At The Country Shop you can find Southwestern and Mexican Arts and Crafts in a wide variety of media at fairly reasonable prices. It is one of the biggest stores in town. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday 11AM to 5PM, Sunday 1PM to 5 PM.
What to buy: Mexican pottery, dishes, glassware, mirrors, candles, linens, lamps and patio decor.
The Chili Pepper has a neat patio lined with chili peppers. Inside you can buy cappuccino and ice cream. They also have chili gifts, southwestern gourmet foods, kitchen linens, cookbooks, cards and chili jewelry. Buy the Habanero Jelly.
One of the better galleries in Tubac is the Karin Newby Gallery. She has paintings, sculptures and other forms of art from some of the leading artists in the area. The pictures show the sculpture garden. The large animal sculpture is $75,000. My favorite is the Native American Woman for $40,000 (still out of my price range). The gallery is opne from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.
This American Indian owned and operated boutique offers quality Native American art. But I remember most mysterious, carved in wood, American Indian masks. Their faces are painted in black or dark red. They have long straight hair, and broad, thick lips (like Africans), painted in bright red. The mask in picture 3, a bit dfifferent in style, was made by Iroquois Indians (northeastern USA + adjacent part of Canada). I am not sure about other masks.
Masks have been part of dance regalia and traditional ceremonies in many Native American tribes since ancient times. Pueblo people carve and paint wooden kachina masks for their traditional dances but I was told that the most impressive masks are those carved in cedar by Northwest Coast Indians. Indeed, I saw some of them in Oregon and Washington a few weeks later and some of them looked similar to these ones in my pictures taken in Tubac.
What to buy: American Indian masks if you like and either your budget is pretty good or your bank is patient enough :-). Well, some smaller pieces of beautiful Native American pottery are cheaper option.
What to pay: I don't know price but these cool American Indian masks were very expensive, over $500 per each as I remember! Small pieces of American Native pottery started from some $15-$20.
This store offered specialty apparel, jewelry, accessories (handbags, belts, hats) and other fine arts and crafts in 2003. They also featured Tubac, Arizona, national and international artists. But I liked most metal dog sculptures displayed both indoors and outdoors. I had to smile looking at advertisement which announced 20% off and cried: "Adopt an Animal. These animals need a home now."
What to buy: Adopt a metal dog sculpture that surely needs a home. It doesn't need to be fed, taken for a walk, no pooping in the yard, doesn't bark and always has a smile for you :-).
What to pay: A small metal dog sculpture (about 10'' - 25 cm tall) cost $60.8 plus sales tax. It's a reasonable price, believe me. I have seen twice larger steel dog by locally known artist (David Voisard) at a price $450 plus tax!
In 2003 Margaret Rose Jewelry Design Studio & Gallery offered custom jewelry designs and repair, loose beads (huge collection), bead stringing supplies, vintage costume and estate jewelry. I disliked most of colorful beads and some jewelry sold at Margaret Rose. Although I liked some silver-turquoise jewelry. I also found there some unique southwest art as for example pretty leather bags, belts and wallets.
What to buy: Quality leather bags - look at my pictures.
What to pay: The beads were mostly inexpensive or reasonable, the jewelry partly expensive. Pretty leather bags were expensive, but good quality must cost.
This metal guy in my picture welcomed me to enter Jane's Attic boutique which offered quality consignment items: "pre-owned" furniture, clothing, and home decor. I always like to stroll around such kind of shops.
It's open on Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm and on Sunday 11 am - 5 pm. Call for summer (July - September) hours.
What to buy: I liked some old time standing lamps, iron candlestones and porcelain dishware.
What to pay: From inexpensive to reasonable. Look around for a good deal. An old, pre-owned standing lamp, I liked, cost only $20 without tax.
Close to eastern end of main Tubac Road I turned northwards to see large longitudinal square full of pottery put on the ground. Hundreds of colorful ceramic pots displayed outdoors reminded me some towns of Morocco or Tunisia (say Guellala in Jerba island) famous for pottery. This very large shop offers Mexican pottery, dishes and glassware, iron benches, stands, tables, candles and lamps.
I personally didn't like very colorful Mexican pottery in bright colours (picture 2-3). I especially disliked ceramic colorful and large frogs :-). But I liked large, almost as tall as I, pottery in shape of round-bottom laboratory flask (see picture) but with a large hole in round, bottom part. What's that? A kind of ceramic oven/grill? Iron benches, tables, and chairs looked great as well. But this stuff is much too large to buy by any visitor, it's rather for locals from nearby Nogales or Tucson, I think.
The shop is open Wed - Sat 11 am - 5 pm and Sun 1 pm - 5 pm. But in summer it's open exclusively on Saturday.
What to buy: I liked some smaller piecies of pottery in no colour or in pastel colours, especially those of globe shape (see pictures 4-5).
