Quit his day job to pursue a day-and-night painting career in his Cabot Plaza studio. “It’s a good time for this,” he said as we talked about Taos’ latest mushroom in creativity. Eli paints both figures and landscapes with an almost eerie, western-gothic feel. “I was listening to Blood Meridian when I prepared for the show,” he said, “maybe that’s why they turned out that way!” When I prodded Eli about the purpose, stakes, and meaning of his paintings he quoted Tom Dixon: “I just want to make a painting.” With his paintings, as with his fly-by-night sign-making gig, he just wants to make something beautiful for people to look at.
Carole Sue Ross
My vessels are hand built with a combination of coiling, pinching, and scraping. The process takes place outdoors in the sunlight, dying the clay as it is formed. After the walls are manipulated to their thinnest possible state, I burnish the vessel to a grog-free finish and at the same time, compressing the clay so that it is strong enough to withstand the firing process. Next I apply numerous layers of Terra Sigillata, a mineral stain which is a liquid mixture where clay particles are separated - the heaviest falling to the bottom, the finest being suspended. This suspended clay mixture is siphoned off and is then brushed onto the surface of the vessel. Between layers the pot is burnished again until it has a satin smoothness similar to tortoiseshell or polished wood. Sometimes the vessel's exterior is carved and scraped, giving it an even more organic quality.
At this point, the vessel is bisqued for additional hardness. Next each piece is individually fired in a pit filled with different combustible materials. Sometimes a piece goes through three or four firing until I achieve the desired color and design. The resulting smoked area and patterns are sometimes spontaneous, sometimes manipulated. Finally the piece is polished and sealed with a wax polish.
All in all, the process takes about four days to complete.
$100 Per Vessel
Encased in glass, Moriah Stanton's silverwork glistens above the warm red carpets. Stones cut in refreshingly counter-intuitive shapes show their natural beauty against black mounting. Warm yet stately, foreign yet familiar; MoMo Taos has the air of a woman who never looks out of place.
handmade chain collection
Agate drusy, quartz, rutilated quartz, silver
floating two stone ring
Colombian emerald, tourmaline, 18k gold, silver. Size 7 to 7.5
Taos ceramic artist specializing in Raku Pottery Technique using Local New Mexican Clay
Pictured are pieces from her Traditional Ceremonial “Tea” Bowl Collection
was born and raised near Albuquerque, just at the foothills of the Sandias. Her mother is a quilter/craftswoman and her father is an adobe house builder. Her parents are the reason for the name of her company, Aguja y Clavo, which stands for Needle and Nail in Spanish. Every summer, she and her parents would travel abroad and visit museums, medieval churches, ancient ruins, and craft markets which became a major influence on Caitlin’s work. The jewelry is a personal and wearable recording of their adventures while also celebrating the history and cultures from around the world. Before doing jewelry, Caitlin studied architecture and then moved to Spain. When she returned, she did construction with her father. Each chapter became a skill: the architecture brought design, living in Spain taught her communication, and the construction was easy to translate from large house-scale to small jewelry-scale. Adornment has always attracted Caitlin (her mother used to call her the Queen of Shine) so it was natural for her to begin making jewelry. Now you can find her buried in history books, drawing in her notebook, or bringing her designs to life through statement jewelry.
Labulgara Line is a blend between the untouched by fashion and trend self-expression adornments found in different cultures with a bold, urban edginess and minimal contemporary lines.
Launched in 2016 Labulgara Collection of 'Signature Needle Earrings' offers a different point of view and approach towards Avant Garde jewelry.
Enthralling elements, bold lines and the startle factor of the unseen until then Needle like rod piercing through the ear lobe and crawling up to the top of the ear are signature designs and stamped Labulgara aesthetic that agitate stale expectation of what Avant Garde jewelry pieces "should" be.
Showcasing unique, wearable ornaments of defiant sophistication, individuality and ultimate luxury without being a function of trend Labulgara inspires personal style.
