Support an Artist With These Gifts You Can’t Find In a Mall

If we had the time (and skill, too—who are we kidding), we'd make all our friends and family special handcrafted presents. But without the extra 10 hours in the day (or the know-how to figure out what to do with it), our efforts would easily turn into a popsicle-stick-cabin nightmare. Thankfully, there's expert artists out there, with a fine eye, a steady hand, and enough creative genius to go around. So with recommendations from our artist buddy Amelia Bauer, we've got 8 super-special gifts that are going to be made with more love than anything you'd find in a mall.
1. The Wild Unknown Calendars, Prints, and Prisms
I am a huge fan of these calendars, and gift them every year. This year, they've got something really special: A limited edition of 30"x22" silkscreened and water-colored 2010 feathers calendar!
Prices range from $12 for a set of bookmarks to $75 for a large great lakes prism; available at The Wild Unknown.
2. Unearthen Jewelry
The crystal/bullet shell necklace is the classic that put designer Gia Bahm on the map, but she's extended her line to watches, cast pieces, and a collaboration with Alexandra Cassaniti that features vials with Pacific Ocean water, crude oil, and compost.
Prices range from $210 for a separate pendant to $550 for a large gold watch; available at Unearthen.
Prisms by The Wild Unknown
3. J Penry's Pet Portraits
Commission artist J Penry to immortalize your loved one's pet. I don't need to tell you what makes these so incredible, you should just click through his website yourself. Don't know anyone with a pet? J Penry's book is also available there.
Available at J Penry.
4. Buttercup and Ivory's Embroidered Goods
Buttercup and Ivory embroiders on vintage linens to create designs that are both beautiful and whimsical, like a phone number scrawled onto a cloth coaster, or tear drops on a pillow case. I'm obsessed with the wine and coffee stained napkins.
Prices range from $30 for a pair of coasters to $50 for a pair of pillowcases, available at With Kid Gloves.
5. GEOMETRY + DEOCRACY, by Allyson Vieira
This is a truly special gift that's perfect for any lover of contemporary art. Its gilded pages showcase Allyson's drawings and writings that make connections between Periclean Greece, the American and French Revolutions, and 20th century minimalism. This is a limited, numbered edition of only 200 copies.
Book, $155, available at Evil Twin Publications.
6. Lagusta's Luscious Truffles and Bonbons
I gave these to friends last year, and everyone loved them. They're really rich and velvety, and there are so many incredible flavors to choose from. And for your discriminating friends, they're vegan, too!
Prices range from $12 to $48 depending on the size of box; available at Blue Stocking Bonbons.
7. T-Shirt by Hisham Akira Bharoocha
Hisham Akira Bharoocha extends his range of creations to T-shirt designs as the first of a new series called Musician as Designer, curated by Sound Screen Design. A book of his collages and installations is also available on the same site.
T-shirt, $26.25; Book, $12.75; available at Soundscreen Design.
8. Pottery by Janet Williams
I eat and drink out of these fine wares everyday, and have given mugs, bowls, and vases to just about everyone I know at some point or another.
Prices range from $18 for a small bowl to $185 for a 4 piece canister set; available at Paseo Pottery.
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