FREE FORM TRELLIS
Fisher Forge was founded in 1992 when David Fisher of Hamburg started forging as a hobby while restoring his old farmhouse. Now a director of the Pennsylvania Artist Blacksmith Association, he uses traditional blacksmithing methods to make antique reproductions, kitchen utensils, railings, gates, furniture and door hardware. His sled has a forged steel frame with swan heads. It's for sale for $127.36 at Home for the Holidays or contact Fisher at 610-562-5425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An old-time craft, theorem painting is the art of painting on velvet, and was generally practiced by accomplished young ladies in the early 1800s. Stencils, or "theorems" were used to outline the designs. Hand-made by Louise Buttery of Coopersburg, this theorum painting is $60 at Home for the Holidays. Buttery's favorite subjects include fruit bowls, flowers, cats and folk-art birds.
BOXES TO BEAT THE BAND
Hand-sewn band boxes were popular about 200 years ago and were originally created to store men's collar bands. These were hand-sewn by Carolyn Lagler of Zionsville and range in price from $6 to $25. She covers them with wallpaper or sponge-painted brown paper, and lines them with newsprint or pages from seed catalogs or old books. Buy them at Home for the Holidays, or directly from Lagler, who also makes cut and pieced lamp shades. Call 610-966-3172.
A colorful, matted and framed arrangement of real, dried flowers is $45 plus tax. Dried floral designs like this have won 11 Best of Show awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show for W. Eugene Burkhart of Blandon. A public school special education teacher, Burkhart has traveled to Japan in connection with his craft. His work is also available at Out of Our Hands, Emmaus. His prices start at $3 for floral ornaments.
Braided seagrass and dark plum reed accents give this basket a contemporary look. Handwoven by Elizabeth Hersh of Emmaus and measuring 12 by 9 by 12 inches, it's $56 at Out of Our Hands. An oak handle gives it strength and stability to hold mail, magazines or catalogs, or organize a desk or shelf.
This wheel-thrown stoneware bowl ($26), mug ($14) and platter ($29) glazed in earth-tone browns and tans made by Monica Sommerville of Allentown is sturdy and dishwasher safe. Sommerville, who has been working with clay since high school, creates functional pottery in a variety of glazes. She is a co-owner of Out of Our Hands.
Blacksmith artistry is evident in this wrought-iron basket with hand-forged leaves and brass highlights. Handcrafted by Steve Wietecha of Frederick, Montgomery County, it's $175 at Out of Our Hands. Measuring 18 inches wide and 11 inches deep, it's hand-finished with a clear coat of paint and can be used inside or out.
Flowers, bugs, seasonal cheer and garden themes, as in this 10-by-10-inch "Dragonfly Topiary" ($30 retail, plus tax and shipping) are favorites of Chris Wilsker, an artist living in Lower Macungie Township. Her drawings and paintings are produced in pen and ink and watercolor, and set in handmade frames. Her work appears in folk art shows and craft fairs, and is sold wholesale through Arbor Park Designs. To order, call 610-366-9534.