Moussa Albaka is a Tuareg tribesman from Niger, in West Africa. For many generations, his family, of the Inadan class, has been involved in silversmithing, as well as camel caravan trading throughout the Sahara. He and the men in his family are highly skilled producers of Tuareg jewelry. Albaka creations include necklaces and amulets, bracelets, earrings, buckles, daggers, and locks, all handmade of 95% silver. The lost wax process is used, and the techniques of decoration are engraving, repoussé, and inlay with semi-precious stones, other metals, and ebony. Many of the designs are traditional, but Moussa has long been creating more modern pieces in his own unique style.
Tuareg jewelry is highly valued among the peoples of Africa. Europeans also have developed an appreciation for Tuareg aesthetics. Moussa has collaborated with several well-known designers and has won the UNESCO award for artistic excellence with his work. Since 2000, he has attended fairs and shows all over the U.S. and at present, makes his home in Tucson. In a book about Tuareg society by Dominique Casajus, his family, was featured in the text with photographs. At the Center for Scientific Research in Paris, he assisted a poet in translating a book of French poetry into Tamasheq (the language of the Tuareg and Berbers).
Houa Albaka, Moussa’s sister, and the other women in his family, make traditional leather camel bags (which we also carry here at MoMo), pouches, purses, belts, boxes, and pillow covers. They are decorated with designs in brightly colored leather which is etched, woven, embroidered, and fringed. Like the silver jewelry, this work is unique to the Tuareg.
Moussa Albaka has a large extended family in Niger, including fourteen children (his own and those of his late brother), for which he is financially responsible. Because Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, where there is a severe shortage of food and few ways to make a living, Moussa’s ability to sell his work—and that of his family—abroad is essential to their lives.
He has won the UNESCO award for artistic excellence with his work.
Mouses Albaka - Engraved Silver and Onyx Hoops
These hops are engraved and set with two black onyx cabochons made by Tuareg artist Moussa Albaka.
They are 2” long and 1 1/2 “ wide at their widest. Light weight and easy to wear.
Moussa Albaka - Silver Earrings
XL Engraved and stamped silver with a glorious center pyramid. Weight is light for size. 2 1/2 inch wide 4” long. Handmade and each pair is one of a kind. Moussa is a Tuareg jeweler; currently in Tuscon, AZ.
Moussa Albaka - Engraved Silver Earrings
Engraved, stamped, repousse, and hinged silver earrings. Handmade by Tuareg artist Moussa Albaka . 3 1/2 “ long and 1 1/2 “ at their widest. These are not heavy.
With a background in machining, structural welding and traditional goldsmithing, Julie Lake hand-fabricates her jewelry exclusively from a high tensile strength, small gauge stainless steel. The nature of this metal allows her to create deceptively strong, yet visually fragile and complex forms with very small diameter wires. Using an arc welding process at precise settings, she joins the metal, melting and fusing it together at the tiny joints. Although welding and stainless steel are typically considered industrial or utilitarian, she likens her process to sewing... stitching together threads of steel to create sculptural, wearable forms. As a minimalist, her focus remains strictly on the metal, responding to its physical capabilities and revealing its aesthetic attributes.
Jamie Sampere is a Taos Photographer who graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, IL with a degree in photojournalism. Jamie’s latest work is a photo journal through Happiness Pass Road in the northern most part of Vietnam, of which she traveled on motorcycle snapping photos along the way.
"I have always lived in a world of day dream, perceiving reality through a series of filters. Creating objects allows the imaginary to become tangible. I am able to show to others the language I have created, through which I engage in the world around me. In my objects, I have turned movement and fluidity into stone and stillness. Fragments come together to create something like an artifact.”
Kayla Noble received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics from the State University of New York, New Paltz in 2015. She currently lives in Taos, New Mexico
Handbuilt Earthenware Pitcher
Handbuilt Earthenware Pitcher
Handbuilt Earthenware Pitcher
Handbuilt Earthenware Pitcher
Handbuilt Earthenware Vessels
Rachel Donner was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico. She earned her BA in ceramics from the University of Northern Colorado in 2013. Since then, she has been awarded several artist residencies including at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Newcastle, Maine, and most recently at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana.
