There is something special about an item that is made by hand. My home is filled with pottery, quilts, woodblock prints and other beautiful things made by artist. I feel that the more handmade items in a home the better; they have a way of grounding us.
In my kitchen I have manufactured coffee cups and handmade mugs. Handmade pottery has a warmth and soul that you just don’t find in mass produced ceramics. Holding a mug that has been hand thrown makes me feel connected to the potter and clay, a peaceful feeling.
While on my Small Business Saturday shopping spree I found myself in the community room of the local library where folks were selling all sorts of things. I bought a dozen Lady Fingers (heaven in a box) and a few other small items. Then I came across the Caruso family. I bought so many of their handmade items that they gave me a canvas tote so I could carry everything home.
So, what did I buy from the Caruso sisters? Their father and brother make wooden cutting boards. On this day I purchased a walnut cutting board for a “foodie” on my Christmas list. A few months ago I bought one of their Sassafras cutting boards at a local art gallery. Every time I use it I run my hands along its smooth surface. It’s so amazing to handle the slim piece of wood. I never want to use a plastic cutting board again.
I also bought a bar of handmade soap with a loofa sponge inside. Visually it tickled my funny bone, an impulse buy for sure.
Dina Caruso was selling jewelry, Color By Amber, a line of products made by women around the world. This company partners with groups that help under privilege women. Ten percent of the companies profits are used to fund child education, clean water and other important human necessities in countries like Nepal, South Africa, Columbia and Senegal. For more information contact Dina, firstname.lastname@example.org and to purchase jewelry visit here.
This Christmas support artist far and near, we need them!
If you live in western PA I suggest visiting The Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony, PA. There you will find artwork of all kinds from over a 100 local artist. The gallery also offers art classes and hosts many live music events!
by Jill Eudaly
photos by Jill Eudaly