Store sports spunky sup­plies for lo­cal artists

The Taos News - - BUSINESS - By Kathy DeLu­cas

It was the irony of Taos that drew cus­tomer San­dra Noland into the store Moxie Mixed Me­dia.

Noland, a fiber artist and part-time res­i­dent, makes scarves, bas­kets and wall hang­ings that she also em­bel­lishes.

“That’s been one of my frus­tra­tions in Taos. It’s just bust­ing with artists and peo­ple who cre­ate,” Noland says, “But Taos, as artsy as it is, doesn’t have a whole lot of sup­plies.

“I come to the moun­tains to cre­ate and I’m very in­spired by Taos—the col­ors, the cul­ture, the peo­ple, the na­ture,” she ex­plains. “I’m just so in­spired by it, but when you run out of some­thing in the mid­dle of a pro­ject, you have lim­ited places to go.”

Moxie Mixed Me­dia opened its doors in May for crafts-re­lated artists.

Owner Katie Thomas stocks art pa­per from dif­fer­ent parts of the world, sten­cils, rub­ber stamps and shrine kits, along with many other crafts items.

“I’m a crafter and a lot of my friends are crafters, and we al­ways would have to go to Santa Fe or Al­bu­querque to get crafts sup­plies,” Thomas says.

Typ­i­cally that in­volves a day­long trip to some of the big­ger re­tail­ers to find what they needed.

Thomas strives not to com­pete with ex­ist­ing art stores in Taos, but to look for un­usual items the art com­mu­nity needs.

“We have all types of things for all types of needs that aren’t avail­able from other stores in Taos,” Thomas says. “We have a jar on the ta­ble that asks, ‘What should we be car­ry­ing?’”

When she re­ceives sug­ges­tions, she finds the items to add to her in­ven­tory. Most re­cently the sug­ges­tions in­cluded cal­lig­ra­phy pens and pa­per, and spe­cialty craft­ing wire.

Cus­tomers can pur­chase and cus­tom­ize a shrine kit or make an in­di­vid­u­al­ized sa­cred memo­rial based on ma­te­ri­als found in the store.

“We also just carry a lot of sub­strates that we find, like boards or trays or ci­gar boxes, that type of thing that can be made into shrines also,” Thomas said.

Whether it’s rib­bons or rusty pieces, the store stocks all the nec­es­sary sup­plies or artsy ar­ti­facts that can be used to make in­di­vid­ual cre­ations from stuffed snow­men to shrines.

“We carry a real hodge­podge and some of it are things I’ve been col­lect­ing for years,” she ex­plains.

The store sells unique “found” items, such as rusty rail­road nails, cans, rocks or gears.

Thomas takes ex­cur­sions with a friend who is a rock hound, and while he’s look­ing for that spe­cial rock, she says, she looks for rusty bed springs, cans, and other an­tique trea­sures.

The most un­usual item she cur­rently has in the store is a rusty mech­a­nism from an old of­fice chair.

“In­tact. It’s got rusty screws, springs, and it’s a big rusty piece that speaks to me,” she says. “It looks like a face.”

Rin­conada artist Sheena Cameron makes ce­ramic mes­sen­ger horses that have rusty nails for legs, manes made of small beads or pol­ished min­er­als and spe­cial hid­den com­part­ments that carry mean­ing­ful, sym­bolic small items. She makes cus­tom books to ac­com­pany the horses to de­scribe the sym­bols and mean­ing of each in­di­vid­ual piece. Af­ter hear­ing about the store from a fel­low artist, she made the 25-minute trek to the store, not ex­pect­ing much, she ad­mits.

“I went into the store, and not only did they have a lot of the lit­tle cu­riosi­ties that go in­side the horses, but they also had the pa­per I needed to make the books,” she says. “So far, that’s the only place that’s ap­pro­pri­ate for me other than the Tuc­son Gem and Min­eral show, so I was thrilled and sur­prised.”

Some of the items have been with store owner Thomas for years, wait­ing to be­come that spe­cial pro­ject.

“Some­times I cringe when some­body buys a one-of-akind thing that I’ve had for years that I was go­ing to make into some­thing spe­cial, but of course I haven’t,” she says. “Now it will be.”

The store at 204 C Paseo del Pue­blo Norte is closed Mon­days and Wed­nes­days and open the rest of the week from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.

File photo

Moxie Mixed Me­dia in Taos of­fers a va­ri­ety of found ob­jects, scraps and ma­te­ri­als that can be turned into art projects.

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