What to pay: Pots of human head size in pastel or no colours, I liked, cost some $20 - $25 without tax.
I remember most the wooden two-wheel cart - with bright red chili peppers drying on the sun - put in front of the Artist's Daughter. Add two wooden barrels with baskets put on top. This old-time general store in style offers old time signs in porcelain, wood and tin, cowboy stuff, bandanas, enamel dishes, cookie cutters, denim purses and more.
What to buy: I liked some old time signs in tin and handmade porcelain signs, especially some humorous ones.
What to pay: Reasonable prices as I remember well.
In Galleria Tubac I saw for the first time Christmas decorations in the USA and I was very surprised or even amused as it was just before Easter in April :-).
The store consists of the two parts: Fine Arts Gallery featuring southwestern art and a separate year-round Christmas Gallery plus home accessories. I like the idea of year-round Christmas shops, quite popular in the USA and completely unknown in my homecountry, Poland. Looking at Christmas trees and decorations always make me feel like at family home.
Well, I have to say that in contrast to Poland there is no one style for Christmas ornaments in the USA. The variety rules as usual in the USA. Well, one of their Christmas collectibles was called "Polonaise Collection" but that French name probably derived from the name of a dance not of my country. We don't hang pink panthers on Christmas tree in Poland :-).
What to buy: Beautiful hand-blown glass ornaments in various styles.
What to pay: I was shocked that Christmas decorations were so expensive in the USA. 7 1/2 ft tall decorated Christmas tree with lights cost $575 without tax! It's at least a few times more than in Poland. Well, I can understand now why more and more visitors from Western Europe coming to Krakow, Poland before Christmas (cheap flights!) buy Christmas decorations in large quantities.
Wow! This Indian store (open 9 am - 5 pm) looks rather small from the outside but in fact it's quite large and includes a few rooms full of various Indian stuff from floor to ceiling. It offers probably the largest in Tubac selection of American Indian pottery, silver & gold jewelry, Hopi and Navajo sand paintings, pawn, Kachinas and storytellers, gifts and t-shirts.
It's a mix of cheap, low quality and kitchy, mass-production, touristy stuff and beautiful, top quality handmade artworks made by locally recognizable Indian artists and sold with a certificate of authentity.
What to buy: I liked most Hopi and Navajo etched pottery, and handmade baskets. But I bought flat, metal Kokopelli :-).
What to pay: From cheap little items to very expensive stuff. A handmade, small basket cost $180, a small set of Hopi pottery (5 pieces) I liked a lot cost $345 without tax. My Kokopelli cost 69 times less - $5.00 :-) Ceramic wall tile with 5 Kokopelli cost $14. T-shirt for an adult $12 - $15.
Two handmade, wooden statues of Indians painted in bright colours guard the entrance to Cloud Dancer Gallery & jewelry Design Studio. It is owned by an American Indian and offers Southern Arizona's Native American fine art. pottery, gold and silver jewelry, decorative items and Kachinas (dolls of Native Americans). It's open 10 am - 5 pm.
What to buy: Well, I didn't find this Indian store the best one in their offer. I didn't like Kachinas and some other kitschy for me stuff. But I liked some Indian pottery and silver jewelry.
What to pay: From cheap small Kachinas to quite expensive Indian pottery.
The very well designed exterior of beautiful adobe building (see pictures) encouraged me to enter La Pinata boutique. There is a very good choice of handmade southwestern gifts and various decorative items, Indian pottery, furniture, lamps, rugs, unique clothing and jewelry. They import Mexican folk art, tin and furniture.
I got to know that "pinata" or "picata" refers to a traditional Mexican game or fun activity. The pinata (see picture 2) is a bright container usually suspended on a rope from a ceiling or tree branch. It is filled with candy and toys and is used during celebrations. A succession of blindfolded, stick-wielding children and some fun-loving adults will try to break the pinata in order to collect the candy (traditionally fruit, such as sugarcane) inside of it. It has been used for hundreds of years to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.
What to buy: I liked some Indian handmade pottery with Indian signs copied from petroglyphs (rock carvings) as well as the iron made garden tables and chairs.
What to pay: From cheap items (a few $ per small piece of pottery) to very expensive handmade art made by recognizable artists. A set of Indian pottery I liked a lot cost over $400! Welcome to Poland. Surely diffirent in style but beautiful and similar in size set of Polish pottery handmade by locally known artist costs some $100.
Beautiful items large and small. The place is in the middle of nowhere and on our visit was almost deserted. I guess they must get busier somedays or how would they survive?
What to buy: Pots, sculptures, books, gifts, well worth browsing and if you're not worried by a luggage allowance on the way home your choices are unlimited.
What to pay: Across the board.
Across the street from the Karin Newby Gallery is the La Pinata Gallery. Their display out front grabbed my attention.