For many shoppers during the holiday season, finding the perfect gift can be difficult. Should you grab something from the nearest superstore and call it a day? For those looking beyond the Big Box, here’s a practical buying guide for art made by hand, by local craftspeople. Investing in such unique and personalized gifts will put smiles on the faces of your loved ones and show support for local artisans. Custom creations have an appeal that goes beyond trends, and will be treasured long after the season has ended.
Tarja Cockell, of North Andover, is a fiber designer who specializes in quilts and rugs, as well as comfortable cold-weather clothing. Her work is influenced by the Scandinavian style of simplicity and clean lines, which she applies to her functional and fine art pieces. Cockell works at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell and the price range for handwoven scarves, such as the one pictured above, is between $95 and $110 depending on the type of yarn used.
Handwoven Baskets and Cuffs
Ruth and Tom Bolland opened the Nashua Fine Craft Gallery in 2010, and it has become a go-to destination for people looking to purchase works by members of the League of N.H. Craftsmen, a nonprofit craft education organization.
The purple “cat head” above is an example of Ruth Bolland’s woven baskets. It sells for $80. Pictured right are one-of-a-kind hand woven cuffs. These retail for $28 each.