Ditch the overpriced flowers and mass-market jewelry and shop indie instead. Artists need your support now more than ever. We encourage you to learn more about how all of us, from the small-batch makers featured here to the major museums near you, are affected by threats to arts funding.
If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day present, think outside of the heart-shaped box. Support the arts by gifting wearable art that wows.
Emily Davidson Nemoy is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tenn. When she’s not at her computer or on her yoga mat, she can be found at live music venues happily spending her excess cash on concert tickets.
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1. Secret Valentine
Tina Tarnoff's Lover's Eye series features vintage jewelry pieces merged with one-of-a-kind acrylic paintings. Lover's Eye love tokens stem from an 18th-century trend where the giver's eye was replicated as an indistinguishable miniature work of art and gifted to a secret loved one. This romantic gift pays homage to the past and creates an air of mystery.
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2. Forbidden Fruit
Knitting, pastries, a lover's embrace—name your companion's interest, and Isabell Kiefhaber has a ring for it. Her incredibly unique, ridiculously cute resin rings are guaranteed to make your sweetheart swoon.
Geschmeide Unter Teck
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3. Abstract Adornments
Mary Mooney's pendant necklaces feature artwork derived from studies conceived for large-scale paintings. Her current collection features soft shades of blush, coral and aqua, paired with gold. The palette is an exploration of femininity and how the female gender has been defined throughout history.
Mary Mooney Art
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4. Darlin' Companion
The love story between June Carter and Johnny Cash transcends both time and music genres. Celebrate their enviable relationship, and the sweet music they made, with an enamel-pin pairing from Sawtooth Print Shop. It comes gift-ready, backed on a letterpress-printed postcard.
Sawtooth Print Shop
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5. Even on Mars
The hand-embroidered wares from An Astrid Endeavor include necklaces, pins, brooches, earrings and more. The heart brooch is a perfect find for a Bowie fanatic or anyone interested in gifting cliché-free, heart-shaped goods.
An Astrid Endeavor
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6. Pleasing Parchment
Paper Leaf Jewels fashions its wearable art pieces from paper because of its pliability and symbolic nature as an everyday catch-all. Featuring gilding, semi-precious stones and hand-painted designs, these adornments fuse fashion and art, amping up your gifting prowess.
Paper Leaf Jewels
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7. Magnificent Miniatures
Celebrate your true love with extraordinary, handcrafted earrings accented with dangling citrine briolettes. Christina Goodman's jewelry is both opulent and dainty, featuring intricate, gilded miniature paintings.
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8. Pretty in Porcelain
Fiona McDonald makes each piece of her unique jewelry collection from Southern Ice porcelain. After forming the pieces, she bisque fires them and then polishes, illustrates and glazes them. Her interestingly hued, graphic bracelets can be mixed and matched, making them a woo-worthy pick for Valentine's Day.
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9. Flirtatious Form
The Neptune Necklace from Made by Newcleus
is 3D-printed from PLA plastic and then hand-finished. Defined by a curvilinear silhouette, the bold design is unique in its sparseness and feel. Show your affection with a modern gift that won't wilt.
Made by Newcleus
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10. Be Mine Baubles
The Tres Muchachas Necklace is more colorful than roses. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your lover's lips, the statement piece combines craft and kitsch.
Jennifer Perkins Art