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Editors’ Picks: Snowflakes and Icicles

Dec 17, 2013

by Stephanie Madewell

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Longfellow called snow “the poem of the air.” Like a poem, snow shifts our perception of the world around us. A tangle of tree branches resolves into distinct, highlighted lines; mailboxes and mundane man-made things become muffled, softened mysteries, and the dark and light usual to ground and sky inverts, as the surface of the world is covered in white.

Like a poem, snow is ephemeral. Even when it seems to last forever, in most places its transformations are temporary. Perhaps that’s why so many artists and makers are drawn to snow and ice as aesthetic motif. I’m particularly intrigued by how snowflakes, such an emblem of cold and chill, came to adorn so many warm and wooly items. Perhaps the suggestion of cold enhances the coziness we feel? Maybe it is simply a response to beauty — the ordered symmetry of crystals patterns is incredibly appealing.

Here is a small selection of the many snow- and ice-themed items on Etsy. Which one appeals to you?

A snowflake made of beveled glass sparkles in the December sun.

Hand-painted snowflakes add a wintery touch to a stoneware bowl.

Cozy felt slippers sport a snowflake at the toe.

A microscopic photograph of a snowflake inspired this textural design.

A tasty snack for a snowy day.

This etching captures the stillness and beauty of a heavy snowfall.

Iridescent glass stars evoke the glitter of a sunlit, snow-covered field.

Ice becomes a coldly beautiful abstraction in this striking photograph.

A snow-topped town feels quiet and cozy.

A garland of crocheted snowflakes lets you enjoy a touch of snow, no matter the weather outside.

Hand-knit mittens will keep hands warm during those winter snowball fights.

Delightfully frosty earrings feature glimmering moonstones framed by a delicate snowflake motif.

Feathery patterns of frost are the focus in this photo.

Delicate glass beads make an embroidered snowflake sparkle.

A woolen sweater will keep him warm through winter’s worst weather.

Cards with photographs of ice crystals call to mind the work of Snowflake Bentley.

Create your own snowy scenes with a handmade clay stamp.

Hand-painted snowflakes swirl around a ceramic ring dish.

This aerial view of snowy fields looks a bit like cracked pond ice.

Porcelain snowflake ornaments are a pretty addition to the tree.

Send snowy greetings to sunny climes with Lucy Letherland’s holiday card.

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