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Ruth Azawa – Artist, Sculptor, & Inspiration

Ruth Azawa posing next to her creations

Ruth Azawa, an American artist, died on August 6, 2013. She was a woman who devoted her life to art and became very well known for her sculptures in wire and her public commissions, especially her fountains which are found all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  There is one in Santa Rosa in our town center depicting scenes from Santa Rosa, the surrounding wine country, and our local history.

Ruth Azawa’s Artistic Legacy – Left Behind for the World

Ms. Azawa was, unknowingly, an inspiring force in the development of our products for Calliope Designs.

She had completed her famous fountain sculpture of the streets of San Francisco which is located near Union Square at the side of the Hyatt Hotel.  It’s quite large, and shows all kinds of fun scenes – the Hills of San Francisco, the famous Winding Way of Lombard Street, the Palace Hotel, Legion of Honor, riding the cable car, and the Cliff House at the Beach are just a few of the many to find.  Tourists from all over the world come to see and photograph the fountain and enjoy its whimsicality.

I believe the fountain is made of cast metal which had been poured into a mold of the scenes just mentioned.  Then the pieces were put together to form the fountain. But the interesting thing to us was that the mold itself and everything and everyone on it was originally made of  “baker’s clay” or “bread dough”.  And following the installation of the fountain, a popular Home and Garden magazine, Sunset Magazine, did an article on Ruth making the fountain and using “baker’s clay” and then she gave her recipe for the clay/dough and showed how she made some of the figurines.

It was this article that inspired our friends, John, and Kathleen Holmes, to have a fun party at their home to make our own “sculptures”  – and since it was close to Christmas, we later thought of this as a way to make Christmas gifts!  The night we had the sculpture party was quite fun – half of the people there were artists, but even the less artistically gifted guests, such as myself, were able to form figures and create some pretty fun little items.

That year we made so many of these little figurines and gave them away at Christmas time. With the positive response, we received from family and friends we were encouraged the following year to join the Great Dickens Faire of San Francisco to sell the wares from a tiny cart. The Dickens Fair is still going on, 44 years later, and we’ve been to every single one. As well as having a business that sold to gift shops and department stores all over the world!

Still Remembered in Santa Rosa

Twenty years later the City of Santa Rosa commissioned Ruth Azawa to create a fountain for our downtown city center plaza.  She accepted saying she would like to have the children of Santa Rosa participate in making the baker’s clay figurines to be used in the fountain’s design.  For several months it was our delight to give boxes and boxes of our colored dough to the local schools that had been selected to participate.  We worked with the teachers giving tips and techniques so that the kids could have some practice in using the materials.  When Ms. Azawa came to Santa Rosa she had many willing and excited school children to help with her project.

The fountain is an integral part of our City and it’s lovely center plaza, and we are proud to have been an influence on her project.

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New DIY Ornament Styles

Calliope Designs Introduces New Personalized Ornament Styles for Christmas 2007

Calliope Designs is proud to announce the addition of dozens of new styles of personalized ornaments to their website, at https://www.calliopedesigns.com, for Christmas 2007

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Santa Rosa, California (PRWEB) October 30, 2007

Santa Rosa, California based personalized ornament maker, Calliope Designs, is excited to announce the addition of several new styles for their Christmas 2007 holiday season. Styles including patriotic angel ornaments, new styles of sporting theme ornaments and a new customizable “Family Tree” ornament are all available now on the web at https://www.CalliopeDesigns.com.

“We are so excited to launch these new designs,” said Stephanie Eddy, Co-Owner and President of Calliope Designs. “The new customizable family tree ornament is so cute and it means a lot to us because it’s truly a family design. My son, Will, came up with the concept and my husband, Dorr Eddy, our lead designer implemented the concept and now it’s up on the site and we think it’s going to be very popular this year!”

The ornament, which is in the shape of a Christmas Tree, can be entirely customized to your family. If you have two dogs, two cats, and two children, you can represent each one to make this personalized ornament truly unique. They are also designed to be a holiday gift, sure to please any friend, family member or host or hostess with space for a personalized holiday message as well.

