It’s wedding season again, in my mind, one of the most difficult occasions to shop for. If a couple is young and just starting out, I am thankful for the registry and will happily purchase their first grown up set of towels. But for friends my own age, already along in their careers and with considerable taste, I struggle to find the perfect object, something both beautiful and functional. Well, I used to struggle. And then I remembered the marvelous gallery shop at the Southwest School of Art & Craft.
That’s no surprise, says shop manager Clare Watters: “Many shoppers come to us specifically for their wedding gifts because we carry really creative versions of the typical wedding gift … not to mention the numerous weddings that take place here on the grounds. Actually, I like to think of us as the alternative to buying on a registry.”
For the entertainers, I’d choose copper enameled coasters by Mackintosh Enamelware — a steal at 2 for $38 and in a wide variety of colors and designs. Throw in a matching shallow dish for nuts and a great bottle of wine.
For the gourmands, I’d make the most mundane of cooks’ tasks exquisite with pewter measuring cups and spoons by Tin Woodsman. In designs like dragonfly and bamboo, single spoons start at $52 and quickly become cherished heirlooms.
For my design-loving friends, the graceful luxe and whimsical beauty of porcelain trays by artists Shawn Laughlin and Gina Wilcox, overlaid with platinum or 22k gold, are a worthwhile splurge. The Lucky Carp serving piece has a hint of Japonais and an appropriate good luck message, for $86.