A special Christmas ornament makes a great gift, especially if it’s one that can be displayed year-round. We can thank Germany for coming up with the glass ornaments so popular this time of year. Here at home, Island galleries, artists, and pop-up shops are offering a variety of decorations that can brighten any home.
The Featherstone Holiday Gift show, open every day through Dec.16, features the work of dozens of artists and artisans. Among the offerings are a number of interesting decorative items. Lynn Hoeft, who teaches watercolor classes at Featherstone, is featuring lovely hand-folded paper ornaments. Hoeft uses color copies of her own watercolor paintings on card stock to construct a variety of hanging art items, including charming mini birdhouses with prints of birds, eggs, and other designs from nature. Prices range from $10 to $18.
Kathy Poehler, best known for her seaweed art, creates gifts from the sea using actual shells, egg cases, and horseshoe crabs. She handpaints the items in rich gold or silver tones using multiple coats to achieve a rich, glittering effect, and adds other little marine elements — like a shell or a small faux pearl for added interest. Ornaments sell for $15 to $25.
A variety of ornaments can also be found at the Holiday Pop-Up Shop on Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Two of the artists whose work is represented there have also taken their inspiration from the sea. Cynthia McGrath of Original Cyn fills small acrylic globes with sea glass gathered on Vineyard beaches and tops each with a little starfish charm. The popular ornaments sell for $24 and $36.
Jannette Vanderhoop offers many different Vineyard-inspired products through her line Natural Wonders. She also uses acrylic globes to create mini terrariums stocked with Vineyard beach sand, wampum, shells, and structural seaweed — the perfect little representation of the Island. Vanderhoop also makes tiny vials with a hidden hand-drawn pirate map enclosed, and a number of Native American–inspired gifts like leather spirit bundles and mini headdresses. You can also find Natural Wonders products on Etsy.
Metal sculptor Barney Zeitz has fashioned a series of hanging mini sculptures that make great presents for those looking for something unique. His little angels and ospreys with wings spread wide are made from welded stainless steel. At 11 x 7 inches for even the smallest angel, these works of art may be a little large for hanging on a tree, but each one would make a great wall decoration that reflects light and can shine all year-round.
For many years now Louisa Gould has offered beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments from the Vitrix line. This year she will be showing a variety of globes featuring the “trail design,” with patterns swirled in a variety of colors. The always popular ornaments sell for $29.
Artist Ingrid Goff-Maidoff creates wonderful pieces from printed Japanese paper in a variety of designs. Among the treasure trove of gifts that she offers at Night Heron Gallery on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, are a variety of ornaments in a swirled ellipse design with glitter seams. These lovely ornaments make a great colorful decoration for any time of year.