Sculptural Scent Bottles by Eloise Cotton of First Glass.
Mother’s Day is big business. We have assembled ideas from eight studios allowing you to guide your customers to unique and affordable gifts that will be sure to send a message about how much they care.
Eloise Cotton has done it all. With jobs ranging from bartender to church organist, the only thing that’s remained constant is her love of glass. After a stint demonstrating furnace glass blowing at Magic Mountain theme park in Los Angeles, she turned to the profession full-time, opening First Glass in Martinez, Calif. Scent bottles became a specialty after she realized that no one else had them available at retail for under $100. “Several years ago I noticed there was a niche for perfume bottles, and after all this time my scent bottle designs still fit that niche,” she explains.
The influence of Kavita Singh‘s home base in Saratoga, Calif., can readily be seen in her bold and colorful handpainted scarves. First introduced to fabrics during an apprenticeship in Paris, she developed her own technique for painting silk when she returned to the U.S. Unlike most silks, her pieces are colorfast, shrink resistant and hand washable. Inspired by nature, lilies, orchids and irises are frequent subjects in her work.
Artist Kiona van Rhee-Wilson knows a thing or two about beauty. A former model, she turned to jewelry making full-time in 2003 with her company Lucky Accessories based in Raleigh, N.C. “So much about fashion is about what’s ‘in’ now,” she says. “I wanted to ignore trends and just make what feels natural, what inspires me in the moment.” Her most popular pieces, called “Peas in a Pod,” use pearls lined up and bracketed in sterling silver. Perfect for Mother’s Day, the number of pearls can easily correspond to the number of children a woman has.
“My goal is to design and create unique glassware and home decor that can be used in everyday life,” says Beth Keenan of Funktini Art. Since 2001, Keenan has been using her love of color and bold statements to create funky handpainted stemware. The former potter found inspiration when spotting a plain martini glass with a strange stem and thinking that it needed something to make it even more unique. A decade later, she continues to paint glassware with thermo-hardening, permanent and durable paint out of her Westlake, Ohio studio. “The most frequent compliment I get from customers is that Funktini Art is full of life and whenever they see the pieces they’ve bought, it makes them smile,” she says.
A mutual love of old watches, vintage jewelry and antiques first brought Jim and Tori Mullan together at a 1985 art show. A mixed-media artist and jewelry maker, respectively, they combined both their lives and their individual talents to create Mullanium Jewelry & Songbird Collection in Pompano Beach, Fla. One of the couple’s most popular items is the wish box. Each box is handpainted, embellished with nature themes and riveted together, awaiting a wish.
Randi Chervitz of Uncommon Threads Jewelry first picked up her grandmother’s crochet hook while taking a metalsmithing class in college. Combining her love of knitting and jewelry making, she turned to crocheting silver to make wearable pieces of art from her studio in Saint Louis, Mo. “Through my techniques, I examine formal artistic concepts such as line quality, pattern, composition and wearability in jewelry,” she says.
As a young child, Scott Hartley surrounded himself with art—he painted, drew and experimented with every type of medium he could get his hands on. In college, however, he turned his focus to science, earning a degree in biology. After a stint as a high school teacher, he realized that the artistic impulse had never left him. “There was something missing in my life, and it was art,” he says. Hartley opted to combine his two loves of science and art and opened Infinity Art Glass in Benton, Kan. “My work is hard, but it is by far the most rewarding work that I have ever done.”
“My philosophy is to create elements of personal adornment emitting surprise and whimsy with attention to detail and craftsmanship,” explains Sue Savage of Studio Picea. Based in Petersburg, Alaska, her jewelry is inspired by colors, textures and patterns in nature. Marred and hand-sliced, each piece of jewelry is created from polymer and further embellished through drawing, riveting and lacing, then mounted on rhodium-plated pewter.