Holiday Fairs Feature the Artisan's Touch 6

Finding That One-of-a-Kind Gift

Get crafty! Get happy!

Arts and crafts have been around since the mid-19th century, starting in Britain. The Arts & Crafts Movement was an attempt to reform design and decorations by moving away from machinery and factory production. Artistry is also a form of self-expression and personal creativity. Take a look at the online marketplace Etsy.com, with more than a million independent creative entrepreneurs who sell their uniquely created goods;  you will see the long-lasting impact of that long-ago movement.

Being creative or having creativity is inherent in all of us. For some, being creative means singing or painting. It can also be crunching numbers in a way that creates opportunity, making a meal for your family, or mixing music. Being creative is doing the things we love with passion, so there are unlimited ways to be creative and express ourselves in today’s world.

Our local communities are full of people living with passion, and they showcase their arts and crafts throughout local markets, galleries, stores and online.

Gift-giving is complex. It’s part of human connectedness because it can help define relationships and can even strengthen bonds with family and friends. It’s known to be a sign of celebration, interest, appreciation, generosity and admiration. When we give without expecting anything in return, we are actually improving our psychological and mental health. Interesting fact: gift-giving releases endorphins and dopamine in your brain. Those chemicals are part of the body’s reward system, and they make you feel good.

With the holidays upon us and gift-giving a ritual practiced by many, we hunt for that unique gift—the one that, when opened, lights up the face with amazement, just like a youngster on Christmas morning. Where do you go to find these gifts that amaze? How could your gifts be special? How could they stand out, be purposeful, or bring joy? What art or craft could you create or give?

Where do you get ideas and inspiration? Pinterest?

You’ll find answers much closer to home.

Take, for example, S.A.W. (Studio for Arts and Works), a collaborative space for creative professionals. The tenant mix at S.A.W. includes jewelers, sculptors, potters, painters and other artists who all showcase their commitment to enhancing the vitality of community at this time of year by showing their work. They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, so it’s time for an art extravaganza! Their SAWliday  Annual Open House art show and sale will take place Saturday, December 10th from 2 to 7 p.m. at 525 Buggy Circle in Carbondale.

A few other arts and crafts events to mention:

  • WinterFest 2016 takes place at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. It’s an arts, crafts and goods show that starts with the Glenwood Chamber’s business after-hours event from 5 to 7 p.m. on December 9. WinterFest is a great event with food, wine, dessert, and, of course, one-of-a-kind handmade gifts!
  • The Deck the Walls Artisanal Market sponsored by Carbondale Arts is located at the Launchpad in Carbondale. Carbondale Arts transforms the R2 Gallery into a wonderland of artisan gifts and goods created by local and regional artists. This month, Deck the Walls will be open for shopping each weekday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. It’s open late, until 6 p.m., on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Hours on Saturdays are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • The Carbondale Clay Center’s Cup Auction is December 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. Now in its 19th year, this event is in a new location, at 689 Main Street (formerly Six89 Restaurant). With over 250 cups made by local and national artists, the event supports the Clay Center’s mission of promoting excellence in the ceramic arts and building artistic community.
  • The El Jebel Winter Market will be open every Saturday this month (December 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Held at EagleCrest Nursery, which is always filled with beautifully decorated Christmas trees, this event features both local food vendors and artisans selling gift items. Santa will be at EagleCrest on December 3 and 4 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Get crafty this holiday season, buy local, and support our creative professionals in our valley. (And throw in some random acts of kindness, too!)