The only gift is a portion of thyself. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Knowing that I appreciate handcrafted gifts, my daughters love to make me jewelry and ceramics for special occasions. The very first offering from my eldest was a necklace fashioned from plaster of Paris cylinders painted red, blue and yellow and strung on a red shoelace. The necklace still graces my bureau and every time I look at it, I am transported back to that tender time.
Over the years, all my daughters have created unique presents for me. The jewelry has evolved in both materials and design from simple single strand beaded bracelets and necklaces to more complex ones with silver wraps and Murano beads or pearls and organza ribbons.
The first ceramic and pottery gifts were primitive tangerine pots and sky blue vases, but they, too, became more interesting featuring multiple colors, textures and new patterns. I continue to wear and use their gifts because they are beautiful, but also to show how much I value them and honor the artistic effort that went into their creation.
I am particularly delighted when the creations serve as touchstones for my daughters’ childhood memories. We have wonderful conversations about how their interests and preferences have stayed the same or changed over the years. They are astonished when they find clues in their early art that inform who they are today.