Sometimes you just connect with a piece of art immediately! Such was the case for me with this wonderful sculpture by Vala Ola at Sage Creek Gallery. It is called FLYING.
But a little background...Ola was classically trained in Europe and is from Iceland. She sculpts at her studio in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I love that her bronzes of children are so lifelike--she captures them in such realistic poses, like that shown in the picture. Her pieces are noted for "their depth of expression and emotion".
This bronze sculpture was very expensive and I lost my heart to it! It was a pleasure to be introduced to her work. Maybe someday we'll own one of her pieces...
Besides Sage Creek Gallery, Vala Ola's works appear in galleries in Scottsdale, Palm Desert and Santa Barbara. She also does portraits in oil that are exquisite!
Sage Creek Gallery is located off the town's main plaza by a couple of blocks. Ask for Sande who will give you more information on this gallery.
As we walked Canyon Road, certain galleries attracted our attention. Glory Hole Glassworks had glassblower, Al Leedom, demonstrating his craft outside of the store (picture 2). Glassblowing is presented every Saturday and Sunday here.
I was particularly drawn to the myriad colors of these perfume bottles and to the lovely hues in these four glassart creations (picture 3).
Glory Hole Glassworks showcases local artists and the Glass Alliance of New Mexico. I would love to return sometime to select a beautiful sample from these collections!
What to pay: Gallery prices
Canyon Road galleries hold many unusual and exquisite art pieces. On our most recent trip to Santa Fe in October, '07 we discovered this gorgeous flute glass creation at Eclectic Image Gallery.
This crimson and gold flute was crafted by Micheal Nourot, of Nourot Glass Studio, California. He 'hand forms each piece of glass at the bench in the old world tradition'. Nourot's wife, Ann Corcoran, and his son, Nicholas, are artists at the studio, as well.
Collectors can also find Fine Art in the form of photographic images hand tinted or printed on canvas at Eclectic Image Gallery. Other locations are Sedona, Arizona and Maui, Hawaii.
What to pay: Collector prices
I'm in a quandry trying to describe Jackalope. Just imagine a big bazaar with merchandise from Mexico, India and China....add a touch of the tacky with some true bargains and that just about describes this store.
I'd been pricing mercury candleholders from the Pottery Barn for a couple of months. I found similar ones here for half the price (see Picture #2)!
There were windchimes, glassware with matching pitchers, dream catchers, souvenir magnets, basketry, sunglasses, ceramics, clothing, wood jewelry boxes and catchalls, bright floral patterned plates and bowls, huge pottery planters and more,more,more!
It's a colorfully decorated store with brightly colored products--it's a FIESTA for the eyes. Stop here for cute, moderately priced souvenirs and everyday inexpensive items.
Please see picture #3 for the exterior of Jackalope, which I'm afraid is a very poor picture, but it gives a sense of the place.
What to buy: Shop for bargains
What to pay: Things looked pretty inexpensive for the most part
We visited Yippee Yi Yo at least three times while in Santa Fe. It was just a super place to find all things with a Texas/Southwest style.
The store was located along the central plaza, which made it convenient since our hotel was just a block or so away. It also was stocked with wonderful things! If you look very closely, you'll see a pair of black and torquoise ceramic cowboy boot salt and pepper shakers. We purchased these for our daughter, who really likes kitzch.
Aside from that, Yippee Yi Yo carried many books related to the West and Southwest; Native American blankets and pillows; stuffed animals and toys; puzzles; cool cowboy boot keychains; leather belts and purses; t-shirts; jewelry; pictures and so much other merchandise. I only wish I could remember all that they carried!
You won't be sorry you stopped here--but you might be if you don't. Try Yippee Yi Yo for a unique and special gift...it was also a great place to pick up something for our daughter and grandkids.
What to buy: Western/Southwestern inspired items
What to pay: Moderate to pricey
Galeria Ortega is located next door to Ortega's Weaving Shop and is a good source for souvenirs and items with a Southwest theme.
You'll find Southwest inspired potholders, oven mitts and drink coasters; souvenir magnets; dream catchers in all sizes and colors; kachina dolls, books on the southwest, nambe' serving pieces, decorative glassware, plates, pottery and many other things.
We walked out with oven mitts and ceramic coasters decorated all over with bright red chili peppers. What can I say--I've been smitten by the Southwest!
What to buy: Southwest inspired creations
What to pay: reasonable
As we explored Canyon Road, this gallery's sculpture garden drifted past the window. "STOP!" I called out. Our friend (and driver) applied the brakes and I dashed out of the back seat and into the walkway of Waxlander Galleries.
These kinetic wind sculptures caught my eye and I just had to see them up close! The sculptures were in three different sizes and in a multitude of colors. The wind gently coaxed some to move in soft undulating movements, while others spun around uniformly.
Eventually, my husband joined me because I couldn't draw myself away. We inquired as to the prices and were told it would take only three weeks to create one of the smaller wind sculptures.
Waxlander Gallery had contemporary oil paintings and pastels (I saw a striking piece in this medium, too!) Ask for Nancy, she was soooo informative!
What to buy: Kinetic Wind Sculptures, a Painting or a Nice Pastel
What to pay: These are an investment--don't ask me the price!
Shidoni Foundry is five miles north of Santa Fe and a feast for the eyes! As we pulled into the driveway, large contemporary sculptures could be seen scattered over the landscape. A shop architecturally designed to blend into its surroundings, sat at the end of the parking lot.
As you near the shop, an endearing statue of a child with raised arms crafted in bronze stands near the door. (picture #5)
Inside, a large, striped cat selectively curled up beside two pricey metal pieces, luxuriates in the sun (picture #2). Bronze nudes, whimsical metal sculptures and Southwest style carvings were displayed throughout the room.
