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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 11 - 17, 2002


Creative gifts originate from the heart

Options to create own presents 
beckon in valley

Milk Bath Salt
(Courtesy Cindy Hamlin of Twigs)

1 cup powdered milk
˝ cup Epsom or sea salt
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Few drops of essentials oil
Lavender for relaxation.
Lemon for uplift.
Eucalyptus for sore muscles.

Combine ingredients in bowl and then put into an interesting looking bottle or jar, attach a ribbon or tag with ingredients listed. Add an herbal soap for complete gift package.

Express Staff Writer

Every Christmas many of us try to think of some original way to properly express our gratitude and appreciation to our friends and families.

Negating the commercial intrusion of the holidays by making our own gifts is one way to solve this dilemma. It feels good, it doesn’t cost as much and people love the effort. And here in the valley there are several options if one doesn’t have the means or room at home.

At the Boulder Mountain Clayworks in Ketchum one can get a $60 punch card that allows budding ceramists 15 hours of work time in the roomy multi-level work space. Studio assistant Jen Smith said the card would not be appropriate for total beginners, but "Susan Ward, the owner, will help people out with private stuff like that."

Wendy Lee Bevins of Ketchum works on at the pottery wheel at Boulder Mountain Clayworks in Ketchum. Express photos by David N. Seelig


Clayworks has 12 electric pottery wheels and two kick wheels, a 14-cubic foot gas kiln, two electric kilns, which can be used for custom firings, a bisque and high fire electric kiln, and two raku kilns. Raku is a quick Japanese firing method that uses "lots of fire and lots of smoke, " Smith said. Boulder Mountain Clayworks can be reached at 726-4484

If getting your hands in some wet clay isn’t the most irresistible idea, than maybe just painting your own pottery would suffice. Local Color. also based in Ketchum, currently has a couple hundred different shapes to choose from, owner Lyn Holt said.

There are plates, dishes, mugs, pitchers, coffeepots, boxes, vases and much more. A painter can have up to four colors to work with at a time. The fee includes paint, glaze and firing. A serving platter, for instance, may cost between $30 to $60, depending on the size.

There is no time limit in which to finish the work and many people take more than one session to complete a job, Holt said.

She fires the pieces every night in the busy season and they can be picked up the next day. No reservations, except for parties, are needed. Local Color is open weekdays from noon to 6 p.m., and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Wednesdays.

Since time began, beads have been used as a decorative source. And nothing could be easier for all ages than to string a lively assortment into a piece of decorative jewelry for someone special.

The Bead Store in Hailey is a sweet little spot just off Main Street where there is a great bead selection of wooden, porcelain, semi-precious gemstones, glass, gold, silver and charms. A bracelet can be made with glass and silver for around $5, or a necklace for about twice that. Semi-precious stones will add to the price, of course. The Bead Store is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

Other ideas, slightly more inventive, are having a room painted as a surprise. Heidiglyphics does a variety of custom looks for kid’s rooms, such as jungles and scenes from favorite stories.

There are also several trompe l’oeil artists such as Fee Fi Faux, Karen McCall, Marion Monge and others.

Cindy Hamlin, of Twigs, a Wood River Valley concern that uses all home grown materials for various items that she sells, said making bath salt is one of the easiest items to make and personalize.

Making a tangible gift isn’t the only way to go, though.

Also consider choreographing a dance, writing a poem or composing a piece of music in someone’s honor.

One’s imagination is the only limit.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.