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Heck Yes Craft Gifts: 2012
If you want a great holiday gift for the jewelry lover on your list, you can’t go wrong with a jewelry box by Jenna Goldberg (which you can buy through Goldberg's website or NAGA gallery). Versatile containers alive with surface patterns and packed with compartments, Goldberg’s boxes are at least as interesting as anything that might go within. Which means you also need to buy something great for the inside. Start with pieces by the polymer duo of FordForlano, whose chunky, colorful work can elevate any fashion ensemble from fine to fabulous. (Buy through these galleries: Mobilia, Bellagio, Velvet da Vinci, Patina, Lacoste, and Freehand.)
For your city-proud, design-savvy friend, choose a gift from Aymie Spitzer’s charming Neighborwoods line. Born of Spitzer’s love for vintage maps, Neighborwoods are hand-drawn city maps, laser-engraved into lovely (and aromatic) unfinished cedar. They look great on the wall, but tiny versions also make fabulous badges, keychains, and ornaments. (Did someone say stocking stuffer?) Don’t see your city? Spitzer adds new ones all the time.
Or let’s say you’re buying for somebody impossibly fashionable, somebody tough to impress. How about the chic and unusual hand-netted Lightning Vest, made from a custom reflective material? Dargelos in Brooklyn is your source.
Maybe your giftee is the cultured type. Is he an Edgar Allen Poe fan, for example, or a Sound of Music aficionado? Order from the array of Uneek dolls made by Debbie Ritter. It’s a safe bet your gift will be the only one of its kind.
For the rugged individualist, nothing says true independence like an ax. This American Felling Axe, by Best Made Company, is inspired by the tools that built America. It is made to be used, with an Appalachian hickory handle and a steel head forged in North Carolina. Pair it with Legends of Paul Bunyan while you're at it, or maybe something by Jack London. After all, those who chop their own wood warm themselves twice.
Perhaps something a little more refined, but still made from a tree? Scott McGlasson not only makes beautiful furniture, but also handsome turned plates, bowls, and vases. Thomas Oliphant, whose shop is just down the hallway from McGlasson's, combines wood and metal in his work. Check out his Peg Boards for a practical accessory (made from off cuts of his furniture projects), and his three-legged Smarty candle stands are also quite fun. For a kid (or kid at heart), you can't top his tops.
Maybe you just want something simple that says "You're my friend and I care about you." Definitely check out animator Norma Toraya's handmade custom greeting cards. A golden ticket? A decoder? A slot machine? Each card contains a special message, from you, and is hand-assembled with love, by Toraya.
Handmade mugs are classic for a reason: Useful, beautiful, and a great way to share your love of studio craft with friends. Minneapolis’ Northern Clay Center has improved upon the go-to gift, bundling it with beans from local roaster Peace Coffee. Their Holiday Coffee Kits (available with one mug or two) include a choice of work from potters Jan McKeachie Johnston, Jo Severson, Kevin Caufield, Kyla Toomey, Matt Krousey, Mike Helke, Mike Norman, and Willem Gebben. There are only so many mugs available, so order early.
Ava Austin's painted FaCuffs are a great jewelry find for all ages. Adults can don her painted metal cuffs, while her acrylic wristbands are perfect for kids in your life - the flexible art cuffs are completely made out of paint; you size them to your wrist, and you simply stretch them to remove or put back on. There's no end to the variety of colors and patterns available.
Don't go for the same old department-store tie for your father (or father-in-law), instead treat him to an artsy hand-dyed silk tie by Gabriele Beyer of Murphyties. Check out the High Gear necktie for guys who bike to the office.
Can't get enough craft? Neither can we. Heck Yes Craft is a series of visual blog posts with a simple mission: to show off amazing work. Come back on Fridays for more.