Welcome to Day 2 of the Twelve Tacoma Artist Gifts of Christmas! Here’s the background: Inspired by both the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song and fellow features writer Sue Kidd, who’s offering you her own “Twelve Tacoma Foodie Gifts of Christmas” on her TNT Diner blog, I’ve come up with 12 alternative gifts for Christmas: no partridges in pear trees, but something a lot more uniquely local. (For previous ‘gifts,’ see the older posts.)
So here’s Day 2 –
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two baby heads, and a deck of Tacoma playing cards.
Baby heads? Yes – glass ones, of course. Tacoma’s famous for glassblowing, but you don’t want to buy the usual old Chihuly knock-off. No, you want to get your true love something that shouts “Gritty Tacoma!” with all the attitude it can, and that’s just what Oliver Doriss’ extremely wacky blown glass baby head tankards do. Originally inspired by an artist house he lived in where someone one day brought in a dumpster’s-worth of broken baby dolls, Doriss has been making these heads for nearly 15 years now, and they still sell like hotcakes.
Is it the delightful ickiness of drinking beer (or anything else) out of a baby’s head? Is it the disturbingly vacant expression in its eyes? Or is it the zombie factor of a lobotomized infant? Whatever it is, you know you want one. Or two.
$35 from Doriss’ Fulcrum Gallery (noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma; 253-250-0520, fulcrumtacoma.com) or online at babyheadglasses.com; $45 from the Museum of Glass shop (1801 Dock St., Tacoma; 866-4-MUSEUM, museumofglass.org)
Disclaimer: Yes, I am fully aware that the traditional twelve days of Christmas refers, in fact, to the 12-day period from December 25 to January 6, or Epiphany, when the Wise Men arrived to present the original Christmas gifts to the infant Jesus. But hey, if I published this list beginning on Christmas Day that wouldn’t exactly give you a lot of shopping time now, would it?