Arts & Culture

Gifts, made by hand

Flowers by glass artist Rod Baker are at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
Flowers by glass artist Rod Baker are at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

Supposedly what everyone really wants for the holidays is a gift card. But think how unexpected a handmade something could be.

Glue and paper can take you far. “Decoupage” has a festive ring to it, doesn’t it?

I’m hoping to hunt up directions for making animal figures out of wine corks.

Feel free to think bigger and more extravagant.

Making arty items in a group could be fun. Consider the following three ideas:

Repurpose Your Jewelry is the title of Francesca Thorn’s class from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Deconstruct old jewelry and reconstruct it as earrings, bracelets, lariats, anklets, necklaces and belts. Call Thorn at 831-601-4922 for details about the $75 class.

It’s Snowing Ornaments is the theme for a 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. class Saturday at Glass Designs by Melissa in Arroyo Grande. Cost is $35 for three to five ornaments that you’ll cut, assemble, and fire in the kiln. No experience necessary. Call 481-6751.

How about organizing a jewelry making party at Naturally Jennifer’s Beads and Gallery in San Luis Obispo? Cost is $15 each for up to eight people and includes supplies for a necklace and/or bracelet/earrings. Call 547-1578.

Area museums, galleries and arts organizations are also offering handmade items for gift giving.

Find handcrafted and original art from more than 40 Central Coast artists at the Gallery at the Network in San Luis Obispo during the annual Artful Holiday Gift Show.

The Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay is featuring gift ideas from its stable of crafters through Thursday. Expect jewelry, ceramics, glass, wood and mixed media.

The Art Center in Morro Bay is the spot to find local work by members of the Morro Bay Art Association. And, if you’re in the South County, be sure to drop by the Art Space, El Camino Art Association’s co-op gallery.

The CraftArt Market at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art celebrates its 25th year through Dec. 31 with gifts, ornaments, jewelry, textiles, home décor and ceramics. Police officers, firemen, doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and Armed Service personnel receive a 10 percent discount on Dec. 16.

A winter jewelry show will be featured through Jan. 24 at Frame Works in San Luis Obispo with 13 local artists who have designed one-of-a-kind pieces.

Still set on a gift card? Make one. Before Target came to San Luis Obispo, my mom saved a trip to Paso Robles to pick up an official gift card: She made me one and wrapped it around a $50 bill. Once again, glue and paper.

Contact freelance writer Monica Fiscalini at