When it comes to holiday shopping, there are the door-buster deal seekers who lie in wait for Black Friday. There are stealth hunters who troll online. And then there are those who insist on gifts that are unique, hand-made, high-quality or one-of-a-kind.
For those with custom taste but a working person's wallet, there are discounts to be had as studios and warehouses open their doors for special sales.
Heath Ceramics, Nov. 16-25: Heath is one of the few mid-20th century California potteries still in continuous operation. Founded by Edith Heath in 1948, Heath is still turning out classic tableware and tiles with 50 skilled craftspeople.
During their annual sale, visitors to the historic Heath studio in Sausalito can pick up first-quality items for 20 percent off. On Nov. 17 and 18, there will also be factory tours focusing on Heath's famous glazing process.
On Nov. 24, there will be a selection of one-of-a-kind and early production pieces for sale. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 400 Gate Five Road, Sausalito. (415) 332 3732 x13, heathceramics.com.
Bel Marin Keys Warehouse & Studio Sale, Nov. 15-17: This is a bonanza for bargain gift shoppers because a whole bunch of warehouses within the same neighborhood participate.
This year, 11 warehouses are offering discounts ranging from 20 to 70 percent. Among them: Bella Notte Luxury Bed Linens, Natural Perfection Skincare Products, the Via Graceffo Collection of Italian Glass (featured at the Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art), Kuhn Rikon Swiss cookware and gadgets, as well as warehouse deals for paper products, jewelry and accessories, home decor, T-shirts, sweatshirts and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bel Marin Keys/Ignacio exit off Highway 101 in Novato and follow the balloons. Bellmarinkeysale.com, (415) 883-5815 or email@example.com.
Bacchus Glass Open Studio and Holiday Sale, Dec. 1, 8, 15: Glass artist Frank Cavaz creates singular lighting fixtures and other art glass using traditional hand-blown techniques.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first three Saturdays in December, he opens his Sonoma studio for discounts of 25 to 40 percent on lighting. Want to make your own blown-glass Christmas ornament? He'll show you how and help you do it, during any of a series of classes held at half-hour intervals on the same days between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cost is $40.
To reserve a time, call 939-9416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 21787 8th St. E. Unit 6, Sonoma.
Indigenous Designs, Dec. 6-8: Each year this Santa Rosa company, which designs and then commissions artisan cooperatives in South America to create certified Fair Trade natural fiber clothing, opens its warehouse for a sale featuring discounts up to 70 percent.
Each garment is hand-made of alpaca, organic cotton, silk and merino wool. The sale features mostly first quality samples, and off-season items at or below wholesale prices. Company spokesman Joshua Laytart promises "thousands of units in multiple sizes and styles."
Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 & 7, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 8. 2250 Apollo Way, Suite 400. 571-7811, indigenous.com.
P&G Art, Dec. 8-9: Artisans Peter Lu, Gerrie Walker and Theresa Joyce have created a vibrant little art community in their tiny studio shop P & G Art, where they specialize in pottery, as well as hats and pillows made out of "geecloth" — cloth fashioned by piecing and stitching bits of fabric and ribbon and trim.