The Compass Earrings by local jewelery makers Casa Brujaja
Have you seen the hammered silver jewelry that the minds behind local jewelry house Casa Brujaja have been creating the last several years? Lichen, dry leaves, snake skin and other natural elements are amplified and showcased in carefully constructed glass and silver. These pieces are uniquely of the desert and as the creators describe them, “look delicate, but feel durable.” The compass earrings offer a classic inverted triangle shape that complements any look—and you can choose antler lichen, white feather or snakebelly as the core element of your unique piece. These charms, because they are made by hand, from delicate, temporal scraps of nature, are something close to magic.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet the folks that run Dryland Wilds or try out any of their desert-derived, wild harvested and handcrafted wares, you’re seriously missing out. Aside from making beautiful products—perfumes, soap, deodorant, incense, etc.—that smells exactly like home (or, OK, if not exactly “home,” then the best parts of New Mexico), these women run foraging workshops, perfume creation labs and are always down to share their wisdom. On top of a full schedule of creation and teaching, they make time to give back with their talents, like by selling special addition scents (for example their Northern Jaguar Preserve Perfume) and returning some of their profits toward preservation of the lands from which they were derived. Their hand balm is a good place to begin sampling their products—try the greasewood sent, an earthy mix of scrub bush resin and desert rain.
Desert Life Tee
Organ Mountain Outfitters Spur Line Supply Co. 800 20th Street NW, Ste. A $24
Las Cruces' Organ Mountain Outfitters has your high desert fashion aspirations covered. From southern New Mexico, this family operation designs simple graphic tees, backpacks, coffee mugs and more for those outward bound. Their designs highlight the singular outline that the Organs cut across the sky, but also more broadly, draw from many of the things that are great, beautiful and worth showing off about the landscapes of the Southwest, and of New Mexico in particular. You can pick up this super soft T-shirt with simple script that declares your commitment to the desert life locally at Spur Line Supply Co.
Lana Dura Pot holders
lanadura.com and Seppanen & Daughters Fine Textiles 2879 State Road 14, Madrid $22
The goal of Taos-based Lana Dura is “to give sheep a job.” In that spirit, Minna White, the mastermind behind the enterprise, started raising sheep in Vermont in 1983. Awhile later, she relocated to Taos, and the seeds for Lana Dura were sewn. White started producing felt creations using only Navajo-Churro sheep, which she had raised. This particular breed has a long history for use in textiles, and now is considered rare, even. These days the small studio produces all sorts of fiber crafts with utility direct from Taos to many stockists around the state and country. Their pot holders are a simple item that can elevate the everyday, and make an easy, but tremendously useful gift for anyone with a kitchen to deck out.