“As our business has evolved and grown over the past 30 years, it’s become very clear that the personal nature of our ornaments is what makes them so special,” explained Eddy. “People want the opportunity to have their Christmas tree represent their family and their traditions and memories. So we have worked hard to create a great selection of personalized holiday ornaments that represent every family out there, no matter its shape or size. This new ornament is another great step in that direction!”

Calliope Designs has added over 90 new and updated designs to their website for this holiday season. Consumers will find options for everyone on their Christmas list from ornaments for sports enthusiasts, travelers, pet lovers, newly engaged couples, expectant and new parents and many more – including Spanish language ornaments. Every ornament is personal, beautifully designed and offered at a great value.

“We have great hopes for the Christmas 2007 season,” said Eddy. “The economy is tough, and a personalized Christmas ornament is really a great gift that is from the heart and that won’t kill the budget. We’re excited to see how our customers respond to the new designs and we look forward to providing another wonderful year of Christmas memories!”

ABOUT CALLIOPE DESIGNS

When Dorr and Stephanie Eddy began making bread dough ornaments in their kitchen in 1972 they had no idea how popular their handmade Christmas tree decorations would become. Today, after more than 35 years of distributing their Christmas tree ornaments through fine retailers and major department stores nationwide, their whimsical little clay dough ornaments are treasured by children and grownups all over the world.

Each Calliope dough and the claydough ornament is an original creation designed by Dorr Eddy. The unique character of each personalized Christmas ornament adds to the style of a completely handmade product. The bright colors and high gloss coating add to the ornament’s attractiveness and durability. The special techniques and the tools we have created greatly enhance our consistent quality.

Every design can be personalized to order creating a unique and treasured gift.

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Creating Custom Design for Gift, Ad Specialty or Premium Product

Present

Premium, Advertising Specialty, and Custom Personalized Ornaments by Calliope Designs

Over the last 40 years Calliope Designs has had the opportunity to create custom designed Christmas tree ornaments as products to be used for gifts for businesses, colleges and universities, non profit organizations and special events.

Of course, one way of customizing an ornament is through the written inscription you order to be placed upon any of the designs you see currently shown on our website.
This works well for smaller orders because then it usually doesn’t make sense to go to the expense of creating a unique design. Also, using our currently available in stock products eliminates the need to plan ahead – you can choose a style and create a personalized ornament.

What are the requirements to have your own custom designed product created?

The minimum quantity required to have your own custom ornament created is 432 pieces.
The cost of each piece would depend upon it’s size and complexity, however in general the custom designed products are sold at our Wholesale prices.

How does the custom design process work?

We have our own in-house designer to create your product, but we would expect to have creative input from you, the customer. We would want to know about the organization we’re creating an ornament for, how it will be used (for sale or for a gift), and if there were any important design elements such as color, shape or subject matter. We would want to see any company logos or artwork that might be helpful to our creative process, and discuss with you, prior to beginning artwork what you had in mind.

Once a concept is decided upon, our designer will create a drawing of a custom Christmas tree ornament which is submitted for your approval prior to placing an or for a sample.

What is the cost of the design process?

The cost of having artwork and sample created is $125.00 paid in advance of the process.
If the product is accepted and ordered for production and delivery, the $125.00 is deducted from the final cost of the delivered product.

What’s next?

After approval of the finished sample, production is ordered and your custom designed ornaments are made, shipped to our warehouse for a thorough quality check, then sent on to you to be used as you wish.  Hand inscribed name or greeting is included in the price of the product.

How long does this process take?

The absolute minimum time this process takes is 5 months. That means if you want to have a custom Christmas ornament gift ready at the beginning of December you must be ready to begin prior to July 1st.

Here are some of the examples of custom designed Christmas ornaments we have created over the years.


Gingerbread Man in Sleigh:Created for The Greenbrier Inn in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for their 2006 Greenbrier Gingerbread Ball. Calliope Designs has created a special ornament for this event for over 15 years.

