Chimayo Trading del Norte in the historic Ranchos de Taos Plaza, is a treasure trove of museum quality pottery from the Northen Pueblos – rare pottery, old enough not to be signed, baskets, weavings, silver, coral and turquoise jewelery, beadwork, wood carvings and fine art gathered from every corner of the South Western United States.
High quality, modern versions of these traditional crafts are sold here as well.
There is so much to look at, from the Taos Pueblo drums to twisted wood Santos, that one could very easily miss the tiny glass case resting on a corner of the counter beside the display of vintage Squash Blossom necklaces, where proprietor and master jeweler, Gabriel Abrums displays his exquisite jewelery.
Among the antique and vintage collections, these weighty silver and gold cuffs, inlaid with polished turquoise, Australian opal and lapis lazuli are simply stunning in their stark, modern simplicity. (Gabriel is wearing two of his cuffs in the top photograph.)
Gabriel’s father was the founder of the Chimayo Trading and Mercantile in the village of Chimayo, while his grandmother owned the Brandywine Gallery in Albuquerque, so it is no surprise that Gabriel found himself following in their footsteps, collecting and dealing in the beautiful arts and crafts of the region.
A large stash of turquoise collected by his father and grandfather during the 1960’s has provided him with extremely hard to come by gems from long closed mines used in his jewellery along with newer stones he purchases.
Gabriel makes most of his gold pieces to order but he has a good selection of silver pieces on display at all times.
His studio is in the back of the Gallery and when it’s slow, especially during winter, he can be found back there, working on one of his many commissions. He’ll be more than happy to engage you in the process if you ask. His love and knowledge of the gems he works with is inspiring.
For more information on Gabriel Abrums and Chimayo Trading del Norte, please visit their website linked below.
Photographs by Bill Curry