Jack & Ginger Etched Silver Christmas Ornament
Custom Christmas Ornaments
Custom Christmas ornaments are a wonderful heirloom gift that will be cherished and enjoyed for many holidays to come. Not only is a sterling silver Christmas ornament a lasting, quality present, but it is an extremely memorable one. These beauties sparkle and shine with merriment on the Christmas tree and embody the holiday spirit.
The process of etching a textured design into sterling silver has been an integral aspect of my artwork over the years and one fun application of the technique has been for custom Christmas ornament designs. I get so many inquiries about the process and options, so I decided to highlight a couple of past designs and describe the handcrafted technique.
Hand painting and drawing the design onto the silver
First, I hand draw the design in my sketchbook and use it for reference to draw onto the silver shape, which I hand cut from sheet silver. The next step is to paint a black tar like substance called resist over the areas I want to remain smooth. The resist protects the silver surface from the acid etching chemical. The resist can be messy, so I refine the details and lines with a steel pencil as shown in the image above. Once the design is completed, it is submerged in the acid, which eats into the silver surface and creates texture in the exposed silver areas.
Jack & Ginger Etched Silver Christmas Ornament
After the silver is polished to a high shine, the textured design and lines contrast beautifully with the smooth surface. The amount of detail and refinement that can be achieved with the process is quite significant!
Old Exchange Building Etched Silver Christmas Ornament
I have been commissioned to create a wide variety of etched Christmas ornaments and the possibilities are endless for design options. Some past projects include buildings, houses, a lighthouse, and even a private plane! Shown above is the historic Old Exchange Building in downtown Charleston, which was very detailed with the number of straight lines and architectural embellishments. To view more of my original Christmas ornament designs, view the Christmas Ornaments page in my website Portfolio Archive.
I welcome you to get in touch with your own idea for a custom Christmas ornament! I so enjoy those projects and it is always exciting to see what new, creative concept someone will bring to me. Custom commission information can be found on my website Commission Work page and details on how to commission your own design is posted on the Commission Policy page.
The Jack & Ginger ornament I created last year for a very special person inspired my 2020 Christmas ornaments…..coming soon!!
Silver Wedding Gift Ideas
Despite so many weddings being postponed or held in a much smaller gathering than originally planned due to coronavirus, giving a gift to the happy couple is still a must to show your support and celebrate their marriage! Silver is a classic heirloom wedding gift and my functional silver objects are extremely popular to commemorate the joyous occasion. My designs are inspired by traditional silver forms, but are interpreted in my original, contemporary style. A unique, handcrafted silver gift will be cherished for generations to come and is such a memorable, lasting gift to receive.
My website Shop has a wide variety of options available and many can be personalized with hand engraving for a special finishing touch. Detailed below are some of the most favored of my classic silver wedding gifts.
Coronavirus is keeping more people at home these days, so stock the newlywed’s bar with fun silver accessories they will use while enjoying evenings at home together or for stylish entertaining (while being conscientious of social distancing of course!). Silver bar spoons, personalized decanter tags with their favorite libations engraved on the front, tumblers and cups, wine goblets, and wine coasters are all useful and beautiful gifts.
The silver tumbler pictured above and the silver wine goblets and wine coasters below all can be hand engraved with the couple’s initials and wedding date for a personal touch.
Let’s not forget the very important hors d’oeuvres for snacking during cocktail hour! Silver appetizer accessories shine and make serving the tasty bites even more enjoyable.
The silver and glass cheese tray shown above is the same silver and glass cake tray pictured at the top of this post. My Ziggurat Tray creates a stunning tablescape and is very versatile for many uses, including serving hors d’oeuvres, cheese, anti-pasta, cakes and desserts, or for a table centerpiece displaying fruit or flowers.
This silver spreader is multi-functional for serving a wide variety of soft cheeses, spreads, and condiments.
The silver cheese knife, spreader, condiment spoon, and appetizer fork were all forged and have a hammered handle. Due to the hammering process, they are very sturdy and functional. Plus they bring contemporary refinement to the setting.
A popular wedding gift is my Nest Bowl, comprised of hammered and woven sterling silver wire. The nest acts as a metaphor for building a new life and home together. Nest Bowl comes in three sizes, 4″, 6″, and 8″ in diameter, but can also be created in custom sizes. It functions beautifully for serving bread or crackers or on a vanity or dresser for holding items.