A small room in the rear held numerous art pieces, among which was a bronze crucifix created for and used by the former Pope. The artist had won a fellowship to the Vatican and this piece was used in a mass.
A second building on the grounds displayed carved, curvacious wood furniture (picture #3), bright paintings, intricate metal pieces, unique jewelry and large mobiles. I selected a pair of pale green earrings made from beach glass, that I thought were so pretty (picture #4)!
As we passed by a number of galleries due to time constraints, the Carole Laroche Gallery caught our eye because of the outdoor metal sculptures. However, as we followed a small path to the side of the building, we discovered some distinctive rock fountains happily bubbling away.
My husband, Jim, has been looking at fountains since Spring, but none we've seen seem like they would blend with our back patio. I think these natural looking rock fountains would fit-in almost anywhere.
These sculptured fountains are made of genuine rock plucked from the hills of New Mexico. Local artisans help him pull the stones from the landscape without using heavy equipment. They're drilled to add a water pump, then polished according to the natural edges and lines in the stone.
The gallery also features paintings by Carole LaRoche. Her work features mostly animals in 'glorious color and composition' and can be found in collections in America, Europe and in Asia.
What to pay: Gallery prices
Nambe' is difficult to classify because their literature decribes their handcrafts as being NEITHER silver, lead or pewter based. But these pieces certainly look like they would contain all of the above!
But first things first, these products were named for the small village where they were first handcrafted in 1951. They are created from a form of metal casting, which can be dated back 3500 years to the Egyptian culture.
According to the shopkeeper, Nambe' items can be used directly from the freezer to the oven, then taken to the table. They will not scorch or add any taste to your foods. After use, the pieces will develop a patina and "won't tarnish, rust,chip or peel";
I found these pieces to be beautiful and was hoping to select a salad spoon and fork, but I didn't find anything I thought would coordinate with my everyday stainless. There were also delicately etched glasses and vases that would make great gifts or add a sparkle to your special table settings.
This particular shop discounted and was located outside of town (see address & picture#2), but there is a large shop on the main plaza in Santa Fe, which also sells silver and torquoise jewelry as well as Nambe' kitchen/home accessories-- but these items are offered at full price.
What to buy: Shiny, silver-like utensils and vessels for the home
What to pay: Less expensive at the shop outside of Santa Fe
Typically the prices on the sidewalks are much less than the shops and boutiques, but even still if you see something you like for more than you think it should be, don't forget to negotiate. It is almost expected, and as long as you don't try to rob them or cheat them, usually it is accepted.
What to buy: Native American jewelry and pottery. I really like the horsehair pottery.
Also everything chile pepper. My whole kitchen is done in chile pepper motif, much of which came from Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
What to pay: Prices vary tremendously. I believe you will get better prices at the sidewalk vendors than the shops and boutiques, and you can haggle with the vendors.
The Farmer's Market happens on Sat. and Tues. mornings during the summer (the location has shifted over the years, but it's generally in the Railyard area), and on Sat. mornings during the winter at El Museo Cultural, in an old warehouse off Paseo de Peralta just west of the railroad tracks. It's big, and a wide variety of items are for sale: vegetables and fruit (of course), bread, pies, locally grown lamb and beef, cheese, nuts, garlic, seasoning mixtures, homemade sausage, house plants, lavender, birdhouses, and lots of different condiments. In the winter there aren't many vegetables (except for greenhouse lettuce and tomatoes, and a fellow who grows exotic mushrooms), but the preserves and baked goods are still terrific.
What to buy: Chile wreaths and ristras are pretty -- but for ease of use, I prefer to buy my red chile already ground. In the fall, someone is always roasting green chiles at the market (they freeze well, too -- but don't remove the skins, or you'll have a mushy mess when you thaw them!).
An enormous variety of preserves, jellies, and other condiments are available, and, especially in winter, they make great gifts for the folks back home. (But be sure to taste anything chile-flavored before you buy -- Grandma might not appreciate a jar of chutney that scorches her mouth!) Look for chokecherry jam and syrup -- unusual and delicious -- and apricot preserves if we've had a good season (which happens every 2-4 years).
Sweetwoods Dairy usually is there selling their wonderful goat cheese. It's available at local grocery stores, too, but they often have more flavors at the market, and the price is better.
If you come hungry, look for the breakfast burritos, but non-chile-lovers will find lots of scones and sweet rolls too.
What to pay: Prices are higher than (say) Albertson's, but for organic products they're comparable to the local natural foods markets, and (especially if you're there just before they close) you can sometimes swing a deal with a farmer who has a zucchini or apple glut.
This is the best place in town (or at least the Plaza area) to buy postcards, spices, T-shirts, or other souvenirs. As an added plus, there's a food counter in the back!
What to buy: Get the Fritos pie for $3.95!! Most postcards were 5 for $1.00.
This is the place to buy casual to dressy belts, buckles & boots. Belt choices are alligator, calfskin, lizard, crocodile and ostrich; some are appliqued & some are hand-tooled. Buckles are of silver and gold, or you can choose one of their in-laid styles.
What to buy: This place was referred to me by a guy at Sun Country Traders as having one of the largest selections of belts and buckles in town.
What to pay: My basic black 1" latigo belt cost $45.00 Inlaid buckles & tips range from $525 to $1000. The most inexpensive silver and gold buckle & tip was about $450.
Located in the Sanbusco Market Center, Chapare is chock full of hats, gloves, scarves, sweaters, throws, bags and other items imported from South America. Many are fashioned of baby alpaca fur, which is incredibly soft.
What to buy: Skip the nearby Peruvian Connection in lieu of this place -- the prices are much better here! The hats and gloves are a good deal.
What to pay: Gloves were from $12.99 to $19.00 The hat I chose was $27.00. Teddy bears are even available from $25 to $35.