A Mixed-Media Anniversary Gift List

mixed media metal

A bouquet of metal found objects would be a perfect 15th anniversary gift for an artist.
Art by Tricia Courtney, from the Nov/Dec
2008 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

cate pratoA few weeks ago my husband and I paused in the middle of knocking out a wall in our kitchen to discuss our wedding anniversary (which is today). As we pondered how to celebrate, Nick asked, "Is there a 'traditional gift' for 22 years?"

"I don't know, but I hope it's cork," I replied, wishing to justify the expenditure for our new kitchen floor.

Turns out the answer is copper (that's fine; we need a new tube for the ice maker line to the fridge), but it got me thinking: what if there were a list of art supplies assigned as traditional gifts for anniversaries? What artist wouldn't like a handy litany of hints like that to guide friends and family members in their gift giving?

As it happens, the traditional list for anniversaries works pretty well for mixed-media artists, with a little tweaking.

First anniversary: Paper. What artist doesn't need more of this? From paper crafts and freezer paper for stencils, to computer or photo paper to make transfers, to watercolor and imported art papers, this is a gift that is always welcome.

Fifth anniversary: Wood. Some great possibilities here, like wood panels for painting, collage and encaustic; wood-burning tools (you're going to use them for cutting Lutradur® and such, too); and stretcher bars for making canvases.

Tenth anniversary: Tin. To get the most mileage out of this category, "tin" should be interpreted as a metal and as a container. In this way, we can welcome metal found objects in addition to tins of colored pencils, paints, wax paint tins, and cute but empty containers to hold supplies in your studio.

collage magnets
Jodi Ohl used thin pieces of wood as a base for these collaged sweetheart magnets in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors.

Fifteenth anniversary: Crystal. Mmm, where to begin? Diamond GlazeTM, vintage chandelier crystals, Swarovski crystals, crystal clear acrylic, crystal beads and buttons? Those are just a few ideas for your assemblage, mixed-media jewelry, or fiber art pursuits.

Twentieth anniversary: China.  I'm going to put a bigger twist on this anniversary category. When I think china I think breakage, and when I think breakage, I think adhesive. So for the 20th year, I think the "artist" gifts should be adhesives, including two-part epoxy, fabric glue, E-6000®, and good old PVA or white glue. Don't you think that's the perfect gift for a couple who has stuck together for two decades?

Twenty-fifth anniversary: Silver. It's time for some bling, so bring on the metal and jewelry supplies, German glass glitter, some silver plate utensils you can use in assemblages, or even a set of silver brush watercolor brushes.

And what about the years in between? I think a perfect gift would be back issues of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, so you could be inspired to use all those "traditional" anniversary gifts!

Do you like my artist anniversary gift list? What ideas do you have? Please share them in the comments section below.

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