If you're looking for gifts by the pound, here's your best value. Cheryl Fitzgerald of north Minneapolis makes plant stands, sculptures, candle stands, wine racks, bookcases and coat racks of solid iron.
She started her venture more than seven years ago. "Someone encouraged me to learn to weld to help him with a fencing project," she said. "I had no interest. It scared me. Once I tried it and got rolling and built fence panels, I found I really enjoyed it."
She started making garden items and selling them at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market, she said. More recently, she has branched out into sculpture. Her best seller now is a combination candle stand/wine rack that holds three candles and two bottles.
Price: $35 for candle stands; $40-$50 for animal sculptures or plant holders; $135 for bookcases; $345 for a bench. She also does custom orders.
Where available: Calhoun Square, first floor kiosk, West Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue (Tu, Th 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; F 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Su 12-6 p.m.). For custom work, call 788-3098.