Buy Local, Smile Local
I am happy to report that I bought all local, all handmade this year, with a conscious effort to support the area artists. See pictures (unprofessional) on my website by clicking here.
John Lara, metalsmith, made a pair of brass-backed and mica-covered custom earrings for my mother using an archival photo of my late grandparents.
Zack Noble, blacksmith, hand forged a fire poker and hook for my father, with special attention to the fact that he is left handed and has big hands.
Kreh Mellick, 2D artist, drew two delightful sketches using Gouche ink. Since my father’s nickname is “Bear” and since he always gets a good laugh from goofy, whimsical things, these two drawings seemed appropriate.
Jon Shearin, blacksmith, made a stamp featuring the rising phoenix logo of my dojo, then pressed the stamp 8 times into a hot sheet of steel and cut out pendants and key chains for my fellow karateka. He also hand carved a western-inspired belt buckle for Hanshi, featuring the logo.
Joe Hollis made a trauma liniment for my mother using some locally grown Chinese medicinals.
And I’m further happy to report that I’m sending my parents to see John Prine, locally, for their 60th birthdays in March (an Xmas/b-day gift all in one).