A Gentleman’s Guide to Craft + Design Online by VisArts Board Chair, David Shuford

November 23, 2020 Features

My name is David Shuford and I’m the board chair of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. This November, I hope you’ll make plans to check out VisArts’ Craft + Design Online (Nov. 20-29) which is the virtual version of VisArts’ annual craft show at Main Street Station.

Craft + Design has a 56-year history in Richmond, so maybe you’ve attended in person in years past. Maybe you’ve shopped for your wife, girlfriend or partner at Craft + Design. Maybe you’ve wandered through a succession of booths displaying jewelry, ceramics, scarves and home decor. Perhaps you truly appreciated the artistry that went into the creation of such works. Perhaps you were persuaded that those earrings would look stunning on your partner or that a one-of-a-kind bowl would absolutely complete your den.

Maybe, while acknowledging the creativity that went into each of these works, you still yearned to find unique crafts that a guy could actually use. That’s why I’m here. I will highlight a small sampling of what the discerning gentleman can find at Craft + Design Online to put on his wish list this holiday season.

Sean Donlon


Robert Patterson

Has 2020’s combination of COVID and campaigning inspired you to mix up a cocktail or two? If so, you might as well do it in style. Check out these wine glasses and rocks glasses made by Richmond-based artist, Sean Donlon. What better to serve your drinks on than a one-of-a-kind drinks tray crafted by Robert Patterson? If a Moscow Mule floats your boat, how about one of Benjamin Caldwell’s hand-crafted copper mugs? Finally, what better way to store your liquor and stemware than one of Jere Williams’ custom cabinets? Cheers!


Have you run out of TV shows to binge-watch while waiting for COVID to run its course? Ever tried backgammon? There’s no more stylish a platform for this classic game than one of Christina Boy’s backgammon tables. Even if you lose, you’ll look better doing so.


Brent Stubblefield

Don’t think you can face another takeout pizza? Now is the ideal time to up your game in the kitchen and I’ve got just the right utensil for you: A Benjamin Caldwell herb chopper. How could you not be a kitchen samurai with that tool?

More of an outdoorsy chef? What could be better than grilling up some Virginia oysters during these chilly months? Imagine how much better they’ll taste, however, if you shuck them with a pair of Brent Stubblefield’s exquisite oyster shuckers?



Many of us have been forced to turn that spare bedroom into a home office this year. Since we may be using these rooms as home offices for a little while longer, why not go ahead and make it really look like an office? Start by furnishing your desk with a sleek clock by Julie and Ken Girardini. While you’re at it, how about this cool desk lamp by Danielle Blade and Stephen Gartner to illuminate your workspace during the short and dreary winter days ahead?

Paul Hansbarger


Ana Barragan

COVID won’t last forever, right? Hopefully sooner rather than later, we’ll be able to travel again to see loved ones or to spend a weekend in the mountains or the beach. When that time comes, make sure you have a durable, waxed canvas and leather weekender bag (and dopp kit) by Paul Hansbarger.

How stylish will you look gazing at the sun setting over the mountain tops wearing some of Ana Barragan’s unique, tropical wood eyeglass frames?

You see, there are plenty of crafts for men to get excited about at Craft + Design and I hope my guide gave you a good place to start. Craft + Design Online is a great opportunity to shop small and support VisArts this holiday season!