The First Annual Shelter Gift Guide
In the microcosm that is our studio practice, we are constantly swirling in the world of design research - materials, places, theories, eras, feelings, colors, objects...the list goes on. To understand the depth of this, please see also: our book collection.
Through this process, we create little piles of findings, dreams and imaginings for each client, and the piles begin to form the project. It feels like the most beautiful collaborative magic, and it's full of discoveries about our clients, artists, makers, ourselves, the past and sometimes the future.
As a side effect of this research and exploration, we each end up with a fairly extensive mental database of beautiful and interesting objects we've discovered from people and companies all over the world. Sometimes we get to source these objects for projects, and experience them in person. Sometimes, we have to settle for living vicariously through our clients, seeing pictures once the object has been unwrapped and set up in its new home. Still other times, we'll travel to a place just to see or source something (and that can be truly mind-blowing). And more often than not, they simply go on a giant spreadsheet for deployment in the perfect future context.
Some of the items in this handy little gift guide come straight from that spread sheet. Others, we discovered on our travels. Some are just random objects of fascination. Regardless, we hope these items are just what you've been looking for, or never knew you needed in your wildest dreams (keep your eyes peeled for a certain button - yours for just $3).
Here's to endings, new beginnings, and being with loved ones this season. Happy holidays + new year!
Ariele Alasko - We worked with Ariele on a custom piece for a project and it was the first time I was able to hold one of her pieces in person. I just kept thinking "I think this piece is going to look pretty nice in the MoMa." I'll take one of her brushes, thanks.
Everyday Oil - Pretty much liquid gold. I keep trying to convince Everyday Oil's owner, Emma, to offer a full body EO dip. Might be out of budget this year, so I'll just take the subscription service for those in my life that love to take care.
East Fork Swatch Box We've been renovating our kitchen (so. slowly.) and I've been dreaming about how a set of EF mugs will look perfect on the new shelves. I'll keep one and give one to each of my three of my closest girlfriends - it's like the new “BFF” friendship necklace.
Hilma af Klint Exhibition Catalog - This is the first time in my life I've read a show catalog before I've actually seen the show - Hilma af Klint is THAT GOOD. Her approach was otherworldly wildly deep, to say the least. I cannot wait to see these pieces in person when we're in New York in February. This should go to the friend in your life who loves anything Rudolf Steiner had to say but is cooler than Rudolf Steiner.
Kreh Mellick Calendar - Kreh's work is thoughtful and fantastical, sweet with the edge of dark humor - my favorite. She puts out a calendar every year and I have to say this is one of my faves. Quantities are so limited so get one quick!
B Zippy Planter - Bari's work is epic. This piece definitely has to go to the weirdo in your life - you know who they are.
Anything by Julian Watts - I met Julian when we were both studio assistants for classes at Haystack in Maine. He is the coolest person (plus holds two family names of mine!) and when I finally saw his work it blew my mind. I always regret not buying something then and there. Whoever you give this to needs to be a craft and art lover - Julian's work is impeccable.
Supplement to the Italian Dictionary - Although this book by Bruno Munari is available elsewhere, why not snag it from our favorite shop of nondescript, everyday beautiful objects. With goods arranged and absconded from whatever country they’re currently rummaging through, Kiosk now brings us this little gem of a book from Italy. Not only is this Italian edition in three languages (German, Italian, English) but it gets you primed for all of your obscure and not so obscure hand-gesture needs.
Cactus Store - Get your fanny pack, horticultural log book and a copy of Xerophile from the gentlepersons of LA's Cactus Store, and wonder why you didn’t just decide to be a adventure succulent hunter instead of actuarial accountant. Then remember health insurance, responsibility to things outside yourself and the complexity of life, and settle down into this delightful book on the former.
S. Djarv Hantverk: We took one wooden spoon carving class and although the end product came out weird as hell, it’s our favorite. Rather than running the risk of cutting your own hand off making a weird-looking but cherished spoon, you should have these people make it. It may take a while for it to arrive, but you can use that time to ponder why we buy so much crap that has no soul or value immediately after it leaves the store, and then rest assured that you made the right call with this gift.
SMOKING FISH CHICKEN BUTTON: Aside from being an amazing catch-all of the profound, idiosyncratic, politically radical and essential voices from outside the dominant cultural narrative, Printed Matter is just a cool space. And as for the Smoking Fish Chicken Button, I think that speaks for itself.
HELPING HANDS: Be charitable. Here is a organization that trains monkeys to work as helpers to differently abled people, and they've been doing it since 1979. We're not trying to be funny - it’s just cool that people are looking around all the corners to figure out better ways to get through this thing called life.
Clam Lab Pitcher - I had the pleasure of purchasing one of these pitchers for an interiors project this Fall, and absolutely fell in love. There is something about the quality of these pieces that honestly makes me feel a little emotional, and everyone loves being on the receiving end of a ceramic pitcher you’ve sobbed all over.
Ottolenghi Simple - We recently had a completely magical snow-weekend here in Asheville, wherein everything was canceled and I didn't leave my house for 3 days. I somehow had the foresight to meal plan around two recipes from the Ottolenghi Plenty cookbook that I recently "borrowed" from my parents, and was completely blown away. His new book, Simple, is topping my list.
Another Feather Earrings - Hannah's pieces have had my heart for years, and she recently released these exceptionally beautiful Scallop Earrings that seem like the kind of thing that makes an outfit, right? Perfect for that effortlessly artful lady in your life. (If your budget allows and you’re in it for bonus points, buy one set of the large in brass and one set of the medium in silver and MIX THEM!)
J. Hannah Nail Polish - I've recently taken up the cause of promoting the virtue of non-traditional holiday nail colors (lilac, anyone?) and I currently can't stop thinking about Sontag, a sunny new yellow shade from J. Hannah. I'll be gifting this to my bud who is generously hosting the NYE party this year, on the recommendation to wear it with her best sparkles. Plus, 100% of proceeds will be heading to Planned Parenthood.
Odd Woods - These new candles from local favorite, East Fork, are sold out - but for good reason!! I did myself the complete disservice of buying the tiny version when they first came out, and now I'm addicted and absolutely should've just bought the big one. The scent is both woody and clean, with an almost citrusy zing to it that I can't quite put my finger on. As I'd like the rest of winter to smell like this, I'll be following closely for the restock.
Fields of Study Meditation - It's hard to give the gift of mindfulness (usually that has to come from within, right?). Last year I gave it to myself with Lauren's End of Year Meditation, and it was deeply, profoundly just the best. I'm excited to give it someone else this year.
Tiny Shelter - There may be some bias going on here, but these precious burners make the absolute perfect gift for the holiday host. This time of year can be a stressful combination of travel, extroversion and sugar, so I like to think that receiving one of these little buddies is a sweet reminder to take some me-time. Plus, there are two brand new colors on the site right now, so go go go!