Clown in Airplane: Created for Southwest Airlines as Christmas tree decorations and gifts for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Texas. This has been an ongoing program by SWA for many many years.

Country Club and Snowman: Created for The Glenmoor Country Club, Canton, Ohio
as part of a Holiday event in 2006.


Santa BBQ’ing the Turkey: Created for Lake Martin Living Magazine in Alexander City, Alabama. This 2006 ornament was the seventeenth in an annual series the magazine presents to the community of Lake Martin. They are treasured collectibles in that area!

Sparky on a Gift: Created for Arizona State University President’s Club. This ornament is also part of a series of annual ornaments that have been collected for years.

If you would be interested in having a special ornament designed for your company or organization, please contact Stephanie Eddy at 1-707 527 7178 Monday-Friday PST

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Coming up with New Products each Spring

Skydiver: Female Personalized Christmas Ornament

Every Spring we have an opportunity to take a look at our fabulous selection of Christmas designs and do our inventory and talk about what our customers loved this last year! Then we plan a nice selection of new ornaments that will really compliment our current ones and have something fresh and new for everyone who has bought year after year.

New Products Arrival

Believe me, after 37 years in the Christmas ornament business it is a challenge each year to think of original ideas! And all of our ideas are ORIGINAL – and designed by Dorr Eddy, one of our owners and a talented product designer who does all the product development for Calliope Designs as well as working for other companies designing products in ceramics, glass, wood, and plastic.

When you see 37 years in business, you must realize, Dorr is an old school designer doing every single product by hand drawing and hand coloring each item. No computer generated designs here!

We start with a list of ideas based on ideas we’ve had all during the year. He works on tissues and drawing paper and may end up drawing and coloring the design several times before it’s in rough draft form. After the draft is completed we evaluate it for the subject, color, size, and theme. We check to make sure there are great places to personalize – room for everyone’s names and the year and a phrase. We make sure the colors are good on a Christmas tree! We discuss each drawing and how it can be made even cuter, then Dorr does a final rendering. After this is complete we apply any extra touches to the finished art – glitter, silver or gold paint, lettering.

When the artwork is complete it’s time to have the samples made up to make sure the ornament is perfect! Here are some images of new ideas we have for 2008:

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New Family Tree Ornament

Fireplace for family of two with two pets

Here’s a drawing of one of our new designs for 2008. It’s a Family Tree because you can personalize each little character on the tree with a family member’s name. You can see our last minute change – a bigger star on the top. We think the year, 2008 will look cute up there and our customers can put a family name or a phrase on the white base. We’re thinking of doing some similar products using a dog and a cat. We’ll see how the sample comes out. This will be a nice addition to our other Family ornaments.

New Ornament for the Family Tree

If you like this design, be sure to check out our new DIY personalized Christmas ornaments!  Not only can you put all the names you would ever want on an ornament, you can actually have them made absolutely to order, right here in Santa Rosa, CA.

Over the last 4 years we’ve developed an entire line of base products – The Christmas Tree, a House, a Fireplace mantle with stockings (1-5), and soon we’ll be adding a Christmas wreath.  These items are blank!  You get to design exactly what you would like on the background.  We have several dozen ” characters” to decorate your products – one special one for each person in your family, and a special one for your pet or pets.  Dogs and cats that is!  The cats come in standard cat colors – orange (our personal favorite!), black, white, and grey.  The dogs are more varied – and of course we can’t make every single breed out there, but we have quite a few generic styles, and some breed specific ones too.  We ask you to pick the one you think is most like your pet, or your friend’s pet.

We also have items for a wedding ornament which includes men and women with either brown or blue eyes, light and darker skin.  And we’ll be adding the characters seen in the drawing above.

Where else can you find something so absolutely adorable and so personal of a gift as something you have designed yourself.  And for under $20.  Let us know what you think.

And of course, if you have any wonderful ideas for an ornament design, be sure to let us know.  We love that creativity from our customers.

