Thanks to Liberty Lausterer for a look into gift giving this holiday season. Liberty moved to Wyoming a few months ago, and in that time has been on a quest to learn more about herself and her new home. I appreciate the viewpoint that she brings to her writing that we can share here – learning about our state from a new resident’s perpsective!
HANDMADE IN WYOMING — by Liberty Lausterer
“But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith’s.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gifts
What handmade gift might you make this holiday season that represents your life and talent? I’ve never made handmade gifts before, so this is new territory for me. In fact I just started knitting and hesitate to call what I’m doing a bonafide talent. But each knitted washcloth I give to family members will definitely be a small incarnation of my life in Wyoming. And in each one will be a handmade bar of soap created by some talented people from Wyoming. Giving a gift that I have made with my own two hands does seem to imbue it with a warm, life-giving spirit. And if not my hands then certainly the hands of someone else whose life in Wyoming has been woven into each creation.
The felting class I took at Works of Wyoming means I can now also create an e-reader cover, a table piece for candles, coaster, wall hanging, and more. From my lived experience comes a tangible gift that allows my family in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to feel and see what my life in Wyoming is like.
This weekend after the Thanksgiving dust has settled and the Christmas shopping extravaganza begins perhaps instead of joining the masses we, each of us, can use our time to create something that represents our life and talent. And if not our life and talent then certainly that of an artisan from Wyoming.
Here are just some of the shops that carry handmade items in Wyoming, and please post other places you know of from around the state:
Wild Hands ~ Hoback Jct
Crafts-n-Collectibles ~ Cody
MADE ~ Jackson Hole
Works of Wyoming ~ Laramie