Every year, my artisans cooperative sets up a big Christmas tree in the front of the market and we all make handmade ornaments to display and sell, while decorating a lovely, festive tree to welcome our customers. Since the cooperative has been in business for more than 30 years, it has become a local tradition that people come in and buy a new ornament for their tree every year. The challenge is that we, the artisans, have to come up with new ideas annually. It gets pretty tricky, especially when every artist is trying to stay within her medium, but it is a challenge that is really stimulating and pushes our creativity. I have been so enchanted by the creations I see every year that I can't help buying them for myself. I so look forward to opening the Christmas boxes and pulling out the ornaments because each one has a memory or story of the person who made it. There are some ornaments that are so pretty and special to me that I display them around my home year-round. Here are two of my favorites.
Mary Muncil made this sweet painted ball with such fine, patient strokes. I love the little details of the night landscape. You can just barely see the dark trees against the deep blue sky. There is a silvery river that snakes its way down to the bottom of the ball and ends in her signature. It is so simple but you can feel the attention to detail that she put into it and how much she cared to make it. It wasn't made quickly to slap on a price tag and turn into cash. It was made for the love of the creation and it so completely shows. I love it so much that it hangs from a sconce just outside my bathroom so I can see all the time.
Karen Koziol is one of my favorite artists. She makes mixed media sculpture that have such humor and wit. She made these little houses that sit on a windowsill next to my dining room table. As I have said in a previous post, there is something about a house that warms the soul. I love how she made them look really old.
I can't wait to open the Christmas boxes and find even more!