For serving up the main course, my silver salad servers and serving spoon make excellent silver wedding gifts that will be used frequently and not just on holidays. My husband and I use our silver serving spoons regularly and get a lot of enjoyment out of them!
A pair of silver napkin rings with the couple’s initials hand engraved on them is a lovely gift that can be built upon over the years. Starting them on any collection creates a gift you as well as others can give to help them complete the set.
Silver bowls, dishes, and boxes are also thoughtful silver wedding gifts, not only for their useful function on a coffee table, dresser, or vanity, but also for their beauty and enhancement of a new abode. Most of my silver bowls, dishes, and boxes come in a variety of sizes and too can be completed as a set in the future.
There are many more gorgeous heirloom silver wedding gift options in my website Shop Home category, so visit it for the complete selection. Elegant gift wrapping is free and it can be shipped directly to them.
Silver and glass tray by Kaminer Haislip
If you do not see specifically what you are looking for on my website Shop, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to design a custom commission gift. For details on commissioning bespoke pieces, visit the Commission Work page on this website.
Cheers to the happy couple!
South Carolina Arts Commission Grant
I am extremely honored and excited to announce the South Carolina Arts Commission has awarded me an Arts Emergency Relief Grant as an individual artist. The grant program was developed to support individual artists and teaching artists who have lost income related to their artistic practice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
South Carolina artists have reported due to the coronavirus pandemic, 95% have experienced loss, 66% have experienced unanticipated expenditures, and 63% have become fully unemployed. Cancelled events, exhibitions, markets, performances, concerts, festivals, openings, and many more arts related functions that generate revenue and a livelihood for artists have contributed to this astonishing loss. By the South Carolina Arts Commission creating this grant program, they are giving much needed assistance to artists across the state.
All of my exhibitions, shows, and events were cancelled this spring and summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being awarded this grant has really helped off set the financial loss from those cancellations. I am very grateful for this grant and everything they do to assist artists and promote the arts in South Carolina!
In addition to the South Carolina Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts, this grant program was funded in part by a generous award from the South Carolina Arts Foundation.
The South Carolina Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1972 dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the Foundation has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. Learn more about this incredible organization at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/
On June 7, 1967, Governor Robert E. McNair signed legislation that established the South Carolina Arts Commission, an autonomous state agency charged with guiding the development of the arts. For 50 years, the agency has worked to build a thriving arts environment that benefits all South Carolinians, regardless of their circumstances or where they live. With a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of the state’s cultures and forms of expression, the organization pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. For more information on this wonderful organization and all they do for the arts in South Carolina visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/
Find Joy in Art Auction – May 26-30, 2020
“Find Joy in Art” is an online art auction organized by the South Carolina Arts Foundation in order to help support SC artists. The amazing array of artwork by some of SC’s most accomplished and established artists represents the wide variety of media employed by our local contemporary creatives. Art items up for bid include elegant pieces of jewelry, masterful paintings, compelling photographs, functional and decorative ceramic or glass objects, beautiful textiles, virtuoso hand-pulled prints and well-designed and built furniture.
For more details on the auction, how to bid, the participating artists and their artwork, visit https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/find-joy-in-art-auction/
I was honored by the invitation to participate in this exciting benefit initiative alongside so many amazing contemporary, SC artists I greatly admire! Many are longtime friends and colleagues I am thrilled to collaborate in partnership with the SC Arts Foundation to assist local artists. A carefully curated selection of my silver jewelry and functional home objects will be available in the auction. Be sure to register at the link above in order to view my work and the other incredible artwork featured in this charitable event. Most importantly, bid on artwork to help support SC artists!
SC artists have reported due to the coronavirus pandemic, 95% have experienced loss, 66% have experienced unanticipated expenditures, and 63% have become fully unemployed. Cancelled events, exhibitions, markets, performances, concerts, festivals, openings, and many more arts related functions that generate revenue and a livelihood for artists have contributed to this astonishing loss. Creativity is at the heart of our culture and without it, there is certainly less joy in our beloved state, cities, towns, and communities. For that reason and many more it is so important to support this art auction and SC artists.
