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FashFood Home: Kentucky-shaped accents are a show of pride

Nothing about them is understated

hhendren@herald-leader.comFebruary 22, 2013 

Kentucky has inspired many an artist to draw and paint the iconic mountains and fields of bluegrass or gush about its charms in lyrics and books. But the actual shape of the state, with its distinctive zigzag borders, also has inspired plenty décor of its own.

State-shaped pieces have popped up in recent shelter magazines and are everywhere on Pinterest, appealing to both home state pride and the current back-to-your-roots, handcrafted movement.

Artist Alisa Toninato started her "Made in America" series of cast iron skillets in 2010 and now offers designs of the Lower 48, including Kentucky.

As much art as kitchen utensil, the pans are made to order at Toninato's FeLion Studios (Felionstudios.com) in Madison, Wis.; they can be shipped raw or seasoned. And after you've fried up the breakfast eggs or baked a Kentucky-shaped skillet of corn bread, your pan can be mounted on a wall with a custom-made magnetic hanger.

Prices vary depending on size. The smallest state, Rhode Island, is $150; the largest continental state, Texas, is almost 2 feet long has two handles and costs $2,500. Kentucky, at about 1 foot long and weighing 5 pounds, is $550 unseasoned or $585 seasoned.

If you had the space and money, you could buy all 48. They are proportionally designed to fit together, just like the actual states.

Stately Tables (Statelytables.com) are handcrafted in upstate New York, using locally milled hemlock and salvaged wood including maple, pine, chestnut and oak.

Tables cut in the shapes of states may be personalized in a variety of finishes and leg styles, with prices ranging from $375 for a small end table to $750 for a large coffee table. Oversize designs are available for custom pricing.

To make your furniture piece even more special, an inlaid sterling silver star may be added for $35 each to mark your Kentucky home or other favorite location.

Textiles also have been stitched into state-shaped home accessories. Customized pillows, $58.50 at the Love, California shop at Etsy.com are available in a variety of colors including blue. Applique hearts mark the city of your choice.

For a little Kentucky kitsch, check out antique stores, garage sales and flea markets for state-shaped ashtrays or commemorative dishes, popular in the 1960s and '70s. Repurpose these fun pieces as charming receptacles for earrings, cuff links or other trinkets, or group them on a table for a vintage vignette.

Harriett Hendren: (859) 231-3324. Email: hhendren@herald-leader.com. Blog: fashfood.bloginky.com.

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