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Textile artist Natasha Nargis has always loved clothing and fashion. From New York City to San Francisco and on to Santa Fe, she has immersed herself in the swirling, soft world of silk, cotton, linen, cashmere and alpaca. Natasha explores color using her own dye baths, experimenting by wrapping and tying yarn or painting parts of the warp while it’s on the loom. “Every fiber absorbs color differently, creating endless possibilities.” says Nargis, a master weaver who continues to bring diverse elements to her unique works of wearable art. She wraps, twists and sews fabric using the Japanese Shibori technique, adding new dimensions to her already complex creations.
Natasha opened a long-overdue gallery in Santa Fe in 2017 where she displayed her own, her son’s and other artists’ work. “After three years on Guadalupe Street, I decided to work from home – as I had in the past.” Natasha Santa Fe closed at the end of January. The timing was fortuitous, but her decision had nothing to do with coronavirus. Natasha just enjoys working from home where she finds herself constantly inspired. “I don’t miss the day-to-day routine of having a shop, but I do miss the fashion shows, Friday night openings, and all the talented designers and artists I represented.”
With the gallery’s closing, Faircloth/Adams at the Inn of Loretto, home to Natasha’s renowned handwoven designs for 27 years, was thrilled to make space for her work once again. Artemesia in Taos also displays a wide array of her work along with those of her talented son, Karim Jaekel. Learning her craft when pregnant, means weaving has been part of Karim is since before he was born. When Natasha has more orders than she can handle, Karim is there to help. For many years now, he has designed and woven his own creations. Visit her website to see more from Natasha Nargis or contact her directly for custom orders.
Route 66, world renowned for neon lights, diners, and motels of a bygone era, bisects New Mexico’s largest city. It’s there, among the trinkets and kitsch, you’ll find one of Albuquerque’s best lighting design and showrooms. Southwest Ceramic Lighting is the family owned and operated business of Mike and Lydia Baker.
The husband-and-wife team grew up and attended school in New Mexico. Lydia started making custom ceramic lights in 1996, Mike joined her two years later, and they started the business in 1999, supplying 30 different lighting showrooms in five states. It’s been a family affair since then, with all of their six children working in the “shop” at one time or another – which is why they stopped complaining about being bored during summertime school breaks. Employing many people from all walks of life has enlarged and enriched the Baker family over the years. Customers also play a role, one of them even coined their tagline “The Lights You’ve Been Lookin’ For”
With a combined total of 75+ years designing and building customs lights, Mike and Lydia have created over 100 new designs including their signature Southwest, Rustic, Beach, Contemporary, and Garden. They introduce and highlight their Made in the USA custom lights by exhibiting in state fairs, trade shows, and other venues from California to Minnesota. People are ever impressed by the unique lighting being created in New Mexico.
Twenty years later, they still love what they do and strongly believe in everything they create. The Bakers are blessed with a large extended family. Design and color customization keep the work interesting. The website is unique and offers all styles of ceramic lighting. They invite everyone to start with a digital visit and look forward to welcoming visitors at the shop located at 4513 Central Avenue, NE on historic Route 66.
Pamela Armbrecht’s family has deep roots in the Midwest but having moved to New Mexico when she was two and never living anywhere else, she considers herself native to the Land of Enchantment. Needlework runs in Pam’s blood: both her great-grandmothers were quilters. Though she never knew her quilting ancestors, Pam inherited a number of their quilts and continues to draw inspiration from them. She is also inspired by the work of her mother and grandmother who were highly proficient in other forms of needlework. It was a family friend who taught Pam to sew when she was 12 and she made clothing throughout her teenage years. Then friends started getting married, babies were born, and she wanted to honor these special occasions with handmade gifts. Pam tried her hand at quilting and was immediately hooked!
Following a successful career in Human Resources management, Pam started her home-based business, making and selling quilts, primarily to support her fabric-buying addiction. What quilter doesn’t love color and fabric? Pam continues to adapt her craft as she has throughout her life. In addition to lap and bed quilts, she has created a wide range of home, car, and personal accessories including wall art, table toppers, potholders, cell phone purses, coasters, eyeglass cases, tea and coffee cozies, trivets, and wallets. You can see why her business is named Pam’s Quilts & More! Pam still loves a challenge and making special things for people. She creates custom pieces for customers, from the simple addition of an extra pocket to a cell phone purse to a project as complex as designing a bed overing that fits one’s unique style and size preferences.
In pre-pandemic times Pam, her quilts, and more could be found nearly every Saturday morning between May and November at the Los Ranchos Art Market. Until that venue and other craft shows open again, she’ll be home sewing up a storm, preparing for next season. In the meantime, shoppers can find her creations on Etsy.