VisuaLingual 2011 Gift Guide

Cincinnati by the Numbers shirt by Wire & Twine

If you’re in the midst of holiday shopping right now, give the gift of independent design! Here are my favorite gift picks from the various corners of the VL microcosm: friends, friends of friends, neighbors, all of them amazing, hard-working people who love what they do.

Above is the awesome Cincinnati by the Numbers t-shirt by Oxford-based design heavyweights Wire & Twine. In Cincinnati, you can find their shirts at Park+Vine, MiCA 12/v and Fabricate, among other stores.

We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Asheville showroom of Heather Knight and Element Clay Studio. This set of porcelain micro tiles is gorgeous and inspired by the textures found in nature:

micro tiles by Element Clay Studio

We really like the chunky, sculptural Wood Block clock by our Over-the-Rhine neighbors Such & Such. You can purchase it online or in the Losantiville showroom at 1311 Main St.:

wood block clock by Such & Such

My friends Arjen and Christie of Elasticbrand collaborated on a massive project that’s resulted in an album. It’s a bit tough to explain: he’s a hip hop-loving graphic designer and she’s a ceramicist. Together, they developed a collection of wearable ceramic musical instruments, which musicians then played on the original tracks that make up the Audiowear compilation, available in the form of a beautifully packaged white vinyl record:

Audiowear album by Elasticbrand

I’m a big fan of Klein Reid‘s porcelain work, and especially their Eva line, their collaboration with my design heroine Eva Zeisel [who just celebrated her 105th birthday!]. This is a set of eleven vases that fit together to form a single centerpiece:

Centerpiece by Eva Zeisel and Klein Reid

I met Cameron of Indianapolis-based 1337motif at the most recent Crafty Supermarket. His beautifully crafted cutting boards feature striking designs, of which this fan pattern version is my favorite:

fan pattern cutting board by 1337motif

Christopher of SF-based studio MINE™ designed this set of two mugs. “World’s Greatest Mug” is set in Helvetica, while “World’s Second Greatest Mug” features Arial. Get it? It’s a geeky little design joke, available via Felt & Wire:

World's Greatest Mug set of two by MINE™

For beer lovers, there’s the Merry Christmas and Happy New Beer bottle opener by Charlotte-based Not Made in China:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Beer Bottle Opener by Not Made in China

Speaking of booze, the brand-new Whiskey Business tie from Detroit-based Cyberoptix Tie Lab is awesome. I’m such a sucker for vintage typography:

Whiskey Business tie by Cyberoptix Tie Lab

Columbus-based ceramicist Cynthia Vardhan creates really dainty wares featuring intricate, hand-applied patterns in pretty candy colors, like this red and pink scallop dish. You can find Cynthia’s work in Cincinnati at MiCA 12/v:

scallop dish by Cynthia Vardhan

Last year’s bag obsession was the hand-dyed, pleated linen of Yorktown Road. This year, I’m loving the boldly colored, chunky leather designs by San Francisco-based Scabby Robot, like this cheery 13-inch yellow wedge:

yellow wedge by Scabby Robot

Happy shopping!

2 thoughts on “VisuaLingual 2011 Gift Guide

  1. Oh, my gosh, so many beautiful things! I really, really love those textured tiles, and the yellow bag is beautiful as well. Thanks so much for posting this!

  2. Thanks so much! This is always fun to put together. I actually have the smaller version of that wedge bag, and I love it even though it doesn’t have any pockets. The work of Element Clay Studio is gorgeous; I bought a couple of little bowls when we visited the showroom.

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