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9 Fine Handmade Wares (For Exceptional Festive Favours)

November is upon us and 2016 is fast approaching its climax. With Halloween now over, many giant retailers will focus their mass market messaging on the upcoming festive season. Christmas shopping is an often dreaded affair and as such, bigger stores are rather clever at making it easy for us. One substantial ploy is the gratuitous and unwanted pre-packaged gift set, typically filled with all manner of unnecessary and mundane goods. As consumers we have the power to resist, refrain and refuse to take part. Instead, the real joy in seasonal shopping is found in those small and personal retailers (who are at home in a physical store and online). Such proprietors work hard to build enthusiasm for objects that are well-designed, aesthetic, meticulous and worldly, choosing things that have meaning and a functional value. Artisanal items are typically imbued with an honest approach, a feeling of longevity and a desire to facilitate enjoyment.

Craft is a passionate labour of love and one in which quality is integral. When creativity and handcraft unite, we find that good craftsmanship leads to good design. As a result, objects mature, thrive and provide long-lasting pleasure over time. Craftsmanship in its purest sense acts to preserve the heritage of making things by hand. With personality, intimacy, integrity and depth, objects that have been shaped by human hands are especially valuable and worthy of investment. Handcrafted items are found in various shapes, sizes and instruments across the home. Sturdy, tactile, simple, cosy and exquisite, it is in handmade items that we find many generational treasures to be cherished and enjoyed. Indeed, it is surely the greatest compliment to the craftsman that we gain continuous pleasure from using their wares throughout the years.

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And so in making preparations for this Christmastime, I encourage you to think about your purchases and to remember that less is more (to quote that old cliché).

A selection of fine handmade wares:

Ceramics

Ceramic vases by Belfast-based ceramist Derek Wilson. Image © Derek Wilson 2010-2016.
Ceramic vases by Belfast-based ceramist Derek Wilson. Image © Derek Wilson 2010-2016.
Low Cups by Derek Wilson. Image © Makers & Brothers 2016.
Low Cups by Derek Wilson. Image © Makers & Brothers 2016.

Textiles

Mourne Tweed cushions designed by Gerd Hay-Edie for Mourne Textiles. Image via twentytwentyone.
Mourne Tweed cushions designed by Gerd Hay-Edie for Mourne Textiles. Image via twentytwentyone.
Mourne Tweed cushions and throws designed by Gerd Hay-Edie for Mourne Textiles. Image via twentytwentyone.
Mourne Tweed cushions and throws designed by Gerd Hay-Edie for Mourne Textiles. Image via twentytwentyone.

A Wooden Ball With Holes

Lebowski by Danish cabinetmakers The Oak Men is perfect as a desk tidy or a decorative vase. Image © the_oak_men.
Lebowski by Danish cabinetmakers The Oak Men is perfect as a desk tidy or a decorative vase. Image © the_oak_men.
Lebowski by The Oak Men.
Lebowski by The Oak Men.

Tableware

Nichetto Residency. Includes the Han Vase, Uki Brass and Copper Candleholders and Zen Floor Vase. Image © Mjölk.
Nichetto Residency: includes the Han Vase, Uki Brass and Copper Candleholders and the Zen Flower Vase. Image © Mjölk.
Sucabaruca Coffee Set by Luca Nichetto & Lera Moiseeva. Image © Mjölk.
Sucabaruca Coffee Set by Luca Nichetto & Lera Moiseeva. Image © Mjölk.

A Rug

Tres by Nani Marquina is a traditional Indian flat-weave Dhurrie rug. Image © nanimarquina.
Tres by Nani Marquina is a traditional Indian flat-weave Dhurrie rug. Image © nanimarquina.

RELATED: Finnish Design Genius: Alvar Aalto, Artek And The Aalto Vase

Tres rug by Nani Marquina.
Tres rug by Nani Marquina.

A Rocking Horse

Mokuba Rocking Horse. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.
Mokuba Rocking Horse. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.

Mokuba is Japanese for ‘rocking horse’ and was created by the Japanese/Danish design duo Takashi Okamura and Erik Marquardsen (O&M Design). Mokuba was designed for the 125th anniversary of Brdr. Krüger in 2011 and is produced in a limited edition of 200 numbered pieces.

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Mokuba Rocking Horse. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.
Mokuba Rocking Horse. Image courtesy of Brdr. Krüger.

A Folding Chair

Mogens Koch's Folding Chair was designed in 1932. Seat and backrest in canvas. Image courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.
Mogens Koch designed his Folding Chair in 1932. Seat and backrest pictured in canvas. Image courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.
Mogens Koch's Folding Chair. Seat and backrest pictured in leather. Image courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.
Mogens Koch’s Folding Chair. Seat and backrest pictured in leather. Image courtesy of Carl Hansen & Søn.

Serving Tools

KOLMIKKO tableware by Finnish designer Maiju Uski. This clever set comprises a large and small porcelain bowl, a small glass jug and wooden utensils. Photo by Chikako Harada courtesy of Maiju Uski.
KOLMIKKO tableware by Finnish designer Maiju Uski. This clever set comprises a large and small porcelain bowl, a small glass jug and wooden utensils. Photo by Chikako Harada courtesy of Maiju Uski.
KOLMIKKO tableware by Maiju Uski. Photo by Chikako Harada courtesy of Maiju Uski.
KOLMIKKO tableware by Maiju Uski. Photo by Chikako Harada courtesy of Maiju Uski.

Vitra Miniatures

These handmade Vitra miniatures represent many classic furniture designs in a much smaller scale of 1:6. Image © 2016 Design Within Reach.
These handmade Vitra miniatures represent many classic furniture designs in a scale of 1:6. Image © 2016 Design Within Reach.
Vitra miniatures: the Shell chair, designed by Hans J. Wegner and produced by Vitra Design Museum. Image © 2016 Design Within Reach.
Vitra miniatures: the Shell chair, designed by Hans J. Wegner and produced by Vitra Design Museum. Image © 2016 Design Within Reach.

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