Embellishment > Holiday Gifts for the Home

If you’re tired of giving the same old holiday presents—a gift certificate, a box of chocolates, a fruitcake—this is the year to surprise friends and family with handcrafted works by local artists. Not only are these gifts the result of much time and passion, but you don’t have to travel far to find them.

American photographer and filmmaker Paul Strand once said, “The artist’s world is… always on his doorstep.” New England offers countless resources for inspiration, which translate into some wonderful options for this season’s shoppers. While the following items may not be literally on your doorstep, they’re a lot closer than you may think.

MaryLyn Yonika’s hand-built, stoneware candle houses are made in Milford and patterned after the simple integrity of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New England architecture. Add a tea-light candle or single electric night-light bulb to complete the look. No two are exactly alike—making the gift delightful and unique. Photography by John W. Hession.

Using the finest materials and paints, Timberline Signs in North Hampton custom manufactures signs with the family name or street address, which adds a special touch to any house. Photography courtesy of Timberline Signs.

Woven with a petite weave and decorated with an embroidered snowman ribbon, this festive basket by the Peterboro Basket Company in Peterborough offers just the right spot to store cards during the holiday season. Photography courtesy of Peterboro Basket Company.

This quintessential bit of New England from Stonewall Kitchen based in York, Maine, will be a hit for the holidays. A classic coastal lobster shack decorated for the season is made from gingerbread and candy, and arrives fully assembled. Photography courtesy of John McNeil from Stonewall Kitchen.

For those who enjoy entertaining, League of New Hampshire Craftsman Ken Pick’s hand-thrown stoneware salad bowl is sure to be admired by guests. Photography by John W. Hession.

Sharon Dugan’s baskets are made of natural and dyed black ash splint with birch rims, grapevine and feathers from her own guinea hens. The Sanbornton artist combines the finely woven classic shapes with pure Shaker “feet,” thus producing a timeless gift. Photography by John W. Hession.

Left top > Any family can draw comfort from hot bowls of soup on a cold, winter day. This tureen and soup mugs are highfired white stoneware, hand-thrown and decorated by Lorraine Dilmore of Hampton Falls. All of Dilmore’s stoneware is oven/microwave-proof, dishwasher safe and lead free. Photography by John W. Hession.

Left bottom > In 1840, Isaac Youngs made the original of this clock for Hancock Shaker Village. Share a piece of Shaker history by giving Shaker Style’s version. The Harrisville company’s clock is handcrafted per order in solid cherry with a quartz pendulum movement. Photography courtesy of Shaker Style.