Art

'It's not a hobby, it's a way of life'

Artsy artifacts, crafting supplies and much more can be found at Moxie Mixed Media

By Virginia L. Clark
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 9/11/19

"Being creative is not a hobby, it's a way of life."That's Katie Thomas talking, owner-artist of Moxie and her new Moxie Mixed Media. Whether it's rust or ribbon you want for that special project, …

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Art

'It's not a hobby, it's a way of life'

Artsy artifacts, crafting supplies and much more can be found at Moxie Mixed Media

Posted

"Being creative is not a hobby, it's a way of life."

That's Katie Thomas talking, owner-artist of Moxie and her new Moxie Mixed Media. Whether it's rust or ribbon you want for that special project, Moxie Mixed Media probably has it - or something even better.

A fair trade freak dedicated to local and global creativity, Thomas opened Moxie Fair Trade & Handmade in 2009, offering finished fair trade and local products for sale. Since May 2018, she expanded to providing hard-to-find, unique crafting supplies at Moxie Mixed Media, located at 204-C Paseo del Pueblo Norte.

"I'm not trying to compete with other Taos art supply stores," she says about her one-year-old art supply store that is Moxie Mixed Media. Though inspiration is all in and around Taos and Northern New Mexico, actual crafting materials are in short supply.

"I was always going to Santa Fe or Albuquerque or ordering art supplies online," she said. "I used to buy art paper at Taos Artisans, but since they've closed, there were no stores anywhere around here to get it."

So that's just one big boon to local artisans. Thomas stocks birds nest paper to tear and use for collages, as well as art paper from different parts of the world and deco paper packs for collage, decoupage, prints or other fabrication, plus stencils and rubber stamps, inks and beads, calligraphy pens, paper and specialty crafting wire.

Thomas's passion for found-object art, collage and all forms of hand-fabrication is regaled in row upon row of baskets and shelves brimming with inspiration. Every inch of wall space is filled with any imaginable trinket or bauble a crafter could hope for - and many offerings they may never have thought to use in their work.

"I want other people to see what they can use all this for," Thomas said about the myriad found items she has collected over the years for her own artwork, either on long hikes, at secondhand stores, craft conventions or just Googling and Pinteresting online.

The Rusty Room is dedicated to rusted metal discards - reams of barbed wire, bed and truck springs, tools, ancient metal window screens, nails, tobacco tins, dust pans, shovel heads, a huge fan blade.

Especially evocative is the giant rusty oar lock your imagination tries to wrap your head around for the frame of a river raft or maybe used for a boat on Abiquiú Lake. A collection of horseshoes came from an old livery outside of Socorro -- in a little old ghost town she combed through just for fun.

"We sell a lot of Our Lady of Guadalupe cutouts for different collages, too," she says, pointing to a sample shrine. "We also just carry a lot of substrates that we find, like boards or trays or cigar boxes, that type of thing that can also be made into shrines."

Shrine kits are popular for DIYers who want a little less hands-on construction, preferring only the more decorative embellishment process. Kits include Buddha shrines, heart shrines, shadow-box kits and Day of the Dead motifs in numerous iterations. Her own Buddha shrine creation consists of earthen and turquoise stones, tin, metal flowers and glass, and numerous other items that struck her fancy at the time.

"Buttons. Good buttons are hard to find," she said, pointing with obvious pride to the Button Room on the side, bursting with baskets and boxes of buttons - ceramic, metal and more.

If you've a mind for clay construction, the Clay Room will hold you captive most of a morning. There's Polymer clay that you bake and paper clay that gets air-dried, with sculpting, molding and cutting ideas to thrill clay people's heads and hands for hours.

If you're into quilting or other fiber art, be sure to check out her stacks of fabric from her quilting days. "I have a lot of quilt tops from back then. I stopped doing it because it took so long to do."

Thomas now concentrates on her handcrafted and found-object pieces, that and shopping and stocking the multimedia shop, which fairly shimmers with stimulation - a Taos treasure for both artisan and visitor.

The store is closed Mondays and Wednesdays and open the rest of the week from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (575) 751-7456.

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