Saturday, December 3, 2011

Handmade Holidays

Our November blogroll topic for the Aspiring Metalsmiths is 'Handmade Holidays' -- and a very fitting topic indeed! What better way to celebrate the holidays than by giving your loved ones the gift of handmade this year!
There are so many benefits to buying handmade for the holidays -- and everyday! When you buy handmade, you are supporting an independent artist, you are helping them support their craft, buy supplies and afford to do what they love. When you buy handmade, you are buying a quality product, made with thought, care and love by the artist's own hands. Each handmade gift you buy is unique, one of a kind. Every hammer-mark, brushstroke, fingerprint is unique, and there will never be another exactly like it. Buying handmade offers many opportunities for personalization and collaboration. You can communicate directly with the artist and work together to create that special gift for your loved one. I could go on and on....

But instead, I'll stop and show you a few handmade gift ideas, and hopefully inspire you to give handmade this holiday season! Happy shopping!

The first artist I'm featuring today is Hodaka Hasebe of Hodakapottery. His handmade stoneware pottery mugs, bowls, teapots, casseroles, platters and vases are beautiful works of art. I love his style, the flow of lines on his work and his amazing use of glazes. And his stunning work is also totally functional for everyday use! The perfect handmade gift!

by Hodaka Hasebe

by Hodaka Hasebe

Next, I'm featuring my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith teamie, Angela Bowman and her dad, Jeremy Burdge, an accomplished glassblower -- both of ajjewelrydesigns. Mr. Burdge specializes in lovely, one-of-a-kind art glass pieces, including these wonderful angels, as well as Christmas ornaments, pumpkins and more. I just love the ruffled, flowing skirt and the delicate wings of his angels. Amazing work!

by Jeremy Burdge & Angela Bowman

by Jeremy Burdge & Angela Bowman

Next, is a unique gift idea. My Chatty Metalsmith teamie, Laura Roberson of TrystingTreeFarm raises Alpine dairy goats and uses their fresh milk as a major ingredient in her skincare products. She handmakes all kinds of goatsmilk soaps, using only the finest grade oils, butters and essential oils and then ages them for mildness. A very unique gift!

by Laura Roberson

by Laura Roberson

And last, but not least, I just had to include some of my handcrafted metalwork. You can visit my shop AmyEstelleMetalworks for all kinds of great handmade gift ideas. I specialize in sterling and fine silver artisan jewelry, including necklaces, pendants, earrings and bracelets. You're sure to find a unique handmade gift for yourself or that special someone. 
by Amy Estelle

by Amy Estelle

by Amy Estelle

Remember, a handmade gift is special. It comes from the heart -- both your's and the artist's. When you buy handmade this holiday, you are buying more than a product, you are supporting an artist do what they love.

If you have a few minutes, check out my Aspiring Metalsmith teamies' thoughts and ideas about 'Handmade Holidays'!  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Jessica @ Abella Blue -

Stacy -

Elizabeth Brown –

Lilian Genebra -

Pennee- All Wired Up Jewelry Designs -

Claire English -

Gayle -

Nancy -

Autumn Bradley -