Oh, You Shouldn't Have...But I'm Glad You Did

Jun 22, 2018 • Alex Matisse

Oh, You Shouldn't Have...But I'm Glad You Did

Oh, You Shouldn't Have...But I'm Glad You Did

There’s a pesky, deep human urge to celebrate and honor each other through gift giving.  

I'm a strong proponent of gift-giving year-round - surprising the people close to me with small tokens of my admiration is one of my favorite ways to express love.  So why does holiday shopping stress me out so much?  More importantly, why does it stress everyone out so much?  Is this just the most natural response to the surreal and often nightmarish charade of hyperconsumerism that the holidays have become?  And if so, why do we continue?  There are countless explanations, but I’m pretty sure that underneath all those icicle lights and tinsel (both of which I actually love, thank you very much), there’s a pesky, deep human urge to celebrate and honor each other through gift giving.  

Researchers in all fields have been studying gift-giving for decades to learn more about the ancient practice’s history as well as its vast social, economic, and cultural implications.  Recent psychology studies have found that the act of gift giving may actually benefit the gift giver more than its recipient, and I’m fully embracing this idea with my approach to holiday shopping this year.

I feel most excited to give someone a gift when it was made by me, someone I’ve met, or a person with a story I admire.  Handmade objects are imbued with the stories and intentions of their makers; I think we sense these stories when we use these objects.  There just is something intrinsically special about them, and intrinsically special things make good gifts.

We’ve dreamed up four holiday gift box concepts that combine some of our favorite East Fork forms with lots of other objects by designers, craftspeople or artists we love from all over.  Inspired by the many kinds of people we think would love using East Fork pots, these boxes were curated with the same thought and intention we use to shop for our own loved ones (who, if they’re lucky, might be getting one of these…):


A carefully curated box inspired by pretty little natural wonders, keeping in mind your budding florist of a best friend, your sibling who’d rather sit inside and watch the snow melt than schlep a sled to the hill down the street, your Ikebana-crazed aunt, your cousin who miraculously made it home for the holidays in between WWOOF trips, your sweetheart whose soul is slowly being crushed by the walls of their cubicle, or your dearest late-twenties plant hoarder (we all know one).

Each box contains:

  • One silk scarf from In and Of, hand-painted with a secret morse code message from Henri Matisse that reads: “There are always flowers for those who want to see them."

  • A sprig of sea lavender encapsulated and preserved in resin by hand in a Sola cube by Usagi no Nedoko

  • A package of wildflower seeds native to the Southeast

  • A Small Egg Vase from East Fork in Thistle


There are many types of people; one of those types is breakfast people, another type is shoving-a-banana-in-my-bag-as-I-stumble-out-the-door people.  This box is for the former.  Soft-boiled (or “dippy”) eggs have yet to catch on in the states like avocado toast has, but we love them so much, we designed special cups to cradle them perfectly.  The perfect gift for epicurean newlyweds living for the weekend, your Anglophile niece who can’t seem to go a day without wistfully referencing her semester abroad in London,  or your pals with backyard chickens growing tired of sunny-side ups every morning.

Each box contains:

  • Two limited edition East Fork Egg Cups in Mars.

  • Two amber glass spoons from London-based designer Max Frommeld made from borosilicate glass (the same stuff as Pyrex and sturdier than regular glass)

  • An extra small East Fork Potter’s Bowl in Mars.

  • A tin of flake sea salt from Spicewalla Brand, Chai Pani Restaurant Group’s new small-batch spice company based in Asheville.


The coziest box we could make without sending you a crackling Yule log.  An obvious gift for tea drinkers of all sorts, but also a fun, vibes-heavy way to get a good looking handmade mug in the hands of someone who needs one (so like...most people).  For your Uncle who’d rather read a book in his study while everyone opens presents, your cousin whose apartment could use a dash of warmth, your existentially troubled nephew who’s one semester too deep into his comparative lit degree, or your jaded in-laws counting down the days until they can move to Asheville.

Each box contains:

  • An East Fork signature mug in In the Pines

  • A box of Piñon Pine incense bricks from E.d’E.

  • A 4 oz. tin of Hu Kwa Lapsang souchong, a smoky yet mellow black tea

  • A tea brewing basket

  • An extra small East Fork Potter’s Bowl in In the Pines


Names for this box during our earlier brainstorming phases ranged from “Tot With Taste” to “Bougie Baby Starter Kit” - we think the slightly less self-deprecating “Petite Gourmand” better captures who we have in mind for this gift.  This box is perfect for your household’s aspiring sous-chef, your friends’ toddler who always insists they’d rather eat with the grown ups, your nephew who’s maxed out the imagination-capacity of his miniature kitchen playset, or your pancake-monster niece with craft-inclined (or plastic-phobic) parents.  Start them young!

Each box contains:

  • An East Fork Toddler Cup in the glaze color of your choice

  • The shallow Breakfast Bowl, East Fork’s gateway dish

  • A brass spork from Lue Brass

  • Pancakes!: An Interactive Recipe Book by Lotta Nieminen

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To prepare for our seconds sale coming up this Saturday at our new production space on Short McDowell, I chatted with Amanda, East Fork potter and Production Manager, about quality control.