Handmade gifts

Local art for the holidays

These crackle mugs made by Sutter Stremmel. Wedge Ceramics Studio co-owner Samantha Stremmel is in the background.

These crackle mugs made by Sutter Stremmel. Wedge Ceramics Studio co-owner Samantha Stremmel is in the background.

Photo/Kris Vagner

For me, navigating the holidays is a game of exacting skill. The rules: Ditch the mall, skirt the traffic, ignore the online retail behemoths, and still give my loved ones awesome gifts. The strategy: I rev up my sewing machine, fire up the kiln, gather up some collage materials, take over every horizontal surface in the house, get about halfway down my list and run out of time. That’s when I rely on the local artists who budgeted their entire years to make stuff. This month, they group together at arts venues and private studios to sell handmade gifts. Here are some highlights.

Art Spot Reno’s monthly wine-and-art-stroll puts on its holiday best and becomes Art Walk Reno December Edition, a wine stroll/art stroll/shopping stroll/raffle/limited edition print sale/after-party concert featuring Loud As Folk. Art Walk: 5-8 p.m., Dec. 3. Tickets, $5-15: Sundance Books and Music, 121 California Ave., or Art Indeed, 142 Bell St. Raffle: Se7en, 148 West St., 8:15 p.m. After party: Pignic Pub & Patio, 235 Flint St.

On Dickerson Road, the Chili Cash and Carry event has become a fixture of community collaboration and prime stocking stuffing. This year, give and receive. For $30, get a hand-thrown bowl from the Wedge Ceramics Studio, a hand-forged spoon from Infinity Forge and a serving of chili so you can test out your new wares on the spot. Bring three cans for a food drive and Wedge will sport you a handmade ornament. 2095 Dickerson Road, 10 a.m.–5:30p.m., Dec. 12-13

It’s always a nice time for a 40-minute drive to the two desert pottery studios near Doyle, California and Red Rock—except when the roads are icy or the snow blows sideways. Paul Herman rolls out some new ceramic casserole dishes and sauerkraut crocks this season. Joe Winter has rounded out his line of teapots this year with bigger and more elaborate beer mugs. And collectively they have a solid Plan B and Plan C for weather-conscious travelers—each opens his studio to shoppers for three more weekends this month. Great Basin Pottery, 423-725 Scott Road, Doyle, California, and Joe Winter Pottery, 16620 Fetlock Drive, 10 a.m–5 p.m., Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20

Sherri Dangberg knits scarves and blankets. Barbara Harmon makes bead bracelets and earrings. Joan Miller makes charming ceramic kitchen gadgets with interesting textures. At holiday time they assemble in Miller’s Blue Lotus Studio to welcome the public with refreshments and sell some gifts. 3325 Norman Drive, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Dec. 5.

One rep sums up the artwork at Holland Project’s longstanding Rogue Art+Craft as “handcrafted and heartfelt.” This year’s edition features apothecary goods, ceramics, vintage clothing, jewelry, letterpress cards and other work from 30-plus artists, treats from Bibo Freddo, Magpie Coffee Roasters, and CarrieLu Crepes, and a make-your-own gift station courtesy of Atelier arts collective from Truckee, California. Holland Project, 140 Vesta St., 10a.m.–4 p.m., Dec. 12

The Generator Community Art + Builders Space bills itself as “decommodified.” Usually that means no commerce, but The Generator Open House is scheduled close to Christmas, and the folks who make their artwork at the public studio’s wood shop, ceramics lab, sewing lab, painting areas and laser-cutter facility have some creative things to offer. The Generator, 1240 Icehouse Ave., Sparks, 5–10 p.m., Dec. 11

Sierra Arts hosts Give Local: A One Day Pop-up Art Extravaganza, promising seven hours of quilts, beaded jewelry, Japanese-inspired tea cups and other works at its downtown storefront. Highlights include Cindy Lundquist’s scented candles (one Sierra Arts rep calls them “ravishingly decadent”), Jaimie Crush and Hannah Fuqua’s made-on-site animal portraits and Nathaniel Benjamin’s dreamlike wood-block prints and Bryce Chisholm’s graffiti-inspired paintings.17 S. Virginia St., 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Dec. 5.