 

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Just Mauied!

Just Married fish under the sea personalized christmas Ornaments

Just Mauied Personalized Ornaments

Won’t this be a darling gift personalized for a couple who just got married in Hawaii! Maui that is. When it’s an ornament we’ll put names on their tummies and Just Mauied with the date inside the little heart. We make other ornaments for weddings, and we make ornaments for souvenirs of tropical vacations so this new design will be great for either occasion.

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Ornament Maker Calliope Designs Thrilled with New “Partner”

skiing family of five personalized christmas ornament

Personalized Christmas ornament maker Calliope Designs has broadened their appeal to families of all shapes and sizes. This year Calliope is offering gay and lesbian families across the US charming personalized family Christmas ornaments.

Santa Rosa, California (PRWEB) December 19, 2007 — Personalized Christmas ornament manufacturer Calliope Designs is always looking to broaden their appeal to families of all shapes and sizes, and this year is no different. Targeting the gay and lesbian families across the US in their marketing strategy has made this holiday season that much more successful.

Christmas is all about family, and we really believe that every family, no matter the shape or size should be able to celebrate with their own personalized holiday ornament. We obviously sell a very traditional product, but our personalized ornaments are truly for everyone and we are so excited to be offering partner holiday ornaments to the gay and lesbian families in the US.

We really have tried to think of every gifting option in the holiday season, from hostess gifts to ornaments you can give your whole family every year as a tradition, and we felt that partner ornaments and family ornaments for the gay and lesbian community were an important addition to our line.

Every person, family and child deserves to celebrate their holiday in a personal way, and that’s why we love our ornaments – they prompt the creation of traditions. We have ornaments with partners, partners with one child and two children and more. This means you can find the ornament that represents your family in that moment every year.

“Christmas is all about family, and we really believe that every family, no matter the shape or size should be able to celebrate with their own personalized holiday ornament,” said Stephanie Eddy, owner and president of Calliope Designs. “We obviously sell a very traditional product, but our personalized ornaments are truly for everyone and we are so excited to be offering partner holiday ornaments to the gay and lesbian families in the US.”

Calliope Designs specializes in creating claydough ornaments that can be personalized for any occasion. With categories of ornaments including everything from the traditional Baby’s First Christmas to Pet Ornaments and Sports Ornaments any customer can find the personalized ornament that will be the perfect, thoughtful gift.

“We really have tried to think of every gifting option in the holiday season, from hostess gifts to ornaments you can give your whole family every year as a tradition, and we felt that partner ornaments and family ornaments for the gay and lesbian community were an important addition to our line,” said Eddy.

The gay and lesbian market demographic is growing quickly in cities and suburban communities alike. Additionally, according to GL Census, 17% of lesbian couples hope to have children and 6% of gay couples also hope to add children to their families. Many of these families want to celebrate the traditions of their own childhood and gay and lesbian holiday ornaments can make the holiday feel that much more inclusive.

“Every person, family and child deserves to celebrate their holiday in a personal way, and that’s why we love our ornaments – they prompt the creation of traditions. We have ornaments with partners, partners with one child and two children and more. This means you can find the ornament that represents your family in that moment every year,” adds Eddy.

About Calliope Designs
When Dorr and Stephanie Eddy began making bread dough ornaments in their kitchen in 1972 they had no idea how popular their handmade Christmas tree decorations would become. Today, after more than 35 years of distributing their Christmas tree ornaments through fine retailers and major department stores nationwide, their whimsical little clay dough ornaments are treasured by children and grownups all over the world.

Each Calliope dough and claydough ornament is an original creation designed by Dorr Eddy. The unique character of each personalized Christmas ornament adds to the style of a completely handmade product. The bright colors and high gloss coating add to the ornament’s attractiveness and durability. The special techniques and the tools we have created greatly enhance our consistent quality.

Every design can be personalized to order creating a unique and treasured gift.

