Last week I asked favorite makers, designers and tastemakers to share their recommendations for splurge-worthy tableware to create the perfect holiday table setting. (And I want each and every item they suggested!) But I also asked them to share some gift-giving recommendations for those interested in giving the gift of handmade and well-made items. Below, some great suggestions to consider this weekend in between the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales frenzy!
All of these folks are past house tour participants, so you know they have good taste. I asked them all to share the most popular item that they make or sell — as well as which item you should buy now before it sells out! But I also got them to reveal which items they're coveting from their favorite makers.
Caroline is a textile designer known for her earthy, tactile soft goods. She lives in a beautifully appointed 420-square-foot studio apartment in New York's West Village neighborhood.
Caroline Z Hurley
Great gifts: Caroline reports that her most popular product category is their throws. "They are really so useful. I never go anywhere without one; this one is our most popular. You can use it on the plane when you travel, as a beach towel, picnic blanket, a couch or bed throw, as a scarf or shawl for chilly nights or as a (shower) curtain with our clips or hooks. It really is such a great gift for the holidays. And! They are 100% linen — super durable and wear very well.
What to buy NOW before she sells out: We are really excited about these rugs we had made from all of our linen scraps. We work with a factory in Rhode Island that turns our linen into braided rolls that are then sewn into rugs. Each one is one-of-a-kind so once they sell, they sell! We have more styles in our studio than on the website so just email us for images.
Helen is known for her hand-thrown pottery in stunning colorways and beautiful, organic patterns, so of course she'd have great servingware to suggest. We've toured both her Brooklyn home and her Brooklyn ceramic studio.
Great gifts: Helen recently launched a line of dog bowls, "which are customizable and make a thoughtful gift. I also added a small size for cats. I've also had a lot of people buy my organic beeswax candles as a hostess gift, which are cast here in Brooklyn from ceramic originals I threw on the wheel. Another new product I'm releasing this week is a terracotta candle stand for the candles. I love how the rich red terracotta clay looks with the yellow beeswax!
What to buy NOW before she sells out: As for best sellers this year, I'd say the Beach planters.
On her wish list: Something I'd love from another maker is a set of Chen and Kai's new brass hooks, which would be a majorly chic upgrade from my current apartment hooks.
Nick McPhail of HALF CERAMICS
Nick is a painter, ceramist and artist who sells his handmade ceramics under the name HALF CERAMICS. We got to see how he transformed a 650-square-foot Silver Lake rental into a creative live and work space in his house tour.
Great gifts: My Taco Pipes aren't available on the website yet because I sell out of them as soon as they come out of the kiln. I'm currently making them in different colors, including pink. The original joke is that it's supposed to function as an incognito smoking apparatus, so it actually looks quite a bit like a taco. You can purchase them by contacting me directly through Instagram!
Coming soon: I'm currently working on one-off designer mugs, with some funky curves and handles. I've also got some new hanging planters in the pipeline that are really fun colors and splatter glazing...and they are very large. Very excited for where Half Ceramics is going in 2018!
Artist, designer and ceramist is a pattern powerhouse, creating beautiful items for her own line, as well as collaborating with brands like Anthropologie. Her house tour features one of my favorite kitchen tile backsplashes of all time.
Great gifts: I think my well-versed vase collection is ideal for a gift for anyone who is difficult to buy for. Everyone can always find a spot for a vase!
Coming soon: I am launching a new bedding and home textile line with Peking Handicraft and Makers Collective. We should have new items in the shop in January! I also cant wait to share a HUGE new tableware collection that will be on shelves in the spring...so so exciting!
Lake Sharp of ARRAY
Lake Sharp is a skilled maker whose hand-thrown pottery, micro-batch textile goods, and exterior and interior design services comprise her business ARRAY. We recently toured the beautiful home she shares with her husband and child.
Great gifts: Definitely the tittie boxes. Perhaps this marbled clay incense holder with some nice handmade incense from Juniper Ridge. Most people can get into the ritual of lighting incense and clearing the air.
What to buy NOW: The tittie boxes have always been a favorite (can we talk about boobs on Apartment Therapy??). I can never keep them in stock. We all appreciate all manner and sizes of boobs and these charming trinket boxes are no exception. People have bought them as gift for their besties, doulas, lactation consultants, breast cancer survivors, the list goes on and on. It's very touching (no pun intended) to hear how people relate to them.
Coming soon: Yes! I'm trying out some different hand-building items that I'll be debuting online and at my studio sale this December. Vases, serving platters, and some sweet wee cups for babes and babies that like mini things.
Great gifts: My books — The 52 Lists Project, 52 Lists for Happiness and Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self — continue to be our best sellers in our store and in over 500 stores world wide who stock them! They're also translated into a few different languages internationally.
Gift ideas for different people: Plants Lovers; Boss Babes; Mystical Women; Jewelry Lovers; Beautiful Soaps that look like Crystals and Stones!
Coming soon: I am writing another book in the 52 Lists journal series!!!!! It is set to be released Sept 2018 and I cannot wait for fans, followers, and friends to get their hands on it. 350,000 copies of my first two journals are already in print and in people's homes, backpacks and at their desks worldwide. And I have a new book that I am so passionate about coming soon to add to those collections.
It's all about discovering who you are and what you love in new ways to then deepen your relationships with those you love. With politics and culture in the last year, I've seen so much that tears people apart and causes personal stress and worry. And with this book, as I have tried to do with all my books, the goal is to create a space of respite within its pages, a place for you to know and love yourself well so that that positive energy radiates out into every area of your life and the relationships that matter most. My next 52 Lists journal is all about community and relationships, finding hope, love, and a well of understanding and joy. And I cannot wait to share it so soon!