There is a conceptual ideology ubiquitously taught in American primary schools that employs an imaginary bucket as a symbol of a person's emotional self . When we offer words of affirmations or expressions of compassion and fondness to one another or when we act with positive, thoughtful, and kind intentions we are "filling buckets" by elevating the emotional well-being of those around us. Subsequently, a full bucket belongs to a person who is entirely fulfilled, overflowing with love and support, and confident in and comforted by an unwavering sense of belonging. During the holidays, we hope all of you find your buckets overflowing as you surround yourselves with those you love and the abundant joyfulness and generosity of this celebratory season. To spread heartfelt, bucket-filling cheer to loved ones who's buckets need a bit of topping off or to offer a material extension to the internal buckets of those with full hearts this holiday, consider gifting one of the visionary vessels and vases on this list!
Amy Leigh Design
Let's start with a vase that will sparkle like the first winter snow. Amy Leigh, an environmentally conscious, contemporary designer and the genius behind Amy Leigh Design, pours molten pewter into crystalline pools of water, like emberous lava crashing into abyssal seas, to create organic water casts with eruptive storms of metallic texture for her Daffodil Vessels. These organic pewter forms are then encased in cubes of glasslike bio-resin, which are then carved to reveal central cylindrical wells designed to hold flower stems and the water that nourishes them. Bio-silver beams sprouting from the resin hold elegant halos, suspended above the wells, that support fragile stems so the faces of the petals look out onto the world with chins held high. The dense, furiously-contorting pewter, surrounded by the intrinsic peace of serenely still clear resin, balances the fragility, translucence, and the fleeting, organic vitality of the botanicals the vase holds. It's magnificent and very much gift-worthy.
Isaac Katz of Katz Studio interprets the characteristics of metal differently with his Sphere Vase. The vase, "procedurally designed", is a symphonic hive of thousands of spherical resin bubbles, dipped in gold chrome. The spheres warp and crawl over one another as they find energy from the scalding light captured by their reflectivity and boil into a hypnotic column that reaches towards the surface of a hypothesized ocean. When filled with water, the vase is mind-bending; experience informs us that effervescent pockets of air are conventionally suspended in water, but, here, these bubbles form structure and encase the pool. The vase is brilliant in every way and will make the perfect addition to any holiday table.
Estudio de Artes y Oficios Santo Domino
A similar reinterpretation of natural objects in metallic form, the Copper Starfruit Bowl from Escuela De Artes y Oficios Santo Domino in Colombia is a reflective sculptural vessel that renders us starry eyed. Prominent ridges that define the surface of the succulent starfruit are translated to copper coated silver as peaked, mountainous ribs that present a contemporary chiseled landscape. Hammered indentations scurry across the bowl and impart a stippled texture that implies the rippled flesh of the fruit without explicitness. The bowl is ambiguous, but decidedly natural, and whether you see the glistening contours of the golden starfruit or the lineation of bark like seeds, you will find an entrancing aesthetic accent in this vase.
For more ostensible texture travel to Japan to Tsuneharu Tanaka's Hasemusi Ceramics Studio. Veins of ivory whirl through rust coloured clay to create a vigorous, wood-grain-like laminated swirls that exemplify Neriage pottery. This pattern runs through the delicate, thin-walled vessels and is carved to create a rough-hewn surface that mirrors the dizzying pleats of crepe paper. The patterns and textures are a commotion of visual interest that is soothed by the quiet forms of the sculpted vases. What we love about these pieces is that they visibly and proudly evince the hand of the artist. One can watch the gestures that spin the coloured clay into form, follow the trails of the touches that carved the channels into the surface and, through this sight, can find connection to the process and the people that made each piece.
Made by Manos
Walnut Shell Stoneware Ring Dish
While the veins in the Hasemusi works are articulated with colour, the veins on the Walnut Shell Stoneware Ring Dish from Made by Manos abandon all colour. Rather, the relief-formed, polar-white veins find definition from the ghostly shadows that fill their slightly opaque lines as they rise above the illuminated English bone china of the tapered cup base. Each Walnut Shell is a petalesque stone that looks like it was plucked from the verdant mossy tapestry below the canopy of snow inspirited white trees that whisper through the mist in a fantastical world we'd love to live in. And while we can't live in such a world, we can provide one for our rings and for our loved ones by gifting them one of these stunning shells.
Acorn Button Box
We stay below the arboreal canopy to gather our next tiny vessel: the Woodland Acorn Button Box from Cattails Woodwork. Tiger maple, flame birch, or cherry is turned into smooth cups with broad rounded rims that cascade into cylindrical hollows, dimpled at the heart of base where the lathe met and held the wood. Walnut onion domes are grooved to reveal striated, furrowed dapples that gently wind toward the step mirroring the wooded cells of acorn caps. The rims of the cups nestle effortlessly into the cavities of the domes, aligning to manifest their final forest-worthy forms. Each Acorn box is a moment of magic, recalling memories of childhood where every acorn was a sophisticated, well-hatted man, every patch of blooming moss was a dense extraterrestrial jungle, and every sweet gum seed pod was a nest of hungry hatchlings gesturing to be fed. Share this reminder of the whimsicality and joyous imaginativeness we can find in nature by gifting these Button Boxes.
Handmade Glass & Root Vase
Bring a bit of the natural world indoors with the Handmade Glass & Root Vase from Tokoindah. Aquatic recycled glass cups perch on the rustic tentacles of stripped, papyrus coloured roots. The industrialism and manufactured nature of the cups evaporate as the glass melts into the wood, dripping over the supporting branches. The translucent blue, fabricated goblets become self contained glistening puddles suspended within the wooded landscape. Each Vase is a stunning sculpture that will enliven the homes of anyone lucky to receive it as well as a natural vessel that stands ready to carry your cut flowers and all the treasures you collect.
