Handmade and Local Gift Ideas for Local Artists
As creators who work with our hands and imaginations, we really appreciate gifts that are handcrafted and unique. Whenever possible, I try to shop local, especially around the holidays.
I've put together a list of local and handmade gift ideas that any artist would love and not just for Watercolour Artists! Sorry to those of you that might be outside of Kitchener/Waterloo and Guelph, but many of the shops have fantastic websites and easy shipping!
I've linked to the websites wherever I can to make it easy.
And just so you know, I have already bought myself a few items from this list for Christmas!
Handmade Watercolours or Ink
There are quite a few places to find Canadian-made handmade watercolour. This makes a great gift for anyone who paints. The quality of handmade watercolour, in my experience, is just as good (if not better) as mass produced paints and it comes in many interesting varieties and colours.
I love sets by Wanderlust Watercolours (London, ON), Humbeck Studios (Eastern Canada) and Beam Paints (an Indigenous owned company - Available for sale at Wyndham Arts in Guelph).
Wyndham Arts also just released batches of Walnut Ink made by them from local walnut husks. The ink comes in three different sizes and would be great for watercolour artists or any artists that works in calligraphy, illustration or ink.
You can not go wrong giving an artist a new sketchbook - especially a handmade one. An artist can never have too many sketchbooks! Sketchbooks are available at many different price points featuring different styles and quality of paper.
Here are three locally made sketchbooks that I own and love
Handmade Palette, Brush Holder
Waterloo region has many gifted potters and a few have made lovely watercolour palettes, brush holders and water cups. Ceramic is a lovely surface for mixing watercolour paints and a handmade palette makes a lovely addition to any artist's studio. The ones I have pictured above and have in my studio are custom made from Judy Donaldson Pottery (Waterloo).
There are several local art stops that are favourites by local artists. Wyndham Arts (Guelph), State of the Art Supplies (Waterloo), The Art Store of Waterloo (Uptown Waterloo) and Phidon Pens (Cambridge).
Artist love a good pen and fountain pens make lovely gifts. The go-to shop for pens and stationary is Phidon Pens in Cambridge. They are the experts in the field and can certainly recommend something perfect for any artist. The Art Store of Waterloo also has a small selection of Fountain Pens such as the ever popular Lamy pen. The Lamy pen is a great starter pen for those looking to try Fountain Pens and comes in so many beautiful colours.
You can also find local artists that make beautiful hand turned wooden pens like this one available at Cobblestone Gallery (Formerly in the Atrium in Waterloo, but now online).
Coffee or Tea
When in doubt, many of us artists are fuelled by caffeine. Local coffee beans from from Aroma Cafe, Smile Tiger or Tea from All Things tea would always be a much loved and local gift.
I hope this list inspired some of your Christmas lists.
If you can, shop local this year and have a Merry Christmas.
*****Thanks to everyone of my friends who helped me brainstorm some ideas. I would also LOVE to hear more ideas in the comments below!