Florida CraftArt is taking their reopening slowly and carefully. They’re open by appointment only, Wednesday through Saturday with flexible hours. The staff wears masks, and guests are asked to do the same. They have many items made by Florida artists that promote staying at home. (Full disclosure: I used to work there.)
This week, we’re highlighting 10 items from the gallery as part of a new feature that will offer ideas for shopping local. Florida CraftArt has limited online shopping, so some of the items featured below are not on their website. To purchase them or to make an appointment, call (727) 821-7391 or email Liz Rogers at email@example.com.
Make Your Own Art Bead Kit
St. Petersburg-based bead embroidery artist Eleanor Pigman creates beaded sea life and tropical birds, which she frames and sells in the gallery. Now she’s sharing her talent to help people create their own. This kit ($48) comes with a tutorial, beads, a felt mold to bead on, thread, a needle and a frame to put it in when you’re done. Imagine how calming this Zen-like activity could be while the world outside is screaming.
Art by Mele Serveware
Venezuelan-born, Hialeah-based artist Maria Elena Perez-Puelle makes colorful cheerful resin creations inspired by the calabash fruit prevalent in Venezuela. The bright colors of her home country also inform her work. She makes animal sculptures and piggy banks, too, but serving friends and family from her floral, happy salad bowl and utensil set ($103), tray ($103) and lazy Susan ($103) would really perk things up.
Ceramic Kitchenware by Alyssa Ligmont
Fort Lauderdale-based artist Alyssa Ligmont makes nifty things for the kitchen, like the grater plates ($30) pictured below. Those cute carved designs are actually functional, to grate garlic or ginger on. She also makes omelet makers ($29) and Brie bakers ($29-$36). A bubbling hot Brie would look even more scrumptious oozing out of one of those beauties.
Hanging Herb Planters
Did you take up herb-growing during quarantine? One of these ceramic hanging herb planters ($40) by Cedar Key-based artist Amy Gernhardt would add some sophistication to your space, whether indoor or outdoor.
Order some sushi takeout, bring it home and put it on this elegant ceramic sushi set ($36) by Frank DiGangi of Hawthorne. The spicy tuna roll will probably taste better and will definitely look better.
Englewood-based woodworking artist John Mannion makes cabinets, tables and benches. But he also makes fun wooden fish and sells them with paints. Paint-A-Fish ($20) are packaged in a foam package like you would get at a fish market. Kids (or adults) can enjoy painting the fish however they’d like, as far as their imagination takes them.
Paper Airplane Books
Does the current state of things have you feeling nostalgic? The paper airplane activity books ($20) by Orlando-based Dean Mackey can take adults back to their youth and provide a potential family activity. The planes range from super simple to highly complex. And flying them is a fun excuse to get outdoors. Mackey also makes paper airplane postcards ($1).