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Graduation Gift Ideas

graduation gift ideas

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

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Silver Torc Twist Cuff Bracelet I by Kaminer Haislip

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.

Silver Torc Pendant III by Kaminer Haislip

My pendants come with the choice of a 16″, 18″, or 20″ length silver cable chain.

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Silver Oyster Shell Pendant by Kaminer Haislip

Bangles and cuff bracelets are also a nice jewelry gift, because she can stack them with other bracelets.

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Silver Torc Bracelet II by Kaminer Haislip

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.

hammered silver stud earrings torc earrings graduation gift ideas for her
Silver Torc Stud Earrings by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Oyster Shell Double Earrings in
Small (pictured) or Large
by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Deconstructed silver Oyster Shell Double Earring
by Kaminer Haislip
hammered silver dish silver torc earrings post earrings graduation gift ideas for her
Silver Poppy Bowl (small) and Torc Post Earrings
by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Learning to Fly Vase by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Chorus boxes by Kaminer Haislip

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

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Silver Oval Cufflinks by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Initial Cufflinks by Kaminer Haislip

Contact me directly at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com to commission custom, initial cufflinks if you do not see your letter in my Men’s Accessories Shop category.

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Silver Collar Stays by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Learning to Fly Boxes by Kaminer Haislip

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.

Hand engraving on top of round silver box for a recent graduation gift for him

Visit my website Hand Engraving page for more engraving samples and styles as well as pricing and details.

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Silver Oyster Dish by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Sounding Series Tumbler by Kaminer Haislip

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.

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Silver Sounding Tumblers and Beakers
by Kaminer Haislip

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!

Daughters of the American Revolution – American Heritage Award

Daughters of the American Revolution DAR
Daughters of the American Revolution DAR American Heritage Award

Daughters of the American Revolution – American Heritage Award

I am so incredibly proud to announce I have been honored by the Daughters of the American Revolution two prestigious awards for the annual American Heritage Competition. My collection of handcrafted silver boxes Chorus was awarded the American Heritage Award for Crafts, First Place in the Other category!

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Silver Chorus boxes by Kaminer Haislip

The theme this year was “Rise, and Shine Your Light on the 19th Amendment” in celebration of the one hundred year anniversary of the women’s right to vote law being passed. The three birds symbolize a group of women together lifting up their voices and being heard, which directly relates to the suffrage movement. Just as women stood together and bravely fought for the right to vote, these birds collectively as a choir are rising up, harmonizing as one, and vocalizing their strength and determination. They are unified in their efforts, just like the women who courageously struggled for women’s right to vote and ultimately prevailed.

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Silver Chorus boxes by Kaminer Haislip

The second American Heritage Award I received was for the same entry and it is The Evelyn Cole Peters Award, which is awarded for excellence in any of the contest categories when an exceptional entry is presented. It is not given out every year, so it is a special honor. I was shocked by the first award, but the second award really floored me! It is such an honor and privilege to receive both of these prominent awards for my artwork.

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Detail of silver Chorus boxes by Kaminer Haislip

I will receive the awards formally at DAR Continental Congress in June and I am so excited to highlight my wonderful Charleston DAR Rebecca Motte Chapter during this special event! Rebecca Motte’s father Robert Brewton and grandfather Miles Brewton were two of the most accomplished and talented silversmiths of colonial Charleston. Hopefully I am representing our chapter namesake well!

Through both this award and my involvement in DAR, an exceptional national non-profit organization and genealogical society, I strive to honor my American Revolution patriot and family heritage. For more information on DAR and our dedication to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children please visit http://www.dar.org/.

New Oyster Jewelry Designs

New Oyster Jewelry Designs

My silver Oyster Jewelry Series has been so incredibly popular, I have expanded the collection to include new earrings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets. I am very excited about these new additions to my oyster jewelry line and spent a lot of time on the designs, construction methods, and wearability of each piece.

What started out as a pair of earrings for a corporate commission based on the Lowcountry oyster has developed into a full collection of original and thoughtful jewelry. When first approached with this corporate gift for a group retreat at Palmetto Bluff, I wanted to create a jewelry design that was a contemporary, abstract interpretation of a Lowcountry theme that mainly is approached literally and cliche. When I began drawing the designs, I focused on designing the oyster shape as organic with enough information it was recognizable but not so much that it was a literal regurgitation of the real form.

I choose square silver wire for the construction, because I wanted the contrast of something organically shaped with geometric material. The four sides of the wire catch the light beautifully and highlight the detailed, hand formed shape of the oyster. The smooth, high shine finish is integral to the design, because the slick surface reflects the light to emphasize the form. Each wire oyster is crafted entirely by hand, which is a labor intensive and time consuming process. The wire shapes look delicate, but in fact they are very strong and durable due to the tension put into the wire from the hand forming process. 