“Find Joy in Art” is coordinated by the SC Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1972 dedicated to recognizing, encouraging and supporting the art and artists of South Carolina. Throughout its history, the Foundation has pursued creative ways to help the business community and private citizens contribute to a thriving arts community across the state. Learn more about this incredible arts organization at https://www.southcarolinaarts.com/foundation/
Graduation Gift Ideas
With summer rapidly approaching, or at least it feels like that in Charleston due to the rising temperature, graduation season will be here soon at the end of spring. Unfortunately due to the coronavirus crisis, many traditional graduation commencement ceremonies have been cancelled or postponed. However, even with the absence of a cap and gown event, giving a special gift to celebrate your graduate’s achievement is still very necessary. My silver objects, jewelry, and men’s accessories are very popular graduation gifts, so in this Blog post I have highlighted some of my favorite graduation gift ideas for both guys and gals. The majority of these quality, lasting pieces can be hand engraved for a personal, memorable touch.
Graduation Gift Ideas for Her
A young lady would appreciate for everyday wear a simple pendant, delicate stud earrings, or elegant cuff or bangle bracelet, especially if she will have a professional job that requires a more conservative attire style.
My pendants come with the choice of a 16″, 18″, or 20″ length silver cable chain.
Bangles and cuff bracelets are also a nice jewelry gift, because she can stack them with other bracelets.
All of my bangles come in two sizes, medium and large, and can be custom sized. My cuff bracelets are adjustable and are flexible to form over the wrist for personalized comfort. Additionally, one size fits most.
Simple, yet elegant stud earrings are always a great gift for anyone, because they can be worn everyday for a delicate touch and are conservative in style for a professional environment.
My jacket style Oyster Shell Double Earrings are very popular, because they can be worn as just stud (small option) or post (large option) earrings for minimal style or with the back component added for a statement look. These earrings transition effortlessly from day to night.
A lovely silver dish to hold small items, pretty silver vase she can put flowers in for her dresser or vanity, or an elegant silver box to store jewelry or other small things all make thoughtful graduation gifts for her.
The etched design for this silver vase from my Learning to Fly Series was inspired by clouds seen from a plane receding into the distance. The concept relates to graduation by the metaphors of flying the nest, being independent, and moving forward.
My round silver boxes come in a variety of sizes, so you can add to her collection as her life progresses.
Graduation Gift Ideas for Him
Cufflinks add sophistication to a man’s attire and are a creative way he can express his personal style. Jewelry options tend to be limited for men, so cufflinks are a fashionable accessory to spruce up his look. Most of my cufflinks can be personalized with hand engraving and custom initial cufflinks are also a unique, thoughtful gift option.
Contact me directly at email@example.com to commission custom, initial cufflinks if you do not see your letter in my Men’s Accessories Shop category.
Silver collar stays are another professional gift idea that also can be personalized with hand engraving.
A silver box is a very useful gift for a man, because he can put it on his dresser to store cufflinks and other small items or on his desk. My husband has several silver boxes he uses and it is a classy way to store things and keep your desk tidy.
These silver boxes are from the same Learning to Fly Series as the vase highlighted above and the same metaphors apply to them as well. Also, just as with the Chorus boxes also featured, they come in a variety of sizes, so as he moves forward in life, you can add to his collection.
Visit my website Hand Engraving page for more engraving samples and styles as well as pricing and details.
A silver dish like my Oyster Dish above (available in two sizes) is wonderful for a dresser or desk as well. They can be used to hold small items, such as change or keys, and function as a pen tray.
A final graduation gift idea is to start him on a collection of silver cups. My Sounding Series cups come in two sizes with the shorter tumbler cup shown above and a taller, Mint Julep sized beaker shown below. Both styles can be hand engraved to commemorate each date he receives one. I have several clients who have started special people on collections and it is fun to hear for what each occasion the cup is gifted. Many have started out as graduation gifts and progressed to wedding gifts.
Hopefully I have given you a wide variety of thoughtful, special gift ideas to commemorate your graduate’s momentous achievement! I received a lovely array of beautiful silver gifts for each of my graduations and think fondly of the person who generously gifted it to me when I see it in my home or wear it. They bring back wonderful memories, which is the purpose of a lasting gift. Silver is just that!