Narwhals, Gnomes, Fish, & more: Our newest designs!
At Danforth, where design and craft are core to our identity as well as our day-to-day operations, we're always working on new ways to bring the beauty of pewter into your lives.
Every piece we make requires weeks or months of work, inspiration, and collaboration before it goes to production. Lots of ideas get floated at the initial stage, and from there, only a few get the green light to move forward, chosen for their beauty, meaning, longevity, and practicality. Our hope is that these designs will bring a little extra joy into your life, whether that's by adding a gnome to your collection, surprising your wine-loving friend with a bottle stopper for their birthday, or continuing a long-standing family tradition of gifting ornaments.
With that in mind, here are our latest designs and the story behind them.
Many of our designs are inspired by the hobbies and passions of our staff and customers...such as camping! Inspired by the unique, peaceful feeling of sleeping under the stars, the new Under the Stars Ornament is a celebration of reconnecting with nature, making a lovely gift for the outdoors enthusiast, and/or anyone with fond memories of camping as a child.
We think this ornament is quite unique to Danforth, in part because of its subtle homage to other designs, such as Silent Night (our 2018 Annual), from which we borrowed the vibrant starry blue of the sky. It also makes a nice companion piece for our new Gone Fishing ornament (below), which shares a similar tree-lined background.
Like many of our ornaments, Under the Stars and Gone Fishing can both be personalized with an engraving.
Like camping, fishing is another popular pastime for many people in our community. Whether it's a current passion (i.e., you're counting the minutes till you break out the fishing rods), or a long-ago memory from your childhood, fishing holds a special meaning for many people. With this new Gone Fishing Ornament, we hope to capture that slow, meditative feeling of waiting for the next bite, enjoying the company of a child or grown-up, luxuriating in the untouched beauty of a fishing hole.
If this ornament speaks to you, scroll down to see another fish-themed new design!
Another common trope among Danforth designs is flowers. (Are you catching on yet? We may or may not be big nature nuts!) Flowers provide a unique challenge to pewter artisans, because they often have such delicate textures, whereas pewter can be more conducive to thick and heavy shapes. But, pewter is nothing if not versatile—and our team is nothing if not talented!
Pewter can be shaped to look quite delicate when using the proper carving techniques during the model-making process. Plus, epoxy on pewter has enormous potential to be eye-catchingly vibrant, so the striking shades of the daylily were a fitting challenge for us.
Originally conceived of and hand-drawn by Lois, who's been making molds in our workshop since the early 90s, our Daylily Ornament was a chance for our epoxy team to show off their talent, and we're thrilled with how it came out.
All three of these new ornaments are part of our Buy 6, Get 1 Ornament Free special, so it's easy to either start your own collection or take care of some early Christmas shopping!
New Jewelry & Accessories
We had a cold winter this year...so there were some days we couldn't stop dreaming about the beach! Ashley, our graphic designer extraordinaire and a warm weather lover herself, was especially inspired to craft some beautiful new wave-and water-inspired jewelry.
The Wavesong / Sapphire Earrings (above, left) were inspired by Japanese block printing and her college experience as a printmaking major. Like many creative projects, these evolved over time, and now they have a vibrant stained-glass feel, not unlike our Riversong and Oceansong designs (hence the name).
The Summer Wave Necklace (above, center), Ashley says, "is an homage to that vintage, iconic image of a wave. Growing up on Long Island, I saw images like this all the time, especially in those little surf shops."
The Narwhal Necklace (above, right) is an homage, naturally, to those near-mystical animals that swim in our beloved oceans. Many people find meaningful symbolism in the narwhal, aka the unicorn of the ocean. The narwhal also symbolizes hope and imagination.
Making the Hibiscus Necklace was an easy decision after receiving multiple suggestions from customers in our stores! Last year, we released the Hummingbird Mini Ornament Set, a group of four mini ornaments consisting of three different-colored hummingbirds and a classic pewter hibiscus. This set has proven to be extremely popular, and many people who saw it asked whether we sell the hibiscus ornament as a necklace. So, to everyone who asked, here it is!
The hibiscus is a popular flower for its tropical vibes as well as its decorative and medicinal uses (hibiscus tea, anyone?). We hope this necklace does justice to this gorgeous flower.
The Striped Bass Keyring emerged from a conversation about our Bird Ornaments, which often contain realistic yet stylized details specific to each bird, and require some very precise color work (such as the Tufted Titmouse and the Baltimore Oriole) in order to stay true to that bird. The same is true with many fish, and due to the long-standing popularity of our Trout Keyring, we thought a realistically colored fish design was in order.
Any angler or fishing enthusiast knows that many fish, including the striped bass (or rockfish or striper, depending on where on the East Coast you live) have a distinct and strikingly beautiful coloring. With its subtle fade from deep blue to classic pewter, we hope this Striped Bass keychain captures the unique beauty of this fish.
You may be familiar with our Landslide Lariat Necklace, a unique piece of jewelry that marries function with design: instead of latching behind the neck with a lobster clasp like most of our necklaces, it affixes by threading the pendant through a hoop in the front. This allows for a uniquely assymmetrical design while also making it easy to wear for anyone who struggles with a small clasp.
Our brand new Landslide Earrings came to be when Cathy, who's been at Danforth for more than a decade and is essential to keeping business operations flowing, took the charms from two lariat necklaces and made a pair of earrings. She got enough compliments wearing them around the office that we decided to make them an official Danforth product, and off to stores they went!
The Whale Tail Wine Bottle Stopper was another easy decision. Our Whale Tail Coffee Scoop has been a popular gift for coffee lovers for years now, as have our wine bottle stoppers (such as another 2023 new design, the Engravable Heart Bottle Stopper).
Designs like this one combine a love for the ocean with a love of fine wine, dinner parties, and good company. It makes an especially sweet gift welcoming a loved one to their new beach home, or for anyone with coastal-themed decor. See our entire selection of nautical-themed gifts here.
Ever since Gron and Lilla showed up in September 2021, Danforth gnomes have flown off the shelves! We've even gotten requests saying specifically "Please make more." Our gnomes have found all sorts of ways to make themselves at home, from joining fairy gardens and terrariums, to "working" as board game pieces, to serving as desk decor and keeping you company at work.
Our lead designer Tim answered the call for more gnomes with Bóndi, bearing a vivid red mushroom, and the "snowgnome" Snö, joining the ranks of our gnome collection.
"Bóndi" means "farmer" in some Scandinavian languages, and Danforth's Bóndi comes bearing the fruits of his gnome labor: a big red mushroom. Something tells us that he'll be the one hosting the dinner parties and cooking up some delicious food for everyone. "Snö" means "snow," and this little fella was the result of Lilla, Gron, and Aiko playing outside this winter, building snowfolks before coming in for some delicious hot cocoa by the fire.
Thank you for taking an interest in the stories behind our newest designs. As a small artisanal company, we pride ourselves on crafting special gifts that have deeply personal meaning to many people. In a world where it's so easy to buy mass-produced, imported goods, we take pride in craft, in community, and the handmade nature of each and every piece we sell. We're so grateful to be a part of your lives.
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