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Supporting Alumni Artisans

Supporting Alumni Artisans

The RISD Store’s online Alumni Collection is the perfect way to get your holiday shopping done safely.

As the holiday season gets underway, COVID-19 continues to afflict millions, impelling consumers to do much of their gift shopping from home. Artisans and entrepreneurs are struggling to stay afloat amid these circumstances, and the RISD Store is doing its part to support RISD alumni via its newly created Alumni Collection virtual emporium.

“We’re proud to present a wide selection of gift ideas this season in our new online store,” says Assistant Director of Retail Charles Flora. “From playful to glamorous to practical, the pieces we’re offering all demonstrate the creative minds and hands of the artist-designer-makers who got their starts at RISD.”

“From playful to glamorous to practical, these pieces demonstrate the creative minds and hands of the artist-designer-makers who got their starts at RISD.”charles flora, risd store

The work for sale ranges widely in price and includes everything from jewelry and apparel to books, games, toys and home goods, making the RISD Store a great resource to cover everyone on your holiday shopping list. We’ve selected a handful of options but encourage you to check out the complete collection.

Jet Set Candy’s 14-karat gold NYC taxi charm (top photo) by Nicole Parker King 02 GD captures the spirit of the holidays. It measures 22 x 11 mm, and the tiny wheels actually spin. A sixth-generation New Yorker, King founded Jet Set Candy in 2014 and says she was inspired by her own travels around the world and her search for the perfect souvenirs.

Jewelry maker Heather Guidero 92 JM grew up under the open skies of rural Indiana and is currently based in Providence. The graphic lines, textures and patterns of her work are inspired by elements of modernist design, fashion and urban architecture and translated into ethically sourced gold and silver. She offers a wide selection of lightweight, handcrafted Carved Mix & Match Earrings, including the ones pictured above, which were fabricated out of a thin sheet of silver and measure 2 inches in length and 1 inch in width. “Settling in at my bench and picking up my favorite antique files is as natural and reflexive as breathing,” the artist notes.

On the accessories front, Colleen Clines MLA 10—cofounder of international textiles nonprofit Anchal—offers an extensive selection of ethically made pouches and bags featuring bold contemporary designs and timeless embroidered details. At 11 x 16 inches, the Oversized Pouch Clutch Rainbow Eclipse (pictured) is large enough to hold a laptop. Its design was inspired by the work of modernist painter Hilma af Klint, which was on view in 2018 at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

If you’ve got friends on your list who love to bake, check out Black Girl Baking by Jerrelle Guy 12 IL. She’s an award-winning author, food stylist, writer and recipe developer who operates her own food photography studio, EJC, in downtown Dallas and contributes recipes to The New York Times. The book, her first, was nominated for a 2019 James Beard Award in the Baking Category.

Painting major David Weeks 90 PT founded his namesake studio in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood in 1996 as an umbrella for his diverse interests, ranging from metal fabrication techniques to contemporary toy culture. His Ursa Minor Bear is a classic sculptural object constructed out of beech that can hold many poses. Ursa’s elastic-band muscles and durable wooden limbs ensure that she will withstand generations of play.

For the DIY crowd on your list, consider Pop-Out Jewelry kits by Austin-based artist Melissa Borrell MFA 05 JM, which come with everything needed to transform graphic shapes into wearable art. These architectural Circle Earrings come with plated silver hooks and capture the eye with light, shadow and movement.

Inspired by the geometries of nature, Edgewood Made’s Round Wood Boards measure 15.75 x 20.5 x 1 inches and are available in walnut, cherry and maple. Cofounded by George Dubinsky 08 FD, Edgewood Made is based in Philadelphia and offers beautiful but functional homewares handcrafted by highly skilled artisans.

Check out more alumni-made gift possibilities at the RISD Store website and at RISDMade.com.

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A rotating selection of well-designed products and gifts by members of the RISD community is now available at the RISD Store.