Remember Christmas morning as a kid? When the quantity and dimensions of the wrapped boxes was far more valuable than the quality? Those times were magical.
While getting lots of presents is still fun but most adults would rather receive one quality gift rather than 20 bits of crap. One of the other joys of increased age and wisdom is being able to appreciate a unique present, or an item with a special story behind it.
At Artisan, special stories abound. This design and craft centre in Fortitude Valley is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and promoting Australian – and particularly Queensland – artists and craft workers.
The centre features a gallery space, where you can see truly ingenious displays by emerging and established designers. But what you’re really there for is its glorious little shop, where you can get a whole stack of Christmas shopping done in one very convenient location.
Here are our top picks for beautiful gifts that will delight and surprise your loved ones, support local artists, and ensure your reputation as a discerner of true style.
This huge beach towel wraps up your seaside childhood holidays in one glorious swathe of cotton. Australian company Row Faster George collaborates with artists to produce limited edition contemporary products, and this creation is the work of Brisbane artist Adam Lester. He was inspired by the roadside signs wholesale trawlermen and bait and tackle shops would use to sell their wares. Whether you use it as a towel or wall art, this gift is perfect for your favourite beach babe or that friend with the cool surf shack
Brisbane jeweller Chloe Tozer studied in Spain and Mexico before returning home to launch her label CLO. This stunning sterling silver puff ring is handmade using a matrix die mould to create a three-dimensional shape inspired by the pop art movement. The mould has a limited lifespa, though, meaning only 25 of these rings were made for Artisan so you’d better be quick to get this for your quirky, creative and daring friend.
You might have already heard about the urban beekeeping movement, which sees hives installed on rooftops across Brisbane to protect and support the hard work of the humble European honeybee. Bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s food supply, hence the project’s name. Honey collected from these hives is unique to its location and 100 per cent seasonal, meaning each jar is full of unique liquid gold Brisbane. Give it to your gran for her tea, or to your favourite hipster for their organic sourdough.
Add a touch of umami to any outfit with this delicious 100 per cent silk scarf by Brisbane designer Alice Yeung. It’s one of a number of limited edition designs each inspired by food and, at 1400mm by 1400mm, makes a perfect light shawl when the summer sun goes down, or use as a headscarf to keep hair securely tucked away while at the beach. Grab one for your Mum, or for your gastronome gal pal.
These signature homewares have achieved near cult status since their 2003 launch by Brisbane designer Marc Harrison. He created the revolutionary technique of milling recycled macadamia nut shells into fine particles, then combining them with a polymer to form a dense and mouldable material. Each Husque item features a mirror-polished coloured glaze to set off the rich chocolate tones of the nut. They’re sturdy enough to be used as sumptuous serving vessels, or just use them at home as highly ogle-able ephemera. Perfect for visiting relatives who want a piece of Australia, or the tree-changer in your life.
381 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley