New Moon rises in Magdalena
A New Moon is representative of the beginning of a new cycle, and so it is for a group of Magdalena artisans who recently opened the New Moon Gallery and Studio.
Nicole Beaudoin, Anna Lear, Dean Crane and Connie Gibson came together to set up shop near the center of town. The business, located at the east end of the old Baca Building, 104 First Street (U.S. 60), features handmade jewelry, colorful clothing and other artifacts manufactured by the quartet.
Gibson said New Moon is a collaboration of three entities. She and Crane operate a jewelry manufacturing business called Two Cranes. They specialize in faceting and lapidary — the cutting of stones — and design their own jewelry.
“We feature local materials from Kelly Mine and precious stones from all over the world,” Gibson said.
In addition to using Smithsonite, a relatively rare mineral found in the Magdalena area, and aurichalcite in their eye-catching jewelry, the couple also produce attractive ornaments made from gemstone beads.
Gibson and Crane first met Lear when she had a gallery and gift shop called Little Maggie’s at the other end of town.
“We showed her what we do and she wanted to learn to cut rocks and learn lapidary,” Gibson explained. “She’s been learning lapidary from Dan and I, using her stones in her jewelry.”
Lear sells her jewelry, using precious and semiprecious stones, under the name Laughing Raven. Some of her mosaics, and paintings by her mother Deborah, also adorn the store.
The foursome came complete when Lear introduced the couple to Beaudoin, who runs a tie-dye clothing business called Dancing Rainbows.
Apparel includes T-shirts, tank tops, hooded sweatshirts, dresses and children’s clothing — some of which are imported from Thailand, which makes them Thai-dye.
“She uses all natural fabrics and fabric reactive dyes, so they’ll keep their color. You can wash them many, many times,” Gibson said.
Especially striking are Beaudoin’s tie-dyed material on velvet.
“We invite other Magdalena area artists to bring their things into the shop,” said Gibson, and a few have already accepted the invitation.
Glenn Bigelow recently brought in some unique transparencies suited for placing in a window. Gibson explained that the transparencies are created through a technique called macrophotography, essentially tight shots of gemstones.
Gibson said business has been surprisingly brisk since the store opened in May.
“It’s been way more successful than we thought we’d be in this economy,” she said. “We set out thinking that we’d try it. If you don’t have expectations, you’re happy with what you get.”
New Moon Gallery and Studio is open Thursday through Sunday, and holiday Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.