Taos Artisans In Old Town


This weekend the New Mexico Artisan Market returns.

For the second year and now as an annual event, in Old Town at the Hotel Albuquerque, the New Mexico Multi-Cultural Foundation (NMMCF), a non-profit promoting the multiple cultures within the state of New Mexico, educating the public about these cultures, and Heritage Hotels & Resorts, the largest independent hotel group in New Mexico, have gathered more than 150 New Mexico-based artisans to showcase their wares at the 2019 New Mexico Artisan Market at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town Friday, this Thanksgiving weekend, through Sunday, December 1st., to provide us with an alternative to the Corporate Insanity known collectively, as Black Friday.

Ignoring the hype and staying offline and out of Big Box stores, while choosing to shop mindfully, spending less and buying locally, is better for your soul and your wallet!

Along with the best artisans from all around the Land of Enchantment, Taos will be represented by a few of our local favorites, including Jaquelene and Angelo McHorse, the couple behind Bison Star Naturals.  Native owned and family operated, the McHorse’s manufacture their great bath and body product line here in Taos.

“We wild harvest our own herbs and flowers, and created our line inspired by Taos and the greater (New Mexico), region.” Jaquelene told me. “We made all of our (soap), molds with oil clay, and one with an actual fossil.” 

Last year the couple won Best in Category for Bison Star Naturals at the inaugural Artisan Market. This year they return as seasoned pros, along with Logan Wannamaker, who also participated in the first Market.

Logan’s pottery is truly out of the ordinary. He explains his work by noting that in “our temporary existence objects that help us relish life take on the greatest importance. I want the collector of my artwork to cherish his or her piece because it helps them slow down and absorb life.”

His pots are the product of countless hours in the studio formulating specific clay, slip and glaze ratios, as well as, meticulously crafting assorted minerals into a permanent object. Everything that goes into the finished product has been compressed, glazed and manipulated for the desired effect.

Wannamaker says that his objective is for no pot to look entirely the same.

“The clays decision to take on a specific identity in the process of creation is something in which I try not to interfere.”

Peter Gilroy was born and raised in Taos.

“I was lucky to have grown up with the mountains in my backyard. I grew up creating, working summers for my uncle, master goldsmith Phil Poirier.” He says. “ In college I studied photography, and after graduation I started building custom furniture. I got sucked into the endless work, struggling to find balance between my love for climbing and the outdoors on the one hand, and my creative work on the other. In time, I found my way back to metal, and I experimented with making my own jewelry”

Peter says that he’s inspired by the experience we have while outdoors, and wants to both capture them, and then bring them forward as mementos, to be savored in all the other moments of our lives.

“Everything is made by me, in my small studio, in Taos, NM. I work with American-made machinery and tools. All materials, like stones and metal, are from the best, local if possible, eco-friendly sources.”

Jared Casias says that at the age of fifteen: “I became a street child, and hitchhiked the country crafting jewelry to survive through my teens. Every piece I created carried the story of my life.”

After a lifetime on the road, he says he came home to New Mexico, where his family has been for generations.

“I brought back with me, my leather trade, and new art medium. I now handcraft leather goods based in Taos. Every piece still carries the essence and spirit of my life, and the spirit of New Mexico.”

His bags are coveted by many and are sure to please someone special on your list!

Sarah Newberry is originally from Southwest Michigan. She arrived in Taos, in 2010 for an Artist in Residence position at Taos Clay. Almost a decade later, she is still here and enjoys being a full-time studio artist. Making functional dinnerware and participating in socially engaged projects which brings people together over a meal is Sarah’s dream gig!

Every piece is hand painted, then carved and each is a bit different. All glazes are food safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe, although Sarah recommends handwashing if possible.

Sarah does not have a website but you can contact her directly at snewberry.clay@gmail.com

Find all of these wonderful Taos Artisans at the Market in Old Town all weekend, making it perfect for a quick day trip, or just an excuse to get away from it all!

Happy stress-free Holiday shopping!

For much more information on all of the above, Heritage Hotels & Resorts and the New Mexico Artisan’s Market, please visit the sites linked below. 









All images thanks to NM Artisan Market