Alexandria, VA – Like everything else this unusual year, Thanksgiving will be different, with smaller gatherings close to home, and likely the first time many will host Thanksgiving dinner. Support local artists while bringing beauty to your Thanksgiving table with Zebra’s picks for November’s featured Art on the Avenue artists:
Eileen Egan Pottery (eileen-egan.com)
For a show-stopping serving piece, visit Eileen Egan Pottery. “My work is stoneware or porcelain pottery, thrown on the wheel with the hope that it will be enjoyed in the kitchen and at the table,” says Egan. “I prefer the elegance of simple shapes, but I have a background in drawing and printmaking, so I love to play with detailed surface design, including designing and cutting my own stamps and painting elaborate surfaces by hand.” Her work includes wood-fired, gas-fired, salt-fired, and soda-fired pottery that she makes in her Alexandria home, then fires in kilns in the larger DMV area.
Glorious Goblets (gloriousgoblets.com)
Bring a pop of color to your table with hand-painted glassware by Mary Sears, a K-8 art teacher who started her glass painting business 25 years ago. Her online shop features a wide variety of designs on wine glasses, pilsners, margarita glasses, iced tea sets, pitchers, olive oil bottles, and vases. She also has a large variety of brightly colored tea towels featuring pen and ink watercolors, with themes including Virginia native plants, herbs, leaves, and sea creatures. “My inspiration comes from nature and things and places I love,” says Sears.
Jiri Kalina (jirkawood.com)
Growing up in the Czech Republic, Jiri Kalina’s father and grandfather taught him about the creative and functional potential of wood. Since immigrating to the United States, he works as an antiques restorer. In his spare time, he creates wooden products for the home and kitchen, primarily spoons, spatulas, bowls, and cutting boards. All items are hand-crafted from sustainably harvested trees. “My work is inspired by my appreciation of natural, simple objects that have beauty and function, and by my love of woodcarving,” says Kalina.
Renata Mastroti Pottery (rmastrotipottery.com)
Renata Mastroti’s signature leaf-imprinted line exudes fall vibes. Her online gallery features many functional and decorative pieces, including bowls, plates, mugs, casseroles, teapots, pitchers and tumblers, plus her one-of-a-kind carved platters and donut vases. “I’m inspired by nature and its patterns, and drawn to its organic character and luxurious abundance and diversity. The vegetation of Brazil, my home country, is a constant source of inspiration,” says Mastroti. “My goal as a maker and what draws me to the studio is the thought of bringing moments of comfort and joy to people’s everyday life. I truly believe that the handmade object can bring healing and replenish energies during trying times like we are living today.”
The Crafty Fox (thecraftyfoxbox.com)
We love the whimsical, hand-painted designs on the bowls and plates of The Crafty Fox. While they do have a Thanksgiving turkey bowl, if any year calls for a punny For Fox’s Sake bowl or plate, it’s 2020. “Just as I loved building pieces of art in fashion design, clay took me a step further. It allowed not only a 3D canvas but also the opportunity to illustrate with vibrant jewel-toned paints and to make functional pieces of art,” says artist Rebecca Razul. Her love for working with clay has evolved into 3D printing complex and intricate pieces of pottery, with equipment purchased with her 2020 travel fund.
The Tulusa studio is located in the heart of Del Ray, producing gorgeous table runners and linens for your Thanksgiving table printed with hand-carved blocks and colorfast, non-toxic inks that are mixed in-house. “Our handmade, block-printed housewares bring joy to treasured spaces and help make homes an inspired place to be,” says artist Sue Henry. Henry finds her inspiration in nature, color, music, and the animal kingdom, and it shows in her fall line.
Printemps Pottery (printempspottery.com)
If you’re looking for the perfect hostess gift and appetizer in one, order one of Printemps Pottery’s gorgeous Brie bakers, follow the recipe on their website, and let the hostess keep the dish. Nevan and Doug Wise, the home-based husband and wife team of potters have been creating handmade stoneware creations fulltime since 2008. Popular items include pitchers, mugs, Brie bakers, oil dispensers, and more.
Brantview Farms Maple (brantmaple.com)
Send a sweet gift to those you can’t gather with this holiday while supporting a small family farm. Brantview Farms Maple has been tapping trees and producing 100% pure, single source maple syrup and maple products in Berlin, Pennsylvania for eight generations. “I’m inspired by my father,” says Sheila Brant, an occupational therapist who also works in the family business. “He is in his mid-70s and still works 7 days a week for 12 plus hours a day because he is so passionate about the maple industry.”
Art on the Avenue is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a virtual festival, available online now through December 25 at artontheavenue.org. The event also features a number of socially distant in-person events, including free craft kits for kids every Saturday morning at the Del Ray Farmers’ Market, and an Art on the Avenue holiday market on Saturday, November 28, at the 1900 block of Mount Vernon Avenue. For more information and to support local artists, visit artontheavenue.org.