Artizan on Bull: Nothing Ordinary Here!
It's not just an art gallery.
And it's not just a jewelry store.
It's both, and more!
Artizan is proud of its eclectic collection of artists and its intimate renovated showroom. A curious juxtaposition of a more contemporary setting housed in a 1930s downtown building, Artizan represents a colorful and diverse gathering of local and national artists and artisans.
Customers will see art from known artists, as well as some who are emerging in their disciplines. In addition to more traditional mediums like oils and water color, other exciting offerings are found in textiles, glass and pottery.
We take great pride in being an importer and seller of many varieties of pearls, including cultured freshwater, cultured saltwater (Akoya), South Seas and Tahitian. We work closely with major suppliers around the world to make sure that we have a diverse selection in a variety of price ranges to meet the needs of our customers.
And then there are the blended pieces where art and function meet in the form of sterling chainmail and wire wrapped jewelry. These pieces are both wearable jewelry and collector's pieces for the discerning customer.
Clayton P. King
Clayton has called Columbia, SC, home for almost two years. A native Texan, he grew up in Galveston, TX, and after school, relocated to Austin, TX. He and his partner, Jeffery, lived in the state capitol for 24 years when "Famously Hot" Columbia called.
As a theatre performance major, Clayton has spent the last 20+ years as a chameleon in marketing and event management. In the early 2000s, he was a principle partner in an online jewelry business which focused its efforts around trendy jewelry for men. Prior to that, he served in executive and management positions in the travel and high tech industries.
Clayton also creates decorator pillows and textile pieces under the brand The King's Pillow, which will ultimately be offered throuth Artizan. In the meantime, though, his primary focus is opening the gallery space and representing the many talented artists and artisans associated with the gallery.
Next to the love of his life, Clayton holds their two miniature Schnauzers, Gilbert & Sullivan close to his heart.
Jeffery C. Schwalk
Jeffery has held management and executive positions in the retail and on-line jewelry industry and works closely with our suppliers and jewelry artists from around the world. In 2009 a career opportunity tied to his "real job" in high tech brought him from Texas to Columbia, South Carolina.
An artist in his own right, Jeffery majored in design in college with a minor in art history and has won numerous regional awards for his paintings and artwork. His work will periodically be shown at Artizan. He has enjoyed getting to experience all that Columbia has to offer and becoming involved with community organizations. Jeffery resides with his partner Clayton in downtown Columbia with their three dogs and two cats.
The Not-so Silent Partners
Gilbert, Sullivan and Gypsy
As with any new enterprise, quality input and ongoing feedback are critical. Gypsy, Gilbert and Sullivan have been active participants in the creation of Artizan LLC, and also have a major role in supervising our lives in Columbia, South Carolina.
They inspect many of the items of our inventory (they are HUGE fans of our pearl and jeweled pet collars), test out our packaging (for durability), and often interact with our current and prospective gallery artists (just to make sure that they are nice as well as talented). They insisted that they get the appropriate credit for their valuable and ongoing contributions!
The transformation of our showroom has been a fun and exciting (and sometimes daunting) experience. The space was part of the original Ritter Furs storefront dating back to the 1930s when the building was built. In later years, Leon Ritter split the store, creating the suite at 1217 Bull. At that point, it was home to a beauty salon which catered to "fashionable ladies" for two decades from the 1950s-1970s. In 1976, the salon closed its doors and the space was vacant until Artizan began renovation. If only walls could talk!
Just this Spring, we knocked a hole in the wall and took over the entire building.
We are excited to be in downtown Columbia. The space provides a simple but comfortable and elegant showroom to visit. Our goal is to be, at once, serious in intent and casual in style!