Store sports spunky supplies for local artists
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.
Moxie Mixed Media in Taos offers a variety of found objects, scraps and materials that can be turned into art projects.