For Those Who Deliver Christmas
Around 200 years ago a businessman travelled to Beijing, where he became addicted to snuff. His business failed and he fell on hard times, forcing him to take refuge in a temple. With no money to buy more snuff he desperately scratched every last bit from the bottle, leaving etchings inside the glass. A Buddhist monk later came across the bottle and, seeing beauty in this discarded object, decided to paint the etchings from the inside – unknowingly starting a Chinese art form that would be passed down through generations. Or so the legend goes. Why am I telling you all of this? Because of Tom Martin.
Like the Buddhist monk, Tom saw the painted snuff bottles and was inspired to do something beautiful. He takes this ancient Chinese art form and translates it into a modern decorative item that is much more familiar to the Western world – the Christmas bauble.
Every year Tom creates a gorgeous limited edition design, which is then painstakingly hand painted into the inside of the glass by Chinese artisans. The result is a stunningly intricate bauble that is unique to that particular year, with its very own story to tell.
Tom says, “The 2017 design is called ‘for those who deliver Christmas’, featuring reindeers on the beach in Leigh. It’s the first one I’ve done that isn’t a typical Christmas scene but this year I wanted to do something more local. More me.”
“In stories the reindeers pull the sleigh that delivers Christmas, but in real life it’s your family members. They’re the workers; the mums, the dads, the brothers and the sisters, who cook the dinner and buy the presents etc. So they’re symbolised by the reindeers in this design.”
Each bauble comes in its own gift box with a purple ribbon, ready to delight whoever is so lucky to receive it.
Tom Martin London