The holidays are in full swing, but many people haven’t found the perfect gift for everyone on their list quite yet. Dallas/Fort Worth is brimming with local talent that handcrafts what will surely become family heirlooms, and one designer of note is Christie Cone of Christie Cone Ceramics. She dishes with us about why she just might have the solution for one-of-a-kind gifts.
Q: How did you get started with clay?
A: I was a high school art teacher before I started my business. I was asked to teach ceramics even though my background is in painting, photography, and art history. After a year of teaching, I was hooked.
Q: What are some of your most popular pieces?
A: At Christmas time, my nativities are by far my most popular items. In off-season people really love them, too. Other pieces are my herb markers that are perfect for the garden enthusiast, soup cups which are great for college students, business card holders, tumblers that are wonderful for hot /cold drinks, and special order dishes that make your table truly unique.
Q: What makes your nativity sets different from others?
A: My mother inspires my nativity sets. She has been an avid collector of unique nativity sets. Once I started working in clay I wanted to create a set unlike any I’d ever seen before. First I created a Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus set using sheets of clay. I folded the clay to look like cloth and formed them so they defied our expectations. The figures only symbolize a miraculous event, so I did not include any details. After the trio, I could not help myself. I had to make all the pieces using the same method. The result is a set of truly unique pieces representing what makes Christmas so special.
Q: What special items do you offer for the holidays?
A: In addition to my nativity collection, which consists of 11 pieces, I also make ornaments, and Santa figurines. I spend most of my year making the pieces to sell at Christmas time. After all, it is the most wonderful time of year!
Q: Why do these items make the perfect gift?
A: I believe people love my work because you won’t find anything like it anywhere else. I am inspired by the people in my life. For instance, I created a soup cup for my little sister who is in college. These cups have become a popular gift for people who have nephews or grandchildren who are going to college.
Q: What makes handmade more unique than store-bought?
A: There is no comparison. Every piece you get from me is not only created by my hand, but is also a limited edition piece since I can only create so many pieces. I don’t use molds, so every piece is truly one-of-a-kind. In our increasingly global community, it is wonderful to reconnect with an individual and buying handmade art is an easy way to do this. After all, my thumbprint is on every single piece.
Q: How long does it take to create an average piece?
A: Each piece takes a different amount of time to create but the process that every piece goes through is similar. It can take up to a month to complete all the stages.
Where can readers buy your creations?
Christie Cone is a DFW-based ceramic artist. To learn more about her work, go to: www.christieconeceramics.com.
Hilary Kennedy is a Style and Beauty Blogger, as well as the host of a national sports show and several local programs. She is the author of the book, “Career Diary of a TV Host: 30 Days on the Job” and her hosting credits include Access Hollywood, Hot on Homes, and The Bite Network. She can be found online at hilarykennedy.com.