We’re here to tell you that the journalism degree is not the typical path to artisan success, but Lahla Deakins is proof positive that it can work. A former copy editor and 2004 University of Tennessee journalism and liberal studies grad, Deakins creates art intended to be used, sometimes daily, from pottery to painted furniture. For her signature lace pottery, she presses the real stuff into wet slabs of clay and then constructs by hand before firing the pottery in an electric kiln. Special-order wedding and keepsake lace items are a possibility. A typically unique piece she sells on Etsy (pictured above): a turquoise mini vase in daisy lace pattern made using lace from her own wedding dress (true story). Other materials with a siren song for the artisan include old furniture and latex paint. And should you catch her fervor, she’s happy to show you how to create your own functional art at her Burning Fork Studio at 514 W. Jackson Ave., with offerings such as the “Leaf Dish” workshops held Tuesdays in October; participants will use their own leaves to pattern functional dishware. To register, burningforkstudio.com or call Lahla at 606-424-7991.