Donner has exhibited nationally at places such as Lillstreet Gallery, the Archie Bray, MoMo Taos, and dozens of other venues.
Rachel currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she is an instructor at Santa Fe Clay and a full-time studio artist.
Rachel creates functional porcelain pottery in her home studio alongside her small black cat. Her focus is on creating everyday objects with special surface design and combining exciting colors, patterns, and layers.
All of her works are food, microwave and dishwasher safe, and are one-of-a-kind pieces. One of Rachel's favorite parts of making pottery is seeing how the pieces end up living in the real world and she encourages you to share your images with her.
Born in Germany, Gerd accomplished a classical German journeymanship in sign advertising and large light display fabrication with the largest and most modern sign company in Europe at the time.
Gerd has also accomplished several other internships in the following subjects: Reproductive and photographic production for print media, Serigraphy and off set printing, and System display building. He worked during his twenties all over Europe as independent contractor for different movie production companies and industrial shows, refining his skills in set design/painting, advertising painting and the production of large mirrors, and specialized in large format screen printing.
Upon realizing in his late-twenties that he had a problem with the industry's toxicity level, on a literal physical plane, as well as on the metaphysical level, Gerd left Germany and came to New Mexico. He started to print again a couple of years later, but thinks of himself as a non-toxic primitive.
Gerd has created an extremely diverse body of work that reaches from sculpture and earth art into conceptual minimalism and figurative fine art painting.
oil on canvas. 40" x 30"
Oil on canvas. 16" x 20"
Lavanya Dawn’s fantastical contemporary paintings are the product of her lifetime evolution as an artist. As an imaginative and creative child, Lavanya began illustrating her vivid dreams with watercolors at the early age of five. The young artist moved on to pen and ink drawing as a teenager before finding her niche with acrylic and oil painting. Lavanya’s work has been evolving ever since, yet many of her earliest influences continue to shape her aesthetic.
Lavanya grew up in a creative Santa Fe household where she was fascinated by all things artistic, from the tattoos on her father’s arms to the covers of his 1970s vinyl collection. A mechanic and auto airbrush artist, Lavanya’s father had eccentric taste and filled their home with art, books and music. Psychedelic imagery from Santana’s Abraxas album cover or bizarre illustrations from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are fueled young Lavanya’s already active imagination. Her visual fantasies flowed into painted fairy-tale landscapes, which eventually evolved into dark drawings of menacing creatures. “There’s this whole fantasy world that I lived in when I was younger,” she says. "When it comes to painting, the more of a grown-up I have to be, the harder it is to get into that subliminal state of creating."
Lavanya’s work now balances the dreamy and the dramatic with surreal yet enchanting imagery. Even though her style and subject matter matured with age, her self-taught process remains intuitive. Her artistic direction is dictated by subconscious emotions that ebb and flow as she creates each piece. “I may begin from a dark and intense place within me,” she says of her process, “but by the end the color palette can become bright or white washed.” Lavanya works with multiple layers and washes in an effort to avoid definitive compositions. Her ambiguous narratives are instead based on energy, mood and engrained experience. Emerging figures are usually androgynous yet maintain a distinct feminine energy as they intertwine with natural elements such as crescent moons, blooming flora and delicate fauna. Each symbol contributes to the overall mood of the piece, resulting in mystical visions that seek viewer engagement. “I really appreciate when someone can look at my work and make it personal to them,” she says. “These paintings are a part of me, there’s no denying that, but once they leave the studio they become someone else’s experience.”
Lavanya Dawn continues to live in Santa Fe where she has been exhibiting and selling her work for over twenty years in cafes, storefronts and professional galleries. She currently works out of her home where she lives with her fifteen-year-old son, who is also a budding artist.
"The Necklace of Winter"
"To Be Silent"
"Drinking the Moon"
"What Holds Us Back"
"Hold the Dawn"
Born in New Mexico, Rick Montaño has been making jewelry since 1986. His stamps are handmade from cold steel. The patterns are unique to his late brother, Michael Montaño, who’s legacy Rick is carrying on today in their shared studio. While individually exclusive, his jewelry exemplifies traditional metal stamp work.