Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 13 News List

Made in Taiwan, gifted with love

Celebrate the season of giving with presents made in Taiwan by indie designers and artists

By Catherine Shu  /  STAFF REPORTER

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This holiday season, delight your loved ones and support Taiwanese designers, artists and craftspeople. Most of the following brands are independently operated and have budget-friendly prices. Chances are you’ll have some cash left over to treat yourself, too.

ONE-STOP SHOPPING

Are you facing a gift deadline? Run over to 16 Workshops (16工房), a cluster of boutiques operated by young Taiwanese designers in the back of Red House Theater. T-shirts specialists include Betelnut (檳榔), Mago Life Shop and ‘0416 T-shirt Shop. For jewelry, visit Dragonfly Yazhu Colored Glass Bead Studio (蜻蜓雅築) for items with motifs found in the art of the Paiwan tribe, Georgia Tsao for cute sterling silver pendants and Steven’s Glass Wonderland (璃想國) for handmade glass items in an eye-popping assortment of colors and funky shapes.

Address: Red House Theater (西門紅樓), 10 Chengdu Rd, Taipei City (台北市成都路10號)

Telephone: (02) 2311-9380

On the Net: www.redhouse.org.tw

The range of items available at 16 Workshops is wide, but if you still haven’t found the perfect gift, wait until the weekend for the Red House Market for Artists & Designers (西門紅樓創意市集). The fair, which takes place every week in front of Red House Theater, gives fledging brands a chance to showcase their work. Prices at the market are extremely reasonable, with many items, including handmade clothing, bags, toys and sterling silver jewelry, selling for under NT$1,000.

On the Net: redhousetaipei.blogspot.com

Red House Theater’s small gift shop in the main building also carries an assortment of stationery and gift items from Taiwanese designers. Stands-out include foldable paper models of Taiwan’s landmarks by Monkey Design (猴子設計) and miniature lampshades by Islander Studio (島民工作室), a graphic design team that creates home accessories inspired by Taiwan’s ecology. The company also has a combination studio, gallery and cafe at 95, Chaozhou Rd, Taipei City (台北市潮州街95號), tel: (02) 2396-9208.

On the Net: www.islanders-studio.com

BANGLE, BAUBLES AND BEADS

Primary Silver’s (元銀手作) handmade sterling silver jewelry ranges in style from abstract to intricately detailed, including a bracelet that wraps around the wrist like a wreath of leaves (NT$3,680). Less expensive items include little pendants representing each animal of the Chinese zodiac (NT$1,680) and earrings shaped like lily pads (NT$980 per pair).

Address: 11, Longquan St, Taipei City (台北市龍泉街11號)

Telephone: (02) 3365-2579

On the Net: tw.myblog.yahoo.com/allure-silver

Beader Venice (彼得威尼斯) is located a few blocks away on Longquan Street. Designer Louis Chiang

(江奕辰) takes the centuries old craft of Venetian glass and combines it with colors and patterns inspired by current fashion trends, as well as motifs from Chinese and Taiwanese culture. Prices range from NT$220 for a cellphone charm to long necklaces made with an array of beads for NT$3,280.

Address: 102 Longquan St, Taipei City (台北市龍泉街102號)

Telephone: (02) 2364-6563

On the Net: www.beadervenice.com

BETTER LIVING THROUGH DESIGN

The Eslite on Dunhua South Road (誠品敦南店) is currently hosting a show of items by emerging Taiwanese designers. If you attended last September’s Taiwan Designers’ Week (台灣設計師週) and regretted not snapping up something, you just might find it again at No Electricity, We Design (設計不插電), which runs until Jan. 3. Highlights include a set of stainless steel fruit picks designed to look like traditional Taiwanese weaponry by Sekond (西肯設計) for NT$900, 4plus Design’s NT$650 notebooks with crocheted covers (patterns are included for needle workers), and grenade-shaped coin banks by 21 biaugust (on sale for NT$780 from NT$1,280).

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