Urban Hardwoods News

Local and Artisan-Made Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

December 14, 2015 | By urbanhardwoods


With the holiday season here, we’ve been having a lot of discussions around our showrooms and in the workshop about our favorite places to find locally made and artfully selected gifts. With so many craftspeople and small businesses making and selling so many amazing things in our three hometowns, we decided to sit down at a live edge desk and compile a short list of our favorite artisans and independent shops. From blacksmiths in Seattle to booksellers in Santa Monica, check out our 6 favorite places to find locally crafted and curated gifts.

1. Steel Toe Studio

Based in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, designer Erica Gordon’s Steel Toe Studio is a favorite of ours. Combining traditional blacksmithing techniques with “renegade” materials and ideas, Steel Toe focuses on making modern, functional accessories made primarily from recycled and repurposed steel. The studio crafts buckles, belts, jewelry, cuffs, and bottle openers—all forged, welded and finished by hand.

Where to Buy:

Select Retailers

2. Heath Ceramics

Based in the Bay Area, Heath Ceramics “designs, makes, and sells thoughtful products that embody creativity and craftsmanship, and enhance the way people eat, live, and connect.” We absolutely love their streamlined cups, plates, bowls, tiles, and other earthenware that merges clean design with a distinctly Californian aesthetic (and looks fantastic on hardwood tables). Visit their “creative campus” in San Francisco’s Northeast Mission neighborhood.

Where to Buy:

San Francisco
Los Angeles

3. John Cobb

Woodturner and artist John Cobb, a Seattle native now based outside of San Francisco in Marin County, creates handcrafted bowls, vessels, and art pieces from exceptional reclaimed wood found in Northern California. John finds his source materials by climbing through the woodpiles of Bay Area arborists hunting for stumps and logs that have hidden potential waiting just beneath the bark. John’s stunning pieces celebrate the natural beauty of wood at its absolute finest, evoking everything from the luminous striations of marble to the cloud formations of Jupiter. John’s remarkable work can be found in all three Urban Hardwoods showrooms.

Where to Buy:

Any of our three Urban Hardwoods showrooms.


We met NUBE founder Ruth True at a Seattle Made event we hosted at our Seattle showroom in October and were inspired by her story. The company’s Capitol Hill storefront features sustainable home wares, gifts, clothing, kids goods, handmade bags, and jewelry, all completely sourced, milled, and made in the U.S. The company aims to make “going green a little easier” by providing goods that support local artisans while eliminating new materials and overseas manufacturing. NUBE champions an innovative approach to repurposing, such as scarves made from recycled cashmere textiles and hand-made angora beanies made with yarn spun from the artist’s own angora bunnies.

Where to Buy:

NUBE Capitol Hill Flagship Store

5. Our Local Architecture & Design Book Stores

Apparently we are huge fans of independent architecture and design bookstores. Three of them made our list, and lucky for us, each of Urban Hardwood’s hometowns has one. Peter Miller Books in Seattle, William Stout Architectural & Art Books in San Francisco, and Hennessey + Ingalls in Santa Monica all feature a wonderfully curated selection of architecture, design and art books. Many of these books are art objects in and of themselves—and would look great atop your new cedar coffee table!

Where to Buy:

Peter Miller Books, Seattle
William Stout Architectural & Art Books, San Francisco
Hennessey + Ingalls, Santa Monica

6. Urban Hardwoods

We couldn’t compile a list like this with out adding some salvaged wood furniture. When we asked for suggestions from the showrooms and workshop there were quite a few votes for beautiful yet functional smaller pieces, such as a distinctive console table or live edge bench. Some other pieces that made our list: a Blackened Steel End Table with a solid wood slab shelf (available in several wood species), a Madrone Console Table with one straight edge and a black steel frame base, and finally, an Ebonized Maple Cocktail Table with black steel wire hoop legs.

Stop into one of our showrooms or explore our furniture offerings here on our site and find the perfect one-of-a-kind piece for someone on your holiday list.

Where to Buy:

Any of our three Urban Hardwoods showrooms.