Handcrafted for the Holidays

Jewelry by  Alyssa Flewelling
Jewelry by Alyssa Flewelling

Do you loathe Black Friday? Does Cyber Monday make you feel frazzled? Well, you can relax. You don’t have to find generic gifts on shelves and websites—Telluride has a host of ways to shop for handmade holiday wares, made by local artists.

Telluride Holiday Arts Bazaar is a festive annual tradition, held this year from Dec. 2–4 at the Elks Lodge at 472 West Pacific Avenue. Friday evening from 4–8 p.m. is the “Grand Opening and Merrymaking,” and cocktails will be served, and the shopping continues from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

According to Telluride Arts, the organization that hosts the event, this year’s selection of gifts will include gourmet homemade Carnal Chocolates, pet treats and gingerbread doghouses from Element Pets, and tie-dyed scarves from Kathy Green. There will be beautiful jewelry crafted by Christopher Beaver, Hilaryarts1 Douglas, Alyssa Flewelling, and others, and pottery by Deidra Krois, Jacey Depriest, and Shawn Christman. Shoppers will also find handmade purses, bags, belts, cards, soaps, ornaments, phone cozies, pet portraits, and cashmere items. It’s a true bazaar, with a wide variety of things available and lots of vendors.

This month is the Ceramic Studio Show and Sale at the Ah Haa School for the Arts, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Nov. 30 through Dec. 20. The exhibit will feature the creations of eleven of the school’s most talented ceramic artists and studio members, everything from plates and mugs to sculpture. All of the work will be for sale at reasonable prices for holiday gift giving.

This season there is another unique opportunity to pick up fine art—there will be a flash sale from the collection at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. Longtime gallery owners and patrons of the arts Hilary and Will Thompson are selling their business. They own some of the arts2artwork, and are letting it go at a huge discount, with 10% of the sales benefitting the Ah Haa School for the Arts. The couple has been in business for 32 years, curating and collecting these exquisite paintings, graphics, photographs, and posters, and more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to acquire some special pieces at a special price, and the gallery is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

This season, don’t go online and don’t battle the crowds at the big box stores. Instead, show your support for the arts in Telluride, and buy local, handcrafted holiday goods. You will double your holiday giving without doubling the price, by finding a special gift for someone on your list, and at the same time rewarding local artists for their work. Happy holidays!