Each May, we take a day to celebrate moms — the loving and wise women who raised us; the strong and caring women who are our partners in raising our own children.
While some of us are socially isolated from our mothers, we can still find ways to show them how much we love them. PG&H, which works to support and promote Pittsburgh’s best makers, has just launched an online shop featuring home goods and beauty products.
The featured makers are almost all women (or women-owned/co-owned businesses), and many do not have their own online stores or are otherwise being impacted by the coronavirus crisis. A number of the makers are a part of ORIGINS, a platform and program that celebrates and supports African American artists, makers and designers working in Pittsburgh.
Your purchase helps keep these makers in operation, which allows them to continue to hire, spend their dollars locally and operate out of reclaimed storefronts and buildings. It also gives the mother(s) in your life a truly unique, hand-crafted, gift.
Here a few of our favorite handmade gifts for Mother’s Day:
Eye pillows from Wellness Withn
For the mother who could use more self-care, Wellness Withn’s eye pillows provide deep relaxation and restoration. The pillow’s flax shape allows it to fit comfortably around facial curves. The gentle weight “on acupressure points helps to alleviate nervous tensions and promotes restful sleep.”
About Wellness Withn: During a difficult time in her life, Germaine Gooden-Patterson began to make and use wellness products as part of her healing process. She creates candles, eye pillows, abdomen pillows, aromatherapy mists and other wellness items.
Punch needle art from Kelly Malone
Maker and fiber artist Kelly Malone, co-founder of Workshop PGH, a DIY school and shop in Garfield, creates beautiful and distinct punch needle art. You can add these fabric and yarn designs to your photo wall, or place them near plants for a touch of Boho style.
Southern Sunshine soap from Island Fresh Skincare
Marilyn Dice’s luxury soaps are made of all natural ingredients including kukui nut oil, which is used to combat the effects of harsh, tropical conditions on skin and hair. Her soaps are palm-free and formulated with tallow, natural oils and sea salt.
About Island Fresh Skincare: Marilyn is a third-generation soap maker with roots in the Deep South. Her grandmother made soap out of necessity and she continues this tradition today with Island Fresh Skincare, developing products that are non-toxic and gentle on skin. Island Fresh developed from Marilyn’s travels to tropical locations and her years living in Florida, where her skin thrived from the salty sea air. Her products are made with fewer than 10 ingredients and all products include organic components.
Alpine Fire Candle from Cord + Iron
From Beaver, PA, the Cord + Iron team creates hand-cast, modern home goods from concrete and also hand-pours soy candles. Their Alpine Fir soy candle will remind you of a crisp winter hike through pine forests. It’s infused with natural essential oils and has mild citrus notes that melt into earthy undercurrents of fir, cedar and moss.
The candle pictured above was poured into a concrete cylinder vessel, so after enjoying its 60+ hour burn time you can reuse the vessel as a planter, a makeup brush holder or as a container to store small household items.
Gold at Midnight Earrings from Edo Scribes & Pleasantries
Celeta Hickman’s Gold at Midnight Earring collection is inspired by how the natural world reflects the light of a full moon at midnight. Hickman’s earrings are made from hand-painted wood disks and gold, celestial-faceted crystals.
About Edo Scribes & Pleasantries: Celeta founded Edo Scribes & Pleasantries to share her handmade gifts of distinction, elegance and joy with the world. She uses a mix of reclaimed materials to make chic and artistic pieces. What began as a craft table venture has now grown to include wonderfully crafted accessories, handmade stationery, greeting cards and business and home decor.
Tumblers from Butala Clay Ceramics
These classically shaped tumblers are made from slip-cast stoneware and feature hand-carved details inspired by nature and the cosmos. The stoneware is fired in a kiln at temperatures of up to 2,300 degrees, so it can be used in the microwave or the dishwasher (though hand washing is recommended). The clay and glazes are also food safe.
About Butala Clay Ceramics: Pittsburgh based ceramicist Jessica Butala draws from her background in industrial design to create functional and decorative pottery for everyday use. Established in 2018, Butala Clay offers a range of pieces, including mugs, plates, bowls and other thoughtful items that enhance daily practices and add sculptural decor to any home. Jessica is passionate about product development and takes a focused approach to shape, size and surface design. Working with clay allows her to get her hands dirty, as she moves from concept to product. From wheel throwing and hand carving to selecting elegant glazes, Jessica’s techniques and originality shine through in every piece.
Wispy Feather Earrings from Collarbone Jewelry
From jewelry maker Cat Luck, these charming earrings from Collarbone Jewelry are made out of brass, and have base metal hooks.
About Collarbone Jewelry: Established in 2010 by Cat Luck, Collarbone Jewelry grows from the raw aesthetic of the natural world. Cat thinks of herself as a visual storyteller, using the alchemy of pure and mixed metals, semi-precious gems and rough stone to create striking and eclectic jewelry. Her approach to designing products — including necklaces, earrings and bracelets — is internal, intuitive and spiritual. She creates jewelry using recycled and found materials alongside semi-precision gemstones and hammered metals. With a passion for making and creative discovery, Cat continuously reinvents her collections and develops new designs that are refreshingly eclectic and modern.
White Lace Pattern Dinnerware from Emmanuelle Ceramics
Emmanuelle Ceramics’ round dinnerware features a whole lace impressed design. These circular plates are slab built with white or brown stoneware clay, impressed with a circular lace pattern, and glazed in your choice of colors.
About Emmanuelle Ceramics: Emmanuelle Ceramics offers handmade functional ceramic dinnerware and décor that celebrate ephemeral design. Using hand-built and wheel-thrown ceramic techniques, Emmanuelle Wambach creates her eponymous line. Emmanuelle combines different techniques of texturing, carving, imprinting and sculpting to cover her clay surfaces in lace and floral motifs. With PG&H, Emmanuelle has launched this tabletop collection featuring lace imprints in a variety of patterns, shapes and glaze options.
Earrings from Lock House Studio
Maker and artist Lisa Giuliani’s bright, hand-drawn earrings feature patterns inspired by her love of vintage fabric and Turkish tiles.
About Lock House Studio: Established in 2007, Lock House Studio is an interdisciplinary studio based in Morgantown, WV. Offering a collection of functional ceramics and mixed-media jewelry, founding artist Lisa Giuliani creates work designed for everyday use and enjoyment. Pattern and process are central in the primary pottery collection from Lock House Studio. Now, these elements influence the jewelry that Lisa creates. Her hand-thrown ceramics feature arrays of dots and lines. Similar motifs are echoed in her hand cut and adorned earrings and necklaces.
Not your Mother’s Cannisters from FD Pottery
These functional covered crocks are hand thrown from terra-cotta clay then glazed inside to make them food safe and watertight. Each crock features a unique lid. Medium crocks hold about five cups, while large crocks hold about seven cups. They’re also microwave and dishwasher safe.
Place one next to your hotpot to hold tea and coffee, or group a family of crocks together to hold salt, sugar and spices.
About FD Pottery: FD Pottery offers contemporary handcrafted pottery for the tabletop and home. Established by Francis DeFabo in 2011, this collection of functional ceramics features an array of subtle forms and inviting textures. Francis blends traditional wheel-thrown forms with hand-built pottery, often adding embossed patterns from textiles and simple hand-carved details onto the surfaces of his designs. Like a beautifully worn-in sweater, Francis intends for these surfaces to wear and develop patina with years of daily use. From whiskey cups to serving platters to flower urns, each piece is made by Francis in his home studio in Latrobe, PA.