Gift giving is on everyone’s mind this time of year and Ephraim artists are no exception. As we busily make the ornaments, vases, and tiles on order for the holidays this year, we contemplate which special gifts we will give our loved-ones.

Each artist has a different take on the art of gift giving. We hope that in sharing these thoughts, we offer some insight into our personalities and maybe even spark a gift-giving idea for you at this important time of year.

Laura: My favorite gifts to give are the ones that I make by hand. My coworker, John, and I have been exchanging handmade gifts for years. We have a lot of fun trying to out do each other and make odd, unique gifts. A couple of years ago I made John a “Disturby” Santa for his tree. A “Disturby” is the word I made up for these disturbing dolls that I make. John has given me jewelry made from deer droppings (which is surprisingly beautiful and, of course, finely crafted), and a skull ornament with a santa hat with deer horns.

Jill: This is my first year working at Ephraim, so I am buying a lot of Ephraim pottery for gifts. I am finding so many different pieces that relate to the interests of many of my friends and family members. I often also shop on Etsy, give experiences, and donate to charities.

Nicole: I have a lot of little ones on my list and love to give them gifts that encourage their budding creative minds: art supplies (big canvases, brushes, old fabrics and thrift store craft finds), legos and vintage musical equipment are tops on my list. Anything that they can get messy with or use to make some funky sounds! For the adults on my list, it’s either pottery 🙂 or experiences – like dinners out together.

Kevin: I try to think ahead when it comes to gift giving and I always try to look for unique things on my travels. I want to buy gifts that are not mass produced. I especially like to find gifts that tell a story and connect to values that are important to me.

Becky: One thing I like to do when I am thinking of gifts for people is to think about their interests and hobbies and then get them a gift that relates to that. For example, my brother and I share a connection and hobby of exploring and hiking. Every year we go backpacking for a few days in Minnesota. I like to find outdoor gear for him that supports his hobby.

Allison: I like to give gifts that inspire creativity. This year I am excited to give my partner a pho cookbook. She loves this soup and we have a running joke about it, so this will be perfectly inspirational and ‘pho’nny as well. Now she can make her own soup!

Jennifer: This year I am giving more experience-related gifts. My nieces and nephews have a lot of toys, so I am excited to give them museum passes and an Ephraim Bloom Workshop gift certificate. Every year I love making Christmas cookies and giving these to all my friends and family.

Alek: I like to buy handmade from local, small shops. These places have unique offerings and pay more attention to small details. I really appreciate that.

Leah: Like many of my friends here at Ephraim, I try to give handmade gifts when I can. The most memorable gifts I have received have been handmade and I want to give people things that are unique and will be cherished. Often these unusual items are either whimsically personal and offbeat or very finely crafted.

Ken: I like to browse bookstores for gifts. I can usually something for the grown-ups as well as the children on my list.