Gift Guide: Where to find local, creative art gifts

Gift Guide: Where to find local, creative art gifts
Graphic by Sasha Kochurova

Art gifts are always timeless choices to give to your loved ones during the holiday season.
There’s always the question, however, of where to start. What kind of art should you opt for? What gallery should you visit to find that perfect gift? As detailed in this gift guide, there’s often a third option: getting a custom art gift that suits your needs.

The artists below, all of whom are local, offer commissioned artwork in different
forms, including print, pottery, stationery and jewelry – and many can be found just around the block from your home.

Kara Gorski, Saylor Design Co.

One of Alexandria artist Kara Gorski’s prints (Courtesy Photo)

Alexandria-based artist Kara Gorski’s work is the perfect gift for the stationery or calligraphy nerd in your life. Gorski’s shop, Saylor Design Co., creates and sells personalized stationery sets and prints that are attuned to your friend, family member or even your own tastes.

Gorski says her shop is perfect for “any truth telling woman who has a big
heart and an even bigger to do list.” For the tell-it-likeit-is woman in your life, Saylor Design Co. sells t-shirts with frank, funny and inspirational sayings, and gorgeous
prints and stationery to boot.

Does commissioned work? Yes (Move fast for holiday orders – they must be received by Friday)
Contact the artist: Follow her work on or
Buy her work on or on Etsy at SaylorDesignCo

Dejan Jovanovic, Dejan Studio Jewelry

Artist Dejan Jovanovic creates works of art through custom jewelry. Jovanovic trained as a

A sapphire ring from Dejan Studio Jewelry (Courtesy Photo)

sculptor in Serbia and has lived in the D.C. area since 2002, where he started Dejan Studio Jewelry. Since, he has made a name for himself, particularly for his engagement rings and wedding collection.

Jovanovic offers the opportunity to create your own piece of jewelry from scratch. He specializes in making jewelry with exquisitely selected and uniquely cut gemstones, including diamonds, pearls, opals and other stones upon request. All pieces are made from 18k, 22k and pure 24k gold, platinum, sterling silver, bronze and stainless steel.

A selection of pre-made Jovanovic jewelry is also available for sale at his Torpedo Factory studio, including rings, bracelets, brooches, pendants, necklaces and cuff links.

Does commissioned work? Yes (Commissioned pieces take anywhere from one to six weeks to complete; pricing varies depending on jewelry materials)
Contact the artist: Contact Jovanovic at 703-535-3035 or by email at dejanjewelry@; Visit Jovanovic’s studio at the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St. #15

Stephen Lally

Stephen Lally, a Del Ray-based artist, hopes you don’t plan to display his pottery on a

An artisan bowl from Stephen Lally (Courtesy Photo)

shelf. Lally focuses on creating functional pieces, borrowing from traditional English and Japanese pottery. His wood-fired works seek to create a connection from artist to purchaser, whether that work is a mug ($25), a ramen bowl ($35), a teapot ($80 to $90) or a jar ($40).

Lally works to document the process of creating his pottery in the finished product through his glazes. He uses muted tones of glazes that complement the marks that ‘firing’ clay pottery in a wood-burning oven naturally creates and leaves some portions of the pottery unglazed. The end result is a piece of pottery that looks and feels unique. For pottery fans or those on your Christmas list looking for a dish, a vase or a mug that you can’t get anywhere else, Lally offers a solution.

Does commissioned work? Yes (on case-by-case basis)
Contact the artist: Contact Stephen Lally at (703)-819-9990 or slallypottery@gmail.
com; View his work at the Torpedo Factory Art Center at the Scope Gallery, 105 N.
Union St. #19; Exhibits at Del Ray Artisans Gallery this Friday through Sunday, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave.

Tracie Griffith Tso

Tracie Griffith Tso has been studying the art of Chinese painting since her childhood. The

Handpainted stoneware marmalade, tortoiseshell and siamese cat ornaments by Tracie Griffith Tso of North Reston, Virginia (Courtesy Photo)

Torpedo Factory artist, who is originally from California and now lives in North Reston, honed her style while working with a master of the art in Hong Kong. Now, Griffith Tso creates her distinctive art in print, on dishware and pottery and, when the season arrives, on ornaments. Griffith Tso isn’t limited to physical works of art – she also has created and art directed infographics for news outlets and corporate clients alike.

Her ornaments feature a variety of styles and subjects. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the animal lover in your life, Griffith Tso has ornaments that feature a number of cuteas-can-be animals, such as cats, rabbits, porcupines, deer and birds. Explore her work in person by visiting Studio 22 at the Torpedo Factory.

Does commissioned work? Yes
Contact the artist: Contact Tracie Griffith Tso at 408705-2652 or at; See her work in person at the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St. #22 (Contact ahead for hours)

Jennifer Brewer Stone

Jennifer Brewer Stone, who has worked out of a studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town since 2013, creates hyper-realistic nature portraits in a fun, tropical palette of colors.

“Ode to Winter” by Jennifer Brewer Stone (Courtesy Photo)

Since graduating from University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and English Literature in 2003, Brewer Stone has been active in D.C.’s art scene and has been painting full-time since 2008. An example of her artistic style, which counts flowers, fauna, amphibians, butterflies and sea creatures as frequent guests, can be viewed for oneself with her “Dance of Life” series.

Brewer Stone’s seasonal works of art, such as “Ode to Winter” (original painting on sale for $900; poster available for $25) still focus on Brewer Stone’s frequent subject – nature – but are featured amidst a landscape composed of the rich crimson, gold and blue hues of
winter. If you’re looking for custom work, Brewer Stone also paints on commission.
If a smaller gift is more your style, Brewer Stone sells tote bags, phone cases and greeting cards featuring her original work.

Does commissioned work? Yes
Contact the artist: Contact Jennifer Brewer Stone at 502-265-6772 or visit her studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St. #227 (Contact ahead for hours)
Work can be purchased online at