An oyster develops characteristics unique to the waters in which they grow, a metaphor for how place can shape an artist’s work and how Charleston has influenced my artwork. The design has elegant, clean lines that are based on the exterior contour of oyster shells found in Bull’s Bay, just north of Charleston. The shape and repetition of the units in several designs reference the continuous connection to the saltwater marshes surrounding Charleston. By interpreting the form to the essential shape, I came up with a completely original and new design.

Charleston has influenced my silversmithing design of home functional objects since I moved here from Charlotte fifteen years ago. It has been a fun, out of my typical element experience to design an entire jewelry collection inspired by a Charleston theme. As I am sure you can tell, I am very excited about this body of work and hope you will be as well!

To view and Shop the entire collection, visit the Jewelry category of my online store. Thank you for your interest in my work!

Charleston Silver Lecture

American College of the Building Arts silver lecture
Brandy Culp at the American College of the Building Arts
American College of the Building Arts silver lecture
Kaminer Haislip at the American College of the Building Arts

Charleston Silver Lecture by Brandy Culp and Kaminer Haislip

Brandy Culp, the Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, and I have recently given several lecture presentations on Charleston silver, so I was inspired to write a blog post discussing our unique collaboration. We have presented to private organizations and groups and last week we gave a lecture on Charleston silver for the American College of the Building Arts. The pictures in this post are from that event.

Kaminer Haislip and Brandy Culp at their Charleston silver lecture
Kaminer Haislip and Brandy Culp at their Charleston silver lecture

When Brandy and I collaborate on a Charleston silver lecture, we begin with her discussing colonial Charleston history and silversmithing. She is an expert in the decorative arts field and in particular metalwork. Brandy earned her Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in American decorative arts from the Bard Graduate Center. There she completed her thesis on the 18th century Charleston silversmith Alexander Petrie and the Carolina silver trade. The topic of metalwork remains one of her greatest interests, and she is currently working on a permanent exhibition of the Wadsworth’s English and American silver collections.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Lecture attendees looking at Kaminer Haislip’s silversmithing tools, silver objects in progress, and finished silver items

Brandy ties my contemporary silversmithing brilliantly to historic forms and processes. I discuss in detail how I design and create my original, silver designs and use tools and in progress silver items to illustrate the relationship between my silversmithing techniques and past silversmith practices. Additionally, I bring a selection of finished silver hollowware, flatware, and jewelry for attendees to see in person during the lecture and up close after our slide presentation is over.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Brandy Culp with lecture guests

We always save time for a question and answer session at the end of our lecture and spend time with guests after the event to take additional questions and socialize.

American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
John Paul Huguley and Kaminer Haislip after the lecture
American College of the Building Arts Charleston silver lecture
Brandy Culp with guests after the lecture

Brandy and I both are incredibly passionate about silver and very much enjoy sharing our silver knowledge. The combination of her historic metalwork expertise and my contemporary silver designs has been extremely well received each time we have done a presentation. If you are interested in having us speak to your group, organization, or college, then please email me at kaminer@kaminerhaislip.com. I can provide details, fees, and press material.

Thank you for your interest in silver!

Charleston Silversmithing, Traditions from Past to Present Lecture – March 7, 2019

Denis Diderot 1765 colonial silversmithing workshop
Charleston silversmith Kaminer Haislip

Charleston Silversmithing Lecture at American College of the Building Arts

Thursday, March 7 at 6pm

Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, and I will give a lecture presentation titled Charleston Silversmithing, Traditions from Past to Present at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, SC about colonial Charleston silversmithing and how my contemporary silversmithing relates to it.

It is open to the public, but seating is limited and reservations can be made by emailing handall@acba.edu. There is no admissions fee for attending the lecture, however you may reserve a seat ahead of time by making a donation of any size that is meaningful to you. Included with your reservation is an invitation to meet the speakers at a private reception following the presentation. Without a reservation, seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lecture Description:

In the eighteenth century, Charleston’s favorable economic circumstances spurred a healthy luxury goods market, especially the precious metal trades. Through the centuries, the tradition of creating and collecting metalwork has continued in the Carolina Lowcountry. Brandy S. Culp, Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, will explore how the Holy City’s talented silversmiths and jewelers reflected the global exchange of ideas, people, and goods in early America. Ms. Culp will be joined by Kaminer Haislip, a nationally renowned and formally-trained silversmith practicing in Charleston. Together they will discuss how many of the tools and techniques employed by silversmiths and jewelers have changed very little over the centuries. From the combined perspective of a design historian and practicing silversmith, Ms. Culp and Ms. Haislip will present a splendid array of metalwork highlighting examples of Lowcountry silver—past and present—found both locally and in collections outside of the South, including notable objects in the Wadsworth’s holdings.

