In search of great holiday gift ideas? The Shops at the Denver Art Museum feature a variety of items that are made locally—what better way to support the arts and the local economy at the same time. Here is our staff's list of ten Colorado-made items we think you'll like:
1. Hammond's Chocolates: Handcrafted old-fashioned quality candy made locally for more than 90 years. Try the Cinnamon Coal Candy to get in the holiday spirit ($5), Toffee Brittle bar for something familiar, or Sweet N’ Spicy for an adventurous chipotle twist ($3).
2. Makin’ Time Clocks: Handcrafted by Carol Baum of Boulder, Colorado these fun and whimsical clocks are made with upcycled materials. Using vintage or outdated computer parts, these art pieces reflect the nature of how quickly technology continues to change. A perfect gift for the “techy enthusiast” ($27-55).
3. Maruca Handbags: A local favorite, these fun and colorful bags are designed in Boulder and produced in the United States. They are highly functional and always provide easy access to your phone. Great gifts for women of all ages on your list ($15-107)!
4. Elena Warren Jewelry: Originally from Russia, this local jewelry artist draws from her background in architecture and 25 years of fashion-design experience. Elena’s jewelry designs are characterized by clean lines and juxtaposing textures, and they are accented by semi-precious embellishments. This jewelry truly makes a sleek and stylish gift ($180-360).
5. Adajio Earrings: Created by a local artist, Barbara MacCambridge, Adajio earrings are etched and embellished by hand with a special process that adds color and uniqueness to each piece. Earrings are made from gold-filled or sterling silver wire, as well as glass, metal, and crystal beads. From simple to elegant, a variety of bright colors and designs will compliment anyone’s style on your shopping list ($20).
6. Arlyss Grosz Glass: Known for her vibrant aspen tree designs, Arlyss creates her magical art in her studio in Erie, Colorado. Her glass pieces are painstakingly detailed and require multiple layering and firing processes to come to life. Her art depicts the liveliness and peacefulness of aspen trees in all four seasons. Translucent in nature, these art works display beautifully on their own, against a white wall, on a sunny window pane, or with a backlighting source ($75-850).
7. Zometool: Linking science and art, this is an imaginative building activity for kids and adults alike. One of the advantages of Zometool is that it requires only a few inventory parts while allowing for a wide array of structures to be built. And the best part: Zometool comes with a lifetime warrantee; any broken parts will be replaced at no charge (directly through Zometool, Longmont, Colorado). For a creative and fun family activity try Kepler’s Kosmos ($82), or go big with Creator III ($165).
8.Lemon Tree Jewelry: Designing and producing in her Longmont studio, the owner of Lemon Tree Jewelry, Lisa Boyd, uses a variety of materials including painted metal shapes and settings, glass beads, Swarovski crystals and pearls, charms, paper, and rhinestones. Check out a rich range of designs suiting many personalities—from your sophisticated friend who loves pearl accents, to the fun and outdoorsy girlfriend who loves her bicycle! ($20)
9. Nancy Bonig Glass: Nancy is a local artist from Montgomery, Colorado, who uses the “fusing” technique in her glass designs. “Fused” glass involves firing (heat-processing) the glass in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from (1,099 °F to 1,501 °F). Nancy produces a wide variety of abstract art sculptures and Denver cityscapes, as well as colorful platters for everyday use. The colorful platters are breathtaking and would make a beautiful and useful holiday or housewarming gift! ($31-250)
10. Amuse Mints: With a clever play on words, this Denver company not only keeps your breath fresh, but also amuses with beautifully designed keepsake-worthy tins. Perfect stocking stuffers! Spice up your mint selection with a Van Gogh, pop-art, or Jackson Pollock-inspired design ($3). Also, keep your lips protected with their art-themed lip balms ($2).