surface design. He has been working in Durham now for four years but has been creating nearly his whole life. A former apprentice of Mark Hewitt, Mark now runs his own creative business Irons in the Fire. He likes to keep things fresh by working in a variety of mediums, switching from the functional nature of ceramics and woodworking, to the more whimsical practice of creating mixed media scultpures. Think his work looks familiar? Well, if you live in Durham you’re probably right. Mark makes all of the cups for Cocoa Cinnamon‘s great teas, coffees, and sipping chocolates. Come snag his work at Blackberry PopUp Shop this weekend!

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Grace Montgomery, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop

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Grace Montgomery and I have sold together at a few markets around Durham, and we’ve done a jewelry collaboration (with more to come), so you may have seen her work on here before. Lately, she’s been testing new styles and expanding the kinds of pieces she makes, so I’m really excited to see what she’ll be bringing to the Blackberry PopUp Shop!

Grace makes functional stoneware pottery right here in Durham, NC. her pieces explore a balance between texture, technique, and chance, engaging the senses as they are used. Her mugs, bowls, planters, and jars are meant to be enjoyed every day and transform daily rituals into sacred moments.

Come check out her work at Blackberry PopUp Shop next Saturday!

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Wind Blown Jewelry, Maker Feature for Blackberry PopUp Shop


For the next ten days, I’ll be featuring local makers as part of the promotion for Blackberry PopUp Shop, a PopUp Shop in downtown Durham with live music. It should be a really fun event, and if you live in the area you should definitely try to stop by! I’m very excited for my house to be full of beautiful things and people.

Today I’m featuring Wind Blown, the simple and classic jewelry line by Rachel Calhoun. Rachel is a Raleigh-based maker who has been making jewelry for about ten years. Her pieces are airy, clean, and simple. Extremely minimal, her work is easy to wear and full of effortless character. I especially love her rings, a healthy mix of statement pieces with oversized, long-cut stones in curvy shapes and her more delicate, wire geometric rings. In her own words, Rachel is “all about making a statement with jewelry,” but she likes to do so “in a manner that preserves the purity of the piece.” This purity is derived from the natural elements Rachel incorporates so easily into her work. Rather than chunky, heavy, rough-cut stones and gems, Rachel’s pieces are smooth, clean, and delicate.

You can almost always find Wind Blown jewelry at Sola Coffee’s PopUp maker fairs and various other markets in the area. You can also follow her on Instagram, and her website is set to launch very soon, so keep a sharp eye!

Of course, you can also catch her at the Blackberry PopUp Shop on Saturday, July 18th from 12-4pm.




Brita Nordgren


Brita Nordgren is a paper cut and silhouette artist I discovered today while doing some research at my job. Nordgren is based in Durham, and just so happens to be one of the co-owners of The Makery, a small shop in Durham that offers curated, handmade, local goods. Nordgren hand cuts her wonderful paper pieces, as well as creates prints from her cuttings. Her pieces are delightfully intricate. I especially love her beekeeper paper cut piece, as well as her delicate insect silhouettes (though I couldn’t find a usable picture of these). Take a look at her work on her Etsy shop, and keep up with Makery events on their Facebook page.







Made in Durham: Big Spoon Roasters


It’s Monday, and I figured that was as good a time as any to start a new series I’ve been thinking about: Made in Durham. I’m discovering so many fantastic things that are made right here in my new hometown and I wanted to push myself to learn more about them, try them out, and share them! Large and small, there is a lot going on in this little town.


First up is a product I haven’t actually had the pleasure of trying yet, but every time I see their stand at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays my mouth waters. Big Spoon Roasters makes hand crafted nut butters from scratch using locally sourced nuts and wildflower honeys. The nut butters are small batch roasted in a method driven by a belief that food (the way it is sourced and made) matters. 


Founded by Mark Overbay and his wife in 2011, Big Spoon Roasters received its inspiration from Overbay’s experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural farming community in Zimbabwe, where peanuts were a part of the community’s main harvest. After he returned to the states, a great deal of experimentation led to the formation of Big Spoon, which can now be bought in over 31 states as well as online. With flavors as varied as Chai Spice, Cocoa Nib, Almond Ginger, and Peanut Almond nut butters, Big Spoon has a lot to offer. Head over to their website to see where you can buy their nut butters and to learn more about their process and sourcing

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