Annie Hanks Ceramics

Stephanie Anne Martin grew up regularly relocating with her family to various towns within the Southeast. She claims that her familiarity to transition is what began to shape her character- eventually instilling within her a desire for wonder and adventure. Encouraged also by her family’s endless expressions of creativity, Stephanie remembers searching for her own, unique means of artistic self-expression until she found ceramics. After years of building a world around a corporate lifestyle, she was able to submit to her adventurous spirit and open Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio with her dear friend, Katherine. Stephanie recently married and is currently renovating a Victorian Cottage, named Sunny, with her husband, Jay.

Katherine Hanks Rogers was raised in San Antonio, Texas with a great appreciation for the outdoors, imagination, and creativity. Her love for art was fostered through spending summers in the landscape of the Texas Hill Country- a motif that even still, is reflected in much of her work. She studied photography at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and upon graduating, moved to Chattanooga where she discovered a passion for clay. Both her photographic work and ceramic work is full of natural references and an isolated focus on beauty.

Katherine Hanks Rogers and Stephanie Anne Martin met as neighbors in 2012 and incidentally both attended weekly pottery classes at a local Chattanooga studio. A friendship quickly developed and deepened as their love for clay did the same. The following years were marked by growing their knowledge of ceramics and developing skill through apprenticeship and assistantship programs. Within the last months of working together within this setting, their growing eagerness to set off and begin their own studio grew stronger. Within two weeks, the women had found a studio space- a bright and open floor plan with a western-facing wall of windows that gently filters natural sunlight, exposed cement ceilings, and inspiring energy that permeates the space and encourages creativity. Since that day in October of 2014, Katherine and Stephanie have created a working studio that they have named Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio; incorporating both of their names. Annie Hanks purely reflects the essence of their friendship and their respective aesthetics- an aesthetic that more often than not, blends effortlessly into one. Katherine explains that their work is “a marriage of [their] forms and is a beautiful reflection of [their] friendship.” The women work collaboratively- each piece is created by both women’s hands- one may throw a piece that the other glazes, or one may perfect a form that the other originally created. It is not uncommon to find one of the women centering a lump of clay on the wheel that the other shapes and forms into a vessel. When asked about the ways in which this affects the dynamic within the studio, Stephanie explains, “we are constantly excited for one another: constantly encouraging the other to stretch herself, and consistently celebrating one another’s accomplishments. It’s a special thing of which to be a part.” The women take pride in their fine attention to line and form and have a keen awareness of the relationship and connection between the earth and themselves. They find constant metaphors within their work, particularly the connection between clay: a piece of the earth, and the humanness of themselves. Their work then, often reflects natural references- whether it be the horizon lines in their glazes, or the form of their pieces.








Yarn bombing: Finding Yarn Cozies in the Darnedest Places

Olga de Klein is on a journey. From painting to drawing, photography and, most recently, yarn bombing, de Klein thrives on being creative.

Though the 69-year-old says she never knows which direction her creativity will take her, she was pleasantly surprised that her yarn bombing project is being showcased on a nationally televised FedEx TV commercial airing this holiday season.

Yarn bombing is “the act of crocheting and knitting unexpected pieces for public display,” de Klein says. “It was started to cover/brighten up insipid concrete and metal structures in urban living. ”

Olga de Klein places loosely knit cozies on some trees at the Tennessee Aquarium Plaza.


In the commercial, a grandmother is talking to her daughter on the phone, asking if she received the “toaster cozy” shipped through FedEx. The daughter says “yes,” and the camera shows the husband putting a huge cozy on the Christmas tree as well as several other objects covered by cozies. The last shot is a boy covered completely by a cozy and asking, “Is that Nana?”

Yarn bombing was started in Texas in 2005 by Magda Sayeg, who is considered to be the mother of the unusual art project, de Klein says.

“I had seen her work online and included it in my senior presentation at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga about the history of knitting. One of the things I touched on was what all you could do with yarn, which lead into ‘yarn bombing,'” she says.

In April 2012, de Klein yarn bombed trees in front of the Tennessee Aquarium. The “bombing” was part of MakeWorks 10 x 10 project, de Klein says. Last February, she struck again.

“I knit it (cozies) loosely for the trees so the trees could breathe,” she says. “Most of the time, the rough areas of bark keep the yarn in place. When I put it on smooth poles, it is secured in a way it does not slide down.”

“I did the trolley on one of the walls at Glass Street for their Better Block event. The trolley is 32 feet wide and 15 feet high.” It’s still covered in yarn today.

But bombing is not the only use for yarn, she says, and it also shows up in her mixed media works, which are on display at Studio 3K at WorkSpace in downtown Chattanooga..

“It is a different way of feeling creative with yarn. The yarn I get is not your typical ‘grandmother’s’ yarn,” de Klein says. “It is very colorful, varied in texture, sometimes chiffon, sometimes silk, and most of it is strips stitched together by women in India and Nepal. They either collect remnants from fabric in factories where they make saris, so it does not end up in the landfill, or are from old saris. With the proceeds, they pay for the schooling of their children.”