Brandy S. Culp is the Richard Koopman Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Wadsworth Atheneum, America’s oldest continually-operating public art museum and stewards of a collection of over 50,000 artifacts spanning 5,000 years. There she has most recently curated the exhibitions, Simply Splendid: Rethinking American Design, Bed Furnishings in Early America, and Design in the American Home, 1650 to 1850. Prior to joining the Wadsworth, Culp served as Curator of Historic Charleston Foundation, leading projects for the conservation and interpretation of the Foundation’s collection of fine and decorative arts. Before that, Ms. Culp served as the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of American Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. She has also held positions at the Bard Graduate Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Culp graduated summa cum laude from Hollins University and received her Master of Arts degree with an emphasis in American decorative arts from the Bard Graduate Center. There she completed her thesis on the 18th century Charleston silversmith Alexander Petrie and the Carolina silver trade. The topic of metalwork remains one of her greatest interests, and she is currently working on a permanent exhibition of the Wadsworth’s English and American silver collections.

A native of Aiken, South Carolina, Kaminer Haislip grew up in her family’s hardware store. Amidst the story-telling locals and tools for sale, she was inspired at a young age to create three-dimensional objects ranging from sculpture to jewelry. Haislip received both a BFA in jewelry and metals and an MFA in silversmithing, design, and sculpture from Winthrop University, where she studied under Alfred Ward, an internationally acclaimed English silversmith. After graduating in 2005, she moved to Charleston and established her studio. Nationally recognized for her craftsmanship, Haislip was most recently featured in the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition Silver: Then and Now. Her handcrafted metalwork has been shown internationally and highlighted by numerous media outlets, including Antiques and Fine Art, Metalsmith, The Magazine Antiques, Traditional Home, Elle Décor, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, Charleston Magazine, and Handcrafted America. Haislip has also collaborated with Reese Witherspoon’s southern lifestyle company, Draper James, to create exclusive objects that reflect the South’s rich metalworking history.

Inspired by Charleston’s extensive silversmithing tradition, Haislip is dedicated to carrying forth that legacy. Hand-forging her flatware, hollowware, and jewelry, she uses the very tools and techniques employed by silversmiths for centuries, yet her metalwork reflects her unique approach to contemporary design.

American College of the Building Arts
649 Meeting Street
Community Room
Charleston, SC 29403
http://www.acba.edu

Luxury Simplified Feature – September 2016

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Kaminer Haislip, Silversmith : The Marriage Of Function And Form

By Holly Roberson, Realtor, Broker Associate, Luxury Simplified Real Estate

Kaminer Haislip, one of the great silversmiths of our era, had just popped around from her studio at Redux when we met up last week. We took our tea and mineral water to the courtyard at Kudu Coffee, a favorite local watering spot. Immediately after her first sip, I started with the questions. I had a lot that I wanted to ask her, but I had honed the list to a mere six dozen. But first, I had to know why she became a silversmith. Relentless curiosity demands satisfaction.
Her handiwork should have give the biggest clue to what I now see so clearly. Kaminer Haslip must daily marry function to form. It’s how she seamlessly streamlines the world around us. She happens to do this with precious metals.

A true master silversmith, she studied her craft under internationally acclaimed English silversmith Alfred Ward. She knows historic and modern silver techniques. From her time with me, I could write an entire blog on how colonial America forged its own silver style and call it “the melding pot” of American smithing. That’s for another day.

Beginning her path to mastery sculpture inspired her first step. This hammer and anvil wielding porcelain doll began by tinkering in her family’s hardware store. Then, she took a shop class in Aiken, SC. When it was time to pick up a blowtorch, her classmates, well-mannered southern men, all offered to do that dirty work for her. She donned a mask, wielded her torch, and persisted in her labors until a sculpture was born. After all, she had to figure out how to marry function to form. And she most definitely has. Check out her instagram for even more details on the “how.”

It’s no surprise that her drive for seamless function and beauty has attracted attention. She designed and personally makes the most perfectly southern silver magnolia bowl for Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle company, Draper James. Her coffeepot woke up judges during Garden and Gun’s 3rd annual prestigious Made in the South Award. She is internationally known. Her designs grace many a wish list (I want the magnolia bowl). The list goes on … and on.

A rising southern star with feet firmly planted on Charleston SC streets, Kaminer does what Charleston herself does, she adds her contemporary touch while preserving the historic framework.

NOTE: Want to learn more about the history of silversmithing, why a Charleston rice spoon is 14” long, what silver polish is best, how to tell the age or your silver, or the process of the design? Let us know because we will be compiling a guest list to spend an evening with Kaminer and cohorts as they answer all our silver questions.

Wildsam Charleston Travel Guide – December 2015

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Kaminer Haislip is a Contributor to the Wildsam Travel Guide about Charleston, SC. Order your copy to read her interview at http://wildsam.com/product/charleston-sc/.

“For tireless seekers of the authentic.”
– The Wall Street Journal