Holiday Gifts for Loved Ones
By Celestina Blok
Spread holiday cheer with gifts that have meaning in more ways than one. These local shops and studios offer classes for creating artisan goods, from candles and crystal necklaces to ceramics and glassware. Recipients will swoon over the love poured into each project, and local businesses benefit from the purchase. It’s a giving season win-win.
Gold wire-wrapped crystal necklaces
Creatively Beaut Goods
2900 Race St., Suite 164, Fort Worth
Bronx native Cecilia Navarro opened her boho accessories boutique in March 2020 before being forced to shutter shortly thereafter, thanks to the pandemic. But thanks to support from loyal customers, Navarro was able to reopen four months later in a larger location in the River East District. The new space was expansive enough to comfortably display not only her own handmade jewelry and products, but goods from her favorite local vendors. Popular items include vintage clothing, macramé earrings, and gold wire-wrapped crystal necklaces, the latter of which may be custom-made by customers in Navarro’s jewelry-making classes. Participants get to select their own crystal for a completely unique piece. The class is $68 per person and runs about two hours, typically held in the evening.
Kendall Davis Clay
1725 Sixth Ave., Fort Worth
From sake sipping sets to her popular speckled coffee mugs, Kendall Davis’ clay creations are in high demand. At her Near Southside shop and studio, customers can create their own ceramic masterpieces under Davis’ expert guidance during her once-a-month workshops. The $65 class features a different theme each month, and beginners to experts are welcome. After students hone the technique, Davis will fire and glaze their ready-to-gift creations. Note that classes are BYOB and are typically held on a Sunday afternoon.
The Worthy Co.
1216 South Lake St., Fort Worth
Create a candle and help empower survivors of sex trafficking. This Near Southside nonprofit invests 100% of its profits into fulfilling its mission of employing trafficking victims, who may be recovering from trauma or struggling with addiction while looking to rebuild their lives. Survivors handcraft all jewelry and candles available for sale in Worthy Co.’s beautiful brick-and-mortar boutique, located just off Magnolia Avenue. The space also features a candle studio, where custom candle-making classes are offered for small groups. The $45 class includes all tools needed plus private shopping time with a 20% discount. (Note that candles take a couple of days to set, so they’ll need to be picked up later or shipped for an additional $8.) Classes are BYOB (there’s a $5 outside beverage fee per party), and participants are also welcome to bring their own bites (don’t forget plates and napkins). Book a class time online or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about private parties.
1208 West Magnolia Ave., #106, Fort Worth
A plant professional will provide step-by-step instruction for creating a colorful plant terrarium — no green thumb required. Once the plants are situated inside a vessel of choice, a decoration station featuring an array of colored rocks, fun figures, mosses and more allows for a completely customizable plant habitat. Classes are available seven days a week and max at four participants. Walk-ins are welcome, but booking a timeslot in advance is recommended. Costs start at $15 for planters and $25 for terrariums. The Near Southside shop offers not only house plants, tropical plants, succulents and cacti, but also in a quirky twist — comic books. Nostalgia Trades is the name of the comic book branch of Ephemera Terrariums, which focuses on titles from local authors and designers.
1013 West Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth
The longtime Near Southside glass gallery, located in a former gas station, offers several class options, from 20-minute workshops to full-on four-week programs studying the art of manipulating glass. On the first Saturday (1 to 5 p.m.) and last Friday (5 to 9 p.m.) of each month, SiNaCa hosts Walkup Workshops, where glass-crafting novices can create a custom item with a preset theme. The short workshops (less than an hour or so) take place in SiNaCa’s hot shop, flameworking studio, or kiln forming studio. The price is $50 per person, and while called a “Walkup Workshop,” reservations are requested in advance to allow for adequate social distancing. Participants might walk away with a colorful spoon rest, glass flower, hummingbird feeder or a set of coasters. More in-depth classes (which run from two to three hours in length) range from glass blowing and kiln forming to flameworking and even cold working.
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