She purchases the majority of her yarn from the DarnGoodYarn website, she says. “The owner of the business, Nicole Snow, has helped me in all my yarn-bomb endeavors, and always came through when I had to place a frantic call for more and/or different colors of yarn, texture, etc.,” she says.

It was de her connection with Snow that lead to her participation in the commercial, de Klein explains. Last October, Snow received a grant from the FedEx Small Business Competition that landed their yarn art in the commercial.

“I could not do all this by myself in less than a week, but Nicole had team of knitters who helped as well. Nicole called back, asking me to help her pull it all together and five days later I was on a plane to Los Angeles, where I arrived around the same time as Nicole, both armed with suitcases full of cozies.

“We fitted all the items — refrigerator door, toaster, dog, Christmas tree, an outside topiary. We only had to adjust the cozy for Fritz, the dog, which was a little too big on him.”

A native of the Netherlands, de Klein moved to America in 1967 and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing at UTC in 2011. Her grandmother taught her to knit.

“I stopped knitting for many years but took it up again after Adrian (her youngest son) died, and I knitted one scarf after the other, mindlessly, as it took me away from that cutting pain,” she says. “Then, when it was time for my senior project at UTC, and I wanted to get away from doing the same thing, I decided to ‘paint’ with yarn and it has been like that ever since.”

This story originally was published on Chattanooga Now.

kudu-lah critters

kudu-lah, established in 2007, is a locally owned and operated husband and wife duo newly based in Chattanooga from Brooklyn. Harnessing the power of AWESOME, Kenny and Jenifer Kudulis, bring you kudu-lah critters, monster-like characters inspired by folks seen traveling the NYC subways. Kenny sketches, paints and names all of his original characters. Then Jen gets to know each critter and creates individual bios. The critters are seen captured in Mason Jars or juxtaposed into the couple’s original photography or vintage paintings. All pieces are lovingly handmade by Jenifer and Kenny. All artwork is printed on canvas and finished with a gloss sealant, leaving all pieces UV protected and moisture resistant. This basically means it will look great for 300 years!

Olga de Klein Uses the Art of Yarn Bombing to Create Connections

Can yarn bombing build community? Chattanooga-based artist Olga de Klein uses the art of yarn bombing to create connections between people and place. “Trolley” is a 30-foot wide, 15-foot tall mixed-media mural made of yarn and paint on plywood.  Sections of yarn knit by residents and supporters of Glass Street visually represent how individuals, when stitched together, can become something greater than before.



The mural also celebrates the historic East Chattanooga Belt Line Trolley which connected the Glass Farm District to the businesses and attractions downtown in the early 1900s. The trolley is not only a point of connection for places – it connects people. De Klein’s mural is designed to do the same – inviting people to interact with the installation and ultimately one another.

The temporary installation is located at 2442 Glass Street.

14 volunteers engaged in the project
17,151 yards of yarn were used, which translates into about 9.7 miles
1 image of this mural reached more than 2,500 on facebook
More than 100 first-time visitors attracted to Glass Street

This story was originally published on

Hollie Berry — Visual Artist

Hollie Berry started drawing as soon as she could hold a pencil and began painting in oils at the age of eight. Since then, her primary focus has remained on her artistic growth. Whether painting a traditional portrait in oils, sewing paper pages into a sculptural form, or suspending moving books from the ceiling, she seeks to add to the beauty of the world by tapping into her own creativity and that of those around her.

Berry received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin and studied art and art history abroad in Tuscany, Italy. Her work has been displayed locally at Association for Visual Arts, The River Street Makery, Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore, ArtSpace Gallery, and on several public streets.

Berry first became enamored with the possibility of book arts in high school when she was introduced to the concept of altered books. She had always been an avid reader so the conjoining of books and art was a natural direction. Soon she learned to create handmade books from the raw materials of paper, thread, boards, and cloth. Now, she and Ellen Simak are co-chairs of Book Arts at the Open Press, where she occasionally teaches book arts workshops.
After moving to Chattanooga, Hollie first made an impression on the local community by creating Dewdles, a series of temporal drawings in the dewy grass of Coolidge Park. These monumental and ephemeral works last only an hour or so before evaporating. Dewdles capture the imaginations of tourists, joggers, and dog walkers who spot them from the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, as well as internet surfers who stumble across them online.
Recently Hollie has been involved with The McCallie Walls Mural Project, a grant recipient of the MakeWork foundation, completing the twelve by forty five foot outdoor mural Four Horsewomen. She also collaborated with other artists, neighborhood residents, and children to create the community painted mural Tandimals. For her next foray into public art Berry collaborated with her husband, Engineer Rudy Elizondo, to create the interactive installation Book Flock as part of the Open Spaces program coordinated by River City Company. The fusion of art, technology, and viewer participation is something she very much looks forward to continuing in the future.
Hollie Berry lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband, two cats, and too many books.

For additional information, see:


Hollie Berry

Hollie Berry

Airship Log book

T is for Turtle Dewdle

Book Flock Outside