2019 Craftsmanship Quarterly Gift Guide
Looking for for the perfect, handcrafted gift — or maybe a workshop or some other unique experience to give to your favorite unique people? Our 2019 Craftsmanship Gift Guide is here to help.
By EDITORS OF CRAFTSMANSHIP QUARTERLY
Giving a well-crafted, handmade gift directly supports the principles and the kind of built-to-last economy that Craftsmanship Quarterly champions. To get you started, we’ve selected dozens of ideas drawn from some of our more recent stories. If you’re looking for information about a specific craft from a past story, try our newly improved text-search bar on the top right of your screen. Or, you can search by “Materials”, which are linked in the sidebar on any of our feature articles. You might also consider browsing by “Topics” to track down the perfect treasure in our archives. For custom bikes, bike repairs, and top-notch accessories, you can’t go wrong with Thomas Crenshaw’s full-service bike shop, Frame up Bikes, located in Pleasant Hill, California. The legendary bike company’s co-operative business model was mentioned in our story, “Could Co-ops Solve Income Inequality?”
From the same story, worker-owned Orbea Bikes (Spain) was among the first of the major bike manufacturers to introduce customization. My O(rbea) allows customers to choose their bike model, color, tires, handlebars, crankset, and other customized features.
The serious swimmer or boater in your life might appreciate a membership to a club of like-minded water-spirits, such as San Francisco’s Dolphin Club — profiled in our recent mini-documentary, “Whitehall: The Beauty of a Timeless Rowboat”.
Touted for its healthful (and delicious) properties, artisanal honey makes a perfect small gift for almost anyone. The best varieties are said to come from Greece, but many local producers offer excellent versions as well. Start with the Resource Guide from our latest feature, “Greece’s Secret to Perfect Honey”.
Souffle may be the ultimate slow food and Bay Area foodies, or anyone planning a San Francisco trip soon, will appreciate the unique dining experience profiled in our mini-documentary, “Café Jacqueline and the Art of the Souffle”.
Sustainable fashion and sustainable fibers are big news right now, but it can be tricky for the average consumer to know where to start. Our partners at Fibershed (also listed under Experiences below), are committed to building sustainable fiber systems and have affiliate programs across the globe.
Even if you can’t get to Italy for the holidays, there’s still time to purchase authentic, rust-printed textiles from Antica Stamperia Marchi, featured in in our short film, “The Ancient Mangle of Santarcangelo di Romagna”.
In “Argentina’s Textile Crusader”, we discovered why clothing and other textiles made from guanaco wool are a sustainable choice. The author’s Resource Guide provides more information and shopping tips.
Guitar players, music lovers, and collectors know that some of the world’s best handmade guitars come from Paracho, the little town featured in “Mexico’s Master Guitar Makers”. See the Resource Guide for recommendations.
Glassware: The artist behind Annie Morhauser glassworks, aka “Annie Glass”, profiled in our story “The Glass Builder”, has an incredible inventory of handblown dinnerware, serving dishes, and more. Some of her creations are displayed in The Smithsonian.
Special events and experiences are perhaps the most sustainable gifts of all, shown to be more memorable and bring more happiness than even the loveliest material things. In that spirit, we’d like to highlight some of the classes, workshops, and other experiences offered by our excellent partners. (Please check dates, availability, and other details on their respective websites.)
Fibershed, which focuses on building sustainable, local fiber systems from the ground (or soil) up, offers a plethora of classes and workshops in the fiber arts, along with sustainability demos, farm-to-table dinners, tasting events, and more. They now have more than 50 affiliate programs around the world. If you’re local to the Bay Area, there’s still time to catch one of their Saturday Marketplace Pop-ups at the Ferry Building — see their website for dates.
The Crucible offers industrial arts classes in 19 different disciplines, youth classes and camps, family-friendly workshops and events, and much more at their impressive West Oakland facility. The website makes it very easy to gift an upcoming class, and their annual “Gifty” craft show and open house, featuring local artisans’ wares, is coming up December 7-8, 2019.
American Conservatory Theater: San Francisco’s beloved A.C.T. — whose acting students narrated many of the stories in our inaugural podcast series — produces everything from classic favorites like Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to shows by top modern playwrights, such as “Gloria” by Branden Jacob-Jenkins. Advance tickets are always recommended — their “Choose your own subscription” package is a fantastic deal for locals who can take advantage of it.