For friends and family who can’t be together this season, the holidays are especially hard. A simple way to keep those bonds strong is to send a little handcrafted happiness direct from The Land.
Whether they’re selling from workshops or websites, garages or galleries, Cleveland makers find inspiration in the grit as much as the glamour, keeping their products as real as the people who buy them.
Start with the six ideas below and search many, many more at MakerTownUSA.com or download the app for your phone via Apple or Google.
Artist Susan Saltzman turned her beachcombing passion into a thriving business on Etsy. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and pendants are made from collected beach stones, sea glass and sterling silver grommets, the hallmark of her designs. According to Susan, “If you find a stone with a white (usually quartz) line running around it (and presumably through), it is said to be a wishing stone. If you make a wish for yourself, it will come true, but if you make a wish for someone else, ALL of your wishes will come true!”
Acrylic and photographic paintings by Megan Frankenfield document the beauty of nature from behind factory windows. The broken or missing glass and the rusty framework of the panes are inspiring remnants of a vibrant industry that built our great city. Each of her pieces pays homage to the past, present and future of Cleveland’s industrial landscape, while adding vibrancy and color to any room in a house. Megan can be found inside 78th Street Studios in the Gordon Square Arts District.
A craft lighting company out of Akron, Whiskertin takes pride in forging high-quality custom lamps by hand. With a knack for repurposing everything from skateboards to metal scrap, founders Glenn Miller and Aaron Novak are experts at making conversation pieces light up. You can even provide them an empty bottle of your favorite booze, and they’ll turn it into a lamp. See more inspiration inside their Akron-based showroom.
Cozy crochet hats, baskets and other accessories are created by sisters Rebekah and Sarah Jones. With a passion for classic looks that have a modern take, this duo can customize almost any order and size it exactly to a person’s head. Think cityscapes and black and white movies when considering who should receive the timeless fashion staples featured on this Cleveland-based Etsy store.
Billy Ritter’s functional ceramic vessels are visual metaphors for the collected moments of our lives. Formed with deep soul and intentional nuances in shape and pattern, each one-of-a-kind mug is sturdy enough to hold a person’s heaviest heart alongside their most adventurous dreams. Located in the Hildebrandt Building within the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, you can even book couples’ workshops to try your own hands at pottery-making.
Nothing beats a made-to-order gift, especially when it’s stamped with the exact latitude and longitude of a meaningful Cleveland location. A shared experience with your special person becomes memorialized through the hammered coordinates, so he or she will never forget the place and the person who care so much. Scope all the work from this local artist.