Glass Gifts for Friends and Family

This is a sculptural bead I just made for a friend of the family, a glassy gift to welcome a little red-haired baby girl into the world.

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Now, here is my question for you. Do you make and give glass gifts for all of your family and friends to celebrate special occasions and holidays? When I started lampworking, my mom bought me a sample pack of glass for a present and asked that I make cow beads for a friend and her daughter. I have weasled out of this request for one Christmas, two birthdays, and one wedding. I really don’t think I can make a cow bead that is presentable, for more reasons than one. (Namely, I don’t do “cute” very well, and I don’t think the recipients would be interested in an Egyptian cow-goddess statue that might be more my style.)

So, how do you resolve situations like this? Do you force yourself to make something in a style that would suit the recipient, thereby doing the “right thing” and giving with true love for that person and their likes? Do you make them something else in your own style, hoping they can appreciate the time and effort if not the discrepancy in likes/dislikes? Do you make them something completely different, honoring them and allowing yourself to do work that inspires you at the same time?

Well, I haven’t solved the cow bead dilemma yet, but I have learned that personalized beads and sculptures seem to be a compromise that makes everyone happy. . . who can resist a handmade gift with their name written on it? I think I’ll be thinking even harder this year about ways to make glass gifts that will really appeal to each person who unwraps one, so if you have experiences and tips to share, please leave a comment and help a relative newbie figure this one out, okay?

Angie Garren, aka AngelinaBeadalina, sculpts molten glass into many spiritual and mystical shapes ( except moo-cows) in her studio. You can find pictures of her work in her gallery pages, and you can check out her works for sale on Etsy and eBay.

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One Response to “Glass Gifts for Friends and Family”

  1. Ellen Says:

    A specific request that goes against my personal style is a tough one. As recently as 2 days ago a friend asked me to make a black and white necklace. Just black and white? Yuck! It turned out ok but that’s usually not the case. I have to make beads that appeal to me – hopefully my customers will like them too.


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