One of the things us folks at Blackhawk Hardware pride ourselves in is finding unique, high-quality items that you can hardly find anywhere else. We love working with vendors that make local, ethically-sourced or otherwise distinguished goods that will bring joy to you. Today we’d like to highlight a few of our Christmas ornament makers that have wowed us with their artistic talent and more.
The beautiful wooden Ginger Cottages and Ginger Stacks are made by hand in central Virginia. The crafters use USA-made materials and machinery, locally sourced when possible. They are finished with a water-cased stain rather than oil-based to make the cottages more eco-friendly.
First started by a former IT worker who lost his job during the 2008 recession and made ends meet by selling his crafts, the company now employs and trains retirees and stay-at-home parents. While dressing up as elves is not mandatory, you’d think these magical Christmas decorations came straight from Santa’s workshop. Each Ginger Cottage is filled with little secrets and details honoring their American and German heritage. Each cottage has a small hole in the bottom – perfect for a standard Christmas bulb to light up the darling cottages.
Local artist, Sarah Whittington, of Concord has been working all year on these one of a kind ornaments. She has a background in graphic design but now spends her time painting birds and animals on shapes that she designs herself. Each one is signed with her name and the design year. While this is our second year carrying her ornaments, it is our first to be her exclusive retailer and we couldn’t be prouder!
The Whittle’s look beautiful hanging on a tree but thanks to their flat bottoms are also made to sit on a shelf or mantel. With their bright colors and durability, they make great gifts for kids, stocking stuffers, thank you gifts, hostess gifts or gift name tags.
Pet Portraits by Jen Howard
Jen Howard is a self-taught artist based in Tucson, AZ who specializes in pet portraits. Her unique ability to capture the soul and personalities of the animals that she paints, helps create some of the most precious Christmas pet ornaments we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot!). We are really thankful to have been able to bring these hand-painted ornaments of dogs, cats and some birds to Charlotte. Jen painted at least one of each popular color variation of each bread to give shoppers a choice. As these are one of a kind, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Don’t delay if you’d like to add one of these wooden ornaments to your tree this year!
Egyptian Glass Ornaments
Egyptian glass ornaments are hand-blown by a company who also employs Egyptian women who are widowed, stay-at-home moms and who are unable to join the workforce. They are fired three times: Once for the shape, once for the color and once to set the 21k gold detailing. The ornaments are made out of durable Pyrex glass and have a better chance of surviving a fall than standard glass ornament.