My Favorite Handmades January 2014

It's the third week of January 2014, and as it is my self-appointed period for sharing my handmade favorites from online marketplaces. This is one of my most fun blot topics when I rummage through my bookmarked favorites and pic products to feature.

My first one is from Jalex Studio, a three-pot planter made of stainless steel resting on a cork base.  The planter is called Kork Van Gogh Vase 1.  An interesting fact about cork is that it is "100% renewable . . . harvested from the bark of living oak trees."  Jalex designs and creates furniture and home accessories, such as lamps from many other "out of the ordinary materials," including giving new life to objects having once existed for some other use.  One of his marvelous creations is a lamp base made from old computer hard drives.  Believe, it's much more gorgeous than it sounds.

Jalex Studio, Houston TX

L.B. Cooper, a ceramic artists, creates beautiful, yet functional works that are uniquely one of a kind.  In her story, she explains the passions that form the basis of her designs:

. . . exploration of form and function, and the marriage of those two elements with various clay bodies and surface design. I truly appreciate small acts of beauty in our everyday lives and strive to create items that I believe in as an artist as well as a customer. I never grow tired of interesting textures and love to find subtle glaze combinations that work to accentuate the overall form and small details rather than cover up or detract from them. I also love the idea of creating a piece that only exists in the world once . . . .

Ibcooper, Athens, GA

This next selection was the most difficult because I just couldn't decide which drawing I like best.  Why I love abstract art, I don't know other than its colors and lines visually and mentally invite me to explore, imagine and contemplate.  And why black and white?  The colors and seemingly absence of colors in black and white are basic and complex. The artist, Eden Some, describes his medium as  "Vintage black ink [a] national heritage and legacy, traditionally from China, Japan and Korea .... It was widely [used] for ink wash painting and calligraphy."  In learning about Mr. Some, I read his chronology of his life, a young man who brings both tears and smiles.

Manjuzaka, Honk Cong/Colombo.  A3 OOAK Ethereal Black and White Ink Wash Painting 11.7x16.5 " The Way Home 185"

The necklace below is simply stunning, created by a jewelry artist influenced by her formative years in growing up in Africa and France.   Her beads, gemstones, and designs are bold, yet simplistic.  And as she puts it, the bold colors help to live through the wintry "blues" of England. 

Kankou, Whiltshire UK and Paris, FR

As a teenager, I learned to knit and did so for new babies and sweaters for myself.  I no longer knit but the experience gave me a keen appreciation for the creativity and skill needed to handmake a well constructed knit garment.  The wedding dress in this selection brings together those qualities.  The varied knit patterns are well placed and the soft white color makes this a fun knit dress to wear--even without a groom!

Muza, Kiev Ukraine

No selection by me of handmade goods would be complete without food--or a dessert!   It was very difficult to select which Valentine theme cookie to show here.  They are all beautifully decorated in expressions of love, testifying to the manner in which they were made--love with perfection.  Sugar Me Desserterie stands ready to fill orders in time for February 14.  Hop on over to the shop.  I don't think you will be disappointed! 

The next time you shop for the something special or just some thing to make your day, please remember the artists who create with their hearts and hands.  Their backgrounds and mediums vary:  some were able to hone their skills and talents by earning degrees in art; others blessed with an eye for creating, learned through experimentation.  All come with years of experience and a dedicated passion for their work.  They share this with you.

Would love to read your thoughts on supporting artists/handmade products in the comments below: