Traditional Crafts & Artisan Skills: Handmade Holiday Gift Idea
Shop Local: Craft Fairs & Open Studios
Take the challenge this year by shopping local and non-commercial during the holiday season. The abundance of craft fairs and open studios happening in the area featuring handmade products by local artists and artisans make it easy to find that special something when looking for a gift of any kind. Handmade wood or glass ornaments, hand-knitted scarves, upcycled accessories, one-of-a-kind prints and stationery… our region is filled with a strong creative economy filled with amazing artisans!
While browsing an artisans studio or booth, take the time to stop and talk with them. Be curious and ask them questions. Discover how they learned their craft skill, what the history is behind their craft, how long they have been making their art, and where they find their inspiration. A purchase not only supports the artist and artisan, but your gift now comes with a story to share with the person with you will give your gift.
Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for featured craft fairs and open studios each week in Western MA during the holiday season. In this video from Mass Appeal, Seth takes viewers to Snow Farm in Williamsburg to learn about glassblowing; something families can try for themselves during Snow Farm’s three week Seconds Sale where they open us their glassblowing studio and welcome families to make their very own hand-blown glass ornaments:
Did you know…that glassblowing is an ancient art form traced back over 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem? It spread to the Roman Empire in the 1st century B.C. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes such as containers for storage, tableware and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 1960’s that glassblowing was raised to the level of a fine art form lead by German artist Hans Godo Frabel.
After talking with local crafters, use your inspiration to discover a new skill and make your own. Find a comprehensive list at www.cwmars.org.
[Photo credit: Trevor Smeaton]