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The 2013 Fredericksburg holiday ornament

I’m always on the lookout for great souvenirs from all of my adventures here in the Fredericksburg region—you know, those perfect mementos that don’t just clutter up the house, but truly add beauty while reminding you of a great experience. This year, visitors to the Fredericksburg area are in for a special treat.

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Local ceramic artist Christine Lush-Rodriguez has created a one-of-a-kind keepsake ornament depicting the Fredericksburg skyline as seen from Chatham Manor, across the Rappahannock River in Stafford County.

Lush-Rodriguez calls this the iconic view of the “three steeples of Fredericksburg,” and I have to agree. Lush-Rodriguez spent hours crafting the drawing to include the spires of the historic Renwick Courthouse, St. George’s Episcopal Church and Fredericksburg Baptist Church in the 4¼-inch image. She then created a mold and painstakingly replicated that image and hand-stamped “Fredericksburg Virginia” on each ornament.

Each one of the 200 that will be created as part of this limited edition has more than an hour and 20 minutes of work in it. These unique Fredericksburg keepsakes are available for $27.50 this holiday season at both the Visitors Center and at Heather, A Boutique in downtown Fredericksburg. 

The arts community here is a big part of what drew Lush-Rodriguez and her family to make their home in Fredericksburg in the first place. In 2006, her husband’s job relocated him to Washington, D.C.

“We drew a circle around D.C. and the train lines, and Fredericksburg fell in there,” she said. “As soon as we drove down here we thought, ‘There is nowhere else.’ The historic character and the arts community—there’s nothing else like it.”

Lush-Rodriguez helped found Artful Dimensions, a gallery at 911 Charles St. that focuses on three-dimensional art, where her studio is located.