opuntia

a tea house in a glasshouse
open daily 8:30-8:00 Sundays 8:30-4

Twig - Aviva Baumann

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Aviva, amongst her many talents, is a skilled woodworker. Often crafting shapes on a scale as small as guitar pick but she can expand into crafting custom, wooden signs and beautiful shelving.

Twig earrings were inspired by a collection of cutoffs Aviva acquired while taking her first woodworking class. She glued these pieces together, creating the slices of different wood varieties that we now recognize unmistakably as Twig. Twig’s goal is to create jewelry that restores the feeling of being playful and rooted. Each pair is one-of-a-kind.

 photo by Kate Russell

photo by Kate Russell

Modtribe Design - Jenny Frick and Taylor Dale

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Jenny and Taylor seem far too young to have the knowledge they do of diverse wood types and where to source them. Their work is meticulously measured, always impressive and right on time. They are MODTRIBE DESIGN, a furniture and home goods design studio/workshop located in the innovation district of Santa Fe. We have had the pleasure of partnering with Jenny and Taylor on many projects and proud to be hosting their homewares in our cafe. In fact, every wooden tray your tea is served on and every board that holds a sandwich or pastry in the cafe was created for Opuntia by these two.

 photo by Kate Russell

photo by Kate Russell

Jess Gantos - Sawdust

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Meet Jess- community organizer , drummer, student of Japanese wood joinery. Opuntia will be offering these beautiful handmade, wooden boxes for sale as sets this holiday season. Pictured below is the perfect gift - a sawdust box with amaryllis bulb and careful planting instructions for $50.

Plant your bulb and wait for it to flower (about 6 weeks) meanwhile your new rustic box will receive lots of compliments on your holiday table, use it for holding napkins and utensils, or fill it with treasures found on your winter hikes.

 photo by Kate Russell

photo by Kate Russell

Whiskey & Clay

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Kimmy Rohrs is inspired by the landscape and sky of her birthplace in west Texas. She blends porcelain with stoneware to create layers of texture and color in her ceramic wares that mimic the timeless beauty of the desert.

Each piece is high-fired in a heavy reduction kiln, the clay material mixed with heat creates contrasts of dark rust tones and brightly developed glazes that give each cup, vase and bowl its own identity. All of the Whiