Valentine's Day gift to help you find true love - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local artists create unique Valentine's gifts

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Valentine's Day is this Friday and if you still haven't found a gift for your Valentine we found a good spot to get some unusual, homegrown gifts. The Toledo Museum of Art may not be the first place you think of for Valentine's Day gifts but it should be on your list. It's packed with all kinds of unique creations ranging from just a few dollars all the way into the thousands and the best part is that many of them were made by local artists.

The Toledo Museum of Art is full of treasures and some of them are for sale here in The Museum Store. Heather Blankenship is the manager, "It's a beautiful store. We have so much local talent. New work comes in everyday, it keeps the job exciting." With Valentine's Day right around the corner there are plenty of options, "Even if you are not interested in art we have beautiful items when you want to express yourself differently to someone you love. We have everything from $10 blown glass flowers all the way up to a $10,000 piece that was part of a major exhibition."

One of the most unique Valentine's Day gifts at the store is what's called a Watch Heart. It is a decorative glass heart that got its start right here in Northwest Ohio. Legend has it the Watch Heart can help keep away unwanted advances and bad relationships, "It is thought to bring truth and loyalty to the home and if you are looking for love it will ward off bad suitors. It is a long time Toledo area tradition and the pieces are hand blown by artist Meredith Wenzel." If you don't need a Watch Heart, Retail Manager Courtney Macklin says there are other hand blown glass creations, "We also have beautiful hot air balloons by another local artist. He makes traditional balloons but he also makes balloons with hearts on them. Each one is hand made so no two are ever alike." Blankenship says there are glass heart pendants with a connection to NASA, "The artists make the glass and then set it in sterling. It is dichroic glass and no other glass reflects more . It was developed by NASA for use in their visors. It has a magical beauty to it because it tends to reflect the colors you are wearing."

The Museum Store has been voted one of the best places in Toledo to shop by readers of The City Paper.

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