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NEW: Whimsical Snowball Scene Christmas Ornaments

Snowball Family with Tree personalized christmas Ornaments

Calliope Designs is thrilled to be offering a new line of personalized Snowball Scene Christmas ornaments exclusively on their website, https://www.calliopedesigns.com. Designed by Calliope’s lead designer, Dorr Eddy, the originator of personalized ornaments since 1972, these clay dough three-dimensional globes offer a new handmade ornament for Christmas 2007. Priced between $19.99 and $25.99, these Christmas ornaments are highly collectible and a wonderful original holiday keepsake or gift.

Santa Rosa, CA (PRWEB) August 27, 2007 — Calliope Designs is thrilled to be offering a new line of personalized Snowball Scene Christmas ornaments exclusively on their website, https://www.calliopedesigns.com .

Designed by Calliope’s lead designer, Dorr Eddy, the originator of personalized ornaments since 1972, these clay dough three-dimensional globes offer a new handmade ornament for Christmas 2007. Priced between $19.99 and $25.99, these Christmas ornaments are highly collectible and a wonderful original holiday keepsake or gift.

We wanted to offer a truly original concept in claydough. Each style is expressly created to become a personalized ornament, and each ornament will be dated with the year to increase its collectivity.
Snow Globe Ornament
Calliope Designs has been a designer, manufacturer and importer of personalized holiday ornaments seen at Gump’s, San Francisco to Fortunoff of Westbury in New York, as well as at many gift shops and department stores, kiosks, and websites across the United States. With original designs ranging from traditional Santa Claus motifs to Penguins, Snowmen, and Teddy Bears, these new Snowball Scene Christmas Ornaments mark an exciting new addition to their product line and the website.

“Within each Snowball Scene ornament is a special Christmas story. We offer everything from the Night Before Christmas Snowball Scene to the Holy Family Nativity Snowball Scene. You’ll find Snowball Scene globes that commemorate the family our Christmas tree shopping in a festive winter sleigh, a rocking horse personalized ornament marking Baby’s First Christmas, and even a Christmas Snowball Scene wedding ornament with a bride and groom for Our First Christmas,” said Owner and President, Stephanie Eddy.

“We wanted to offer a truly original concept in claydough. Each style is expressly created to become a personalized ornament, and each ornament will be dated with the year to increase its collectivity,” she added.

These unique Snowball Scene Christmas ornaments can also be used in various holiday displays in the home. They are designed to hang on a tree or sit on a mantle or holiday table because they have a slightly flattened base. These ornaments can be used as pieces in a lovely holiday centerpiece, as party favors sitting at each guest’s table setting, or as a hostess or housewarming gift.

“We’re also excited about these Snowball Scene ornaments because our wedding theme ornaments are often used as holiday wedding favors, as gifts to the bridal party, or as part of a wedding or shower centerpiece! Our goals at Calliope Designs are always to provide a wide selection of holiday ornaments to our customers and these exclusive, fabulous, and versatile Snowball Scene Christmas ornaments will be another wonderful addition to our site and catalog.”

Calliope Designs has also added over 75 other new clay dough Christmas ornaments to be personalized for Christmas 2007. As well as new Penguin and Snowman groupings, there are all kinds of new themes including Irish ornaments featuring shamrocks and Celtic crosses, fresh New York ornaments, new Las Vegas ornaments and New Orleans ornaments!

About Calliope Designs
When Dorr and Stephanie Eddy began making bread dough ornaments in their kitchen in 1972 they had no idea how popular their handmade Christmas tree decorations would become. Today, after more than 35 years of distributing their Christmas tree ornaments through fine retailers and major department stores nationwide, their whimsical little clay dough ornaments are treasured by children and grownups all over the world.

Each Calliope dough and claydough ornament is an original creation designed by Dorr Eddy. The unique character of each personalized Christmas ornament adds to the style of a completely handmade product. The bright colors and high gloss coating add to the ornament’s attractiveness and durability. The special techniques and the tools we have created greatly enhance our consistent quality.

Every design can be personalized to order creating a unique and treasured gift.