If aquatic glass pools appeal to you or the ones on your holiday list, stop by KCDF Shop for the Color Ice Tray from LEE, TAEHOON. Globes of topaz blue blown glass are opened and encouraged to bloom into gently curved, plate-shaped pools. Subtle ripples collect and encircle the bottom, evoking the rhythmic motion of water despite the rigidity and permanence of the fragile glass. Icy shards of glass, like glacial crystals, are marbled by inky streams of blue like those from the depths of the sea and float on the base of the bowls. The Trays are chillingly beautiful and unquestionably appropriate given the arctic briskness that arrives with the holiday season.
Kaolin Tiger Studios
For crystals void of the suggestion of the cold we highly recommend the Crystalline Vases from Kaolin Tiger Studios in Sugar Loaf, NY. First off, we are excited about any gift from a town called Sugar Loaf but these ceramic vases are uniquely sweet. An ovoid body tapers to a tall, narrow neck to create a vessel that reminds us of the silhouette of mounds of wool being spun into thin thread. A blackened, phthalo green background coats the form, entering the light as it's drawn up the neck where it transforms into a vital cerulean blue. The colour story is absolutely romantic and the form is undeniably elegant but it's the lichen-like crystals in the glaze that grow across the surface, creating fractals of life amidst the darkened background, that make this Vase so exceptional.
Abelia Milk Jug & Saucer
While Kaolin Tiger Studio's presents crystalline glaze lichens in New York, in New Zealand, Van Brandenburg is showcasing minimalist and ultramodern floral formed vessels. The Abelia Milk Jug and Saucer are a sculptural set that evoke the graceful fragility of flowers with a thoughtfully restrained design. Four pear-shaped arcs of milky ceramic form the base saucer, spreading like blossoming petals as they drape their points towards the earth. Held within the central bowl of the saucer, the jug is a tall hollow bulb, pinched at four points at the rim to form four function spouts that suggest the peaks of petals on a closed bud. Perfect as a milk jug, vase, or decorative interior accent piece, the Abelia set is a gift that will not disappoint.
If you're look for a gift that is more whimsical, the made-to-order glass Tentacle Decanter from Simone Crestani's Polpo Collection is a fantastic choice. The tapered neck of a conical wine decanter, hand blown from clear glass, is pushed ever so slightly off center as a magnificent octopus crawls up the side of the belly of the bowl. Several of the eight tentacles, all ribbed by trails of glass suckers, grip the surface of the decanter, the tips hidden as they seem to slip below the surface of the glass. Other tentacles curl into the air and dance through space.
But our favorite tentacle—a trio of words we never expected we'd say!—reaches up along the neck of the decanter before sharply pulling away to threaten the eye of the octopus. While we can't offer a backstory for this self-mauling creature, we are smitten by it and we're extremely confident it holds all the personality traits we require for a guardian of our decanting wines. We just love it!
Curved Ikebana Vases
For a tamed curved vessel we head to South Korea, Here, we find the Curved Ikebana Vases from AFL Shop. Matte anthracite coloured ceramic is handcrafted to form languid conduits that arc and bend into strikingly minimalist parabolic channels. Small openings offer entry into the hollows of the vases so one can meditatively introduce stems to the caverns when designing Ikebana arrangements. Whether your loved ones are masterful Ikebana artisans or casual lovers of supermarket bouquets, they'll adore the arrangement elevating lines of these Curved Vases.
The Planter Pot from Tectle in Canada holds beautiful, aesthetic space for your loved ones' living plants. Eco-conscious, corn-based plastic is 3D printed to create a lightweight pot complete with drainage holes. The linear banded ridges that undulate and wind up the curved forms are refined and delicate expressions of the same folds present on the extruded ceramics from Anton Alvarez. For the plant-lover in your life, gift one of these gorgeous pots so they can frame their indoor botanicals with beauty. For those with black-thumbs, follow the lead of one of our ARCANISA team members and use these sculptural basins as decorative modern cradles for rolls of hand towels in your guest bathrooms.
Wabi Sabi Lidded Bowl
Jumping from linear ridges to smoothed steel, we stay in Canada to find the Wabi Sabi Lidded Bowl from R&R Handmade. The Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic perspective finds beauty in imperfects and centuries of cultures, from the Persian mosque-tilers to enslaved African American quilters, have intentionally incorporated flaws in their works so as not to bring bad luck or challenge the singularity of a higher power's perfection. Even without the knowledge of this history, we find so much beauty and magic in the hand-forged, mild steel bowls. Glowing steel is hammered against the striking anvil to stretch the and shape the curved walls. A similarly vaulted dome sits within the bowed rustic rim of the bowl, topped by a tightly-coiled steel knob. Each piece is coated in raw beeswax that offers a layer of protection and a subtle sheen that reveals the topography of the mottled steel. We're confident that this remarkable lidded bowls will welcomed and treasured as a new heirloom by anyone you gift it to this season. Plus, Ruben Iron can carefully stamp a personalized message onto the bowl to create a piece that is unique those on your holiday list.
"Hui-Yong and her brand, “Galaxy Clay”, are the epitome of East meets West. Her combinations of time honored Asian design and modern American art create unique and memorable pieces that will delight and inspire for generations." (1)
A beautifully proportioned bulb vase is formed on the wheel complete with an inverted, conical-shaped neck that meets the body of the vase at a stunningly minute point. Once sculpted and dried, the piece embarks on the Raku journey. The sculpture is heated until it glows with a blinding radiance rivaled only by the sun, at which point it is laid in a bed of combustable materials that ignite and paint the piece with thei