'I had this small lump of clay at home and had a last-minute thought – 'what if I made everyone a tiny object instead of a Christmas card?''
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 23, 2022. It has since been updated.
It's not difficult to find a last-minute present for someone today as we live in a world overrun with a plethora of options. But would that mass-produced present genuinely reflect your feelings for them? Is it something that will be valuable and enjoyable, and demonstrate how well you know and care about them? Most likely not. Everyone enjoys personalized gifts but only a few have mastered the art of gift-giving. One of the rare individuals who understand how to give the most unexpected and original gifts is a graphic designer based in the United Kingdom. Veronika, who goes by the handle @RonMcQuade on Twitter, took to the platform to share a photo of a little corgi resting on her finger. "This year instead of Christmas cards, I made everyone in my office a tiny ceramic object, this corgi was for the corgi enthusiast," she wrote. Veronika's tweet has gained more than 190k likes.
this year instead of Christmas cards I made everyone in my office a tiny ceramic object, this corgi was for the corgi ethusiast pic.twitter.com/4HyZfha67k— Ron (@RonMcQuade) December 20, 2022
Veronika posted more photos of other clay figurines she'd made of cats, a hen, an owl, and other adorable things. Twitter users instantly fell in love with them, with one commenting: "I'm obsessed with these!! Signing up for the email asap, if you do one for a little black cat with yellow eyes I’ll be the first purchase. My gorgeous girl passed away suddenly about 3 weeks ago and it would be the perfect memorial item." Another playfully said: "I work in your office and you totally forgot about me, yup, 100% verifiably true and certainly not a pathetic attempt to get a tiny bear in the mail that I will love for all time."
These didn't turn out as well as the others but sharing is caring so please enjoy some wonky mates.— Ron (@RonMcQuade) December 21, 2022
And another cheeky link drop because I have some exciting wholesome plans: https://t.co/53EigQDac2 pic.twitter.com/7EBx56mlpv
The graphic designer said it was "very heart-warming" to see the response from people online. She has used her passion for ceramics to create special Christmas gifts for coworkers. Veronika McQuade, 31, of central London, told the PA Media that her inspiration for creating miniature sculptures that represent her coworkers, friends, and family came from attending pottery lessons and a "really small lump" of clay she had at hand.
"I've been taking [ceramics] classes for a little over a year once a week and it has been great fun," she said. "I really wanted to make something like tiny ceramics and I had this small lump of clay at home and had a last-minute thought – 'what if I made everyone a tiny object instead of a Christmas card?'"
I did the same thing for my coworkers but with little black cats. I had one left over after I put them in the stockings in the hallway. pic.twitter.com/8mEcMjE43K— 🤖🍔O-Snap🍔🤖 (@fruitsnackers) December 21, 2022
She attributes Eleonor Bostrom and Joey Rutherford as the inspiration behind the concept as they "also make adorable clay objects." A corgi, banana, kitten, and her version of the infamous Sports Direct mug are among the things Veronika has made. The last was given to her brother Samuel. "Before I started making miniatures, I kind of got known in my pottery class for making huge mugs with really big handles, so big that you can fit your hand through," she said. "It's practically the size of the whole mug as well and I remember making one mug so big that people in my pottery class were like, that's not even a mug, that's a flowerpot with a handle,' which I called 'sports indirect' because it's off-brand."
didn't expect this to blow up, so here's another clay mate for you, pumpkin the chonky cat! pic.twitter.com/dnJ1C5llPQ— Ron (@RonMcQuade) December 21, 2022
One colleague asked whether he could eat one of the porcelain masterpieces, she said. Veronika revealed that she managed to complete the majority of her ceramic creations over the course of a few days with Netflix playing in the background. She said her coworkers were "really happy" when she gave them the gifts on December 19, 2022, as part of a Secret Santa. "Actually, a couple of colleagues did not realize that I’d made them – it wasn't until the next day when I shared a screenshot of a tweet I wrote about the objects in the group chat that they told me – 'you made that, aren't we lucky,'" she shared.