"'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight."
Joseph Bracket - Shaker Dancing Song
As autumn shortens the days and the weather becomes brisk, the fall holiday season beckons. It seems as if the stores, shopping malls and advertisers shove it in our face before we are ready to think about Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hannukah – but the retail planning for these festivities needs to happen far in advance.
Lots of potters I know and follow are readying their inventory of holiday wares in anticipation of upcoming sales events. I am in the same mind-set. The dilemma is figuring out what and how many to create. I’ve mentioned before my passion for the clay process that includes figuring out the best way to make multiples of an object. I often make a couple of samples of the final product until I’m satisfied with the outcome. Next, I develop a template out of manila folder as a pattern guide. I gather any other necessary tools and begin cutting and assembling.
The holiday sales season is a chance to experiment in the studio with new shapes and colors and revisit the reliable sellers. This fall, I have been asked to create new designs for a corporate client gift, a fund-raising holiday sale and a craft retailer. I'll also be teaching a class or two in the studio; students will create a mosaic serving tray. If there is a special gift you would like me to create for a client, loved one or hostess, now’s the time to speak up! Are there items I create, you would like to give or receive as a gift? Please let me know.
Think about supporting local, hand-made or small business operations when you fulfill your holiday shopping list and gift giving this season. It makes a big difference to those of us toiling away in our studios and shops on a regular basis. A special gift from the ClayByLaura studio lasts far beyond the excitement of the holiday season bringing enjoyment to the recipient each time it is used throughout the year. New holiday items will be available for sale through the website, studio and local retailers beginning in late October. Let me know if you are looking for a specific item or color and I'll be sure to make it for you!