by Patti Broughton and Katie Wilde
I admit to being conflicted about Christmas shopping. I like the end result (acquiring things that will put smiles on the faces of my loved ones) but man do I hate crowds, traffic and sore feet. A mall is not my happy place. My strategy is to shop handmade and shop local. With this approach I’ve managed my shopping conflict while supporting local artists, artisans and businesses, and found gifts as special as my family and friends.
While I make most of my gifts (partly as a way to justify my obsession with leatherworking and tool acquisition) I love the holiday season for the sheer density of creative works on display, and the chance to see the smiling faces of our hardworking local artists. This year I bought hand-dyed wool yarn by Katherine Matthews of Purl Diving. Since I was pressed for time at the Necessary Arts Holiday Pop-Up Shop, I arranged to visit her in her studio to get some gorgeous yarn for my mother for Christmas. This resulted in the unexpected bonus of seeing her at work hand-dying a skein. The amount of thought, chemistry and emotional-artistic investment she puts into her work really made an impression on me, and I’m so glad I got the chance to see her in action. Have a look at her blog for some insight into the process http://www.apparknitchik.com/. Oh, and she names her work after Guelph street names, how cool is that?
Smiling local artists and fine crafters at Necessary Arts Holiday Pop Up Shop 2015 on Douglas St (clockwise: shoppers, Melissa Gobeil of Attic Gold, Garth Laidlaw of ArtStory, Cynthia Waldow and Frances Hahn, co-owners and artists at Necessary Arts, and Melanie Gausen, who paints a scene from downtown Guelph each year). Photos by Katie Wilde.
We encourage you to continue buying art and artfully created works all year long, whether they’re birthday gifts, thoughtful surprises for friends and loved ones, or treats for yourself. To find out about all the great opportunities to buy local and support our local arts community, consider subscribing to our ArtsBlast e-newletter. This twice monthly subscription is jammed packed with great events, happenings, and stories about your community. A special Holiday Edition is always produced as well to highlight the many seasonal opportunities to connect with local artists and vendors.
Thank you for following us during the Twelve Month Artful Pledge! It’s been a blast.