Artful Gift Guide

Jackie Kincaid Felted Vessels

from the artist / Jayme Lock Photography

With their rich, variegated coloration and swelling organic forms, Jackie Kincaid’s felted vessels are wondrous. To gaze at one is to watch a rosy sunset, lapping waves, the swirl of a geode, the path of a river twisting across the earth. With a lifelong love of textiles inspired by her mother’s sewing talents, Kincaid began exploring felt making six years ago and soon perfected the technique of turning wool fibers into perfectly balanced tabletop sculptures. Kincaid is a member of the Feltmakers Federation of Kansas City, a talented cadre of women who create one-of-a-kind wearables and decorative objects that fulfill the federation’s felt making motto, “Bringing it all together with soap and agitation.”

Prices range from $35 to $65. To order, send email to ifeltfiber@gmail.com.


Elaine Buss Ceramics

from the artist

Elaine Buss is a newcomer to Kansas City, having recently joined Belger Crane Yard Studios as a Career Resident after earning a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from The Ohio State University. Best known for her ambitious installations, Buss is also an accomplished studio potter, whose new functional works will be featured in the Belger Holiday Sale. “Within my work, I endeavor to create a mystery,” Buss says, “whether it be of interaction between forms, of environment, or of layers and details.” Her “Roundy Bottom Mugs,” finished with terra sigillata, a fine slip that she brushes on and then burnishes to achieve an alluring sheen, combine humble, earthy forms with graceful linear designs inspired by scientific drawings. Pointing to larger concepts, the drawings add a pleasant puzzle to these superb functional wares.

Priced at $45, the “Roundy Bottom Mugs” and other items by Buss are available at the Belger Holiday Sale and through her website elainebuss.com.


“Ruinous” oversized hoodie in black, $285. “Dilettante” dress silk collage in black, $305. (from the artist)

Hadley Clark Fashions

Talk about attitude. With titles like “Ruinous” and “Dilettante,” this oversized hoodie and silk collage dress by leading KC fashion designer Hadley Clark reflect an aesthetic honed during her studies of French couture in Paris. Clark’s methods and choice of materials contribute to a striking look: Both garments are made of hand-pieced soiled Japanese silks with raw-edged seams on the outside.

To order: www.hadleyclark.com/shop


from the artist

Cydney Ross Jewelry

They’re simple but eye-catching and come from a mother-daughter collaboration. Kansas City ceramic artist Cydney Ross is the daughter, who designs the jewelry by cutting strips of clay into geometric shapes influenced by her love of architecture. Her mother, Pamela, assists with brushing on glaze details, including glimmering accents of 12k gold or platinum luster. Their labor-intensive process includes multiple kiln firings, and two rounds of hand-sanding. The results are elegant and versatile — dress them up or down.

Price range for the earrings is $55 to $65. To purchase, visit www.cydneyross.com


“Shades of Gray with Brown and Turquoise Merino Handwoven Scarf” in tencel and cotton; 6.5” wide x 74” long Price: $170. (from the artist)

Debbie Barret-Jones, Woven Scarves

Many area fashion lovers would not consider their wardrobe complete without a woven scarf by KC textile artist Debbie Barrett-Jones. Her website features dozens to choose from, priced from $45 to $170.  Among those that caught our eye is her “Shades of Gray with Brown and Turquoise Merino Handwoven Scarf,” which redefines the meaning of neutral by combining brown and turquoise blue merino threads with gradations of gray. Barrett-Jones also does amazing things with color. If you’re holiday shopping on the website, don’t miss the nod to Christmas red and green of her “Fuschia and Aqua Diamond Woven Printed Scarf” in 100 percent Polychiffon. If you really want to make a fashion statement, check out her version of yoga leggings. Wow!

Price range: $45 to $170. To order: www.debbiebarrettjones.com


Kate Schroeder Ceramics

Simplicity and intensity are the hallmarks of this Kansas City artist’s botanically inspired vessels, based on a love of plants instilled by her mother, who owned a flower shop, and her grandmother, who earned a Ph.D. in botany in the 1930s and later turned to making art. Cactus and succulents figure among Schroeder’s favorite motifs, and speak, she says, to themes of adapting and surviving in harsh environments, healing and luck, as well as protection and endurance. “This symbolism is significant,” Schroeder says, “because each of the women in my genetic line has endured great challenges in life and has adapted to the situation with grace and perseverance.”

What better gift for a strong woman in your life.

Schroeder’s works are one of a kind. Visit her website, www.kateschroederceramics.com for pieces currently available. You’ll also find them at the Belger Arts Holiday Shop at Belger Crane Yard Studios.

(images from the artist)


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Put a Bee on Your Tree

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Store is the place to find all things Napoleon, in conjunction with the special exhibition, “Napoleon: Power and Splendor,” through March 10. The bee motif, a favorite symbol of the ruler, is ubiquitous in the exhibit, and is the inspiration for this resin ornament, available in the museum store.

Price: $10.95

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St. For more information, visit www.nelson-atkins.org.


Swing Shop, American Jazz Museum

photo by Carrie Brophy

If there’s a jazz lover on your gift list, this is the place to shop — for tote bags, T-shirts, CDs, coffee mugs and more. Don’t miss the charming musical instrument ornaments, including a saxophone, a trombone, a trumpet and even a drum set. The shop stocks coloring books for kids as well as educational items for all ages. One of the bestsellers is the pack of Black History Flashcards, published by Urban Intellectuals and priced at $18. The shop stocks two different sets, with Vol. 2 devoted to the achievements of women.

Ornament prices: drums, $18.99; trombone, $14.99; saxophone, $18.99; trumpet, $14.99.

American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St. For more information,
americanjazzmuseum.org


Red Hare Leather

Since 2013, Kansas City native Faye Steiner-Woods has been gradually building her artisan leather goods company, Red Hare Leather, while riding herd over two “wild little boys,” with red hair. Red Hare Leather specializes in handmade, handsewn goods including wallets, keychains, luggage tags, journals and more, all designed by Steiner-Woods. Popular sellers include Red Hare’s leather bow ties, available in many colors ($15-$20), and a leather-wrapped flask ($30).

To purchase, stop by the 8th Annual Holiday Swing at Union Station or visit www.redhareleather.com.


2018 Mayor’s Christmas Tree Ornament

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund

Kids will love the 2018 Mayor’s Christmas Tree ornament, “All Aboard,” showing Santa driving a colorful locomotive. As always, the 2018 ornament is made of wood recycled from the previous year’s Mayor’s Christmas Tree and was designed by a Hallmark Keepsake artist. Matt Johnson takes the credit for this year’s design and will be on hand to sign ornaments from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 28 in the Crown Center Atrium.

Proceeds from the 2018 Mayor’s Christmas Tree ornament, priced at $13.95, benefit the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund, which assists the less fortunate during the holiday season. The ornament will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 23 at Crown Center Customer Service (located on Level 2 of the Crown Center Shops). For details of pre-ordering online, visit www.crowncenter.com/mayors-christmas-tree-ornament.


Patty Nast: Pet Portraits

photo by Nathan Lang

For the animal lover on your list, how about a pet portrait?

Pet portraits are a new passion for Kansas City artist Patty Nast, who launched her pet portrait business early this year after completing her first series of commissions.

Trained in drawing and painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, Nast worked as a designer, creative director and brand developer in fashion and interior venues before turning her creativity to the pet world.

Inspiration for Nast’s charcoal and pastel portraits comes from provided photographs and insights customers share through one-on-one interviews about their four-legged besties. From this research, Nast creates gestural interpretations of her subjects, capturing their essence in a moment in time, as seen through the eyes of their favorite people. She weaves together expression, body language and details, such as a favorite toy, pillow, scarf, or chair, to capture the animals’ unique personalities.

Nast’s one-of-a-kind 11” by 14” portraits are archivally matted and framed in a selection of 16” x 20” frames. Prices start at $375 for a single pet and $575 for two pets, with additional pricing available on request. — Anne Marie Hunter

For holiday delivery, orders must be placed by the first week of December. For more information, give Pat a bark at 203.858.2050 or patnast.com.


It’s Truman’s Turn

White House Historical Association

The Official White House Christmas Ornament annually honors a significant White House anniversary or an individual president. The 2018 ornament honors aspects of Harry Truman’s legacy, including two renovations to the White House.

The front of the ornament shows the Truman Balcony, added to the South Portico during Truman’s 1947-48 renovations; the back features a decorated Christmas tree in the renovated Blue Room, which was dismantled and rebuilt under Truman during major renovations from 1948 to 1952.

The detail is exquisite, including the top of the ornament, which features Truman’s redesign of the Presidential Seal with the eagle’s head turned toward the olive branches of peace in its right talons. Before Truman, the eagle faced the spears, weapons of war, in its left talons. Read more at www.whitehousehistory.org/2018.

Gifts curated by Heidi Nast, Carrie Brophy and Alice Thorson, Text by Alice Thorson

About The Author: Alice Thorson

Alice Thorson

Alice Thorson is the editor of KC Studio. She has written about the visual arts for numerous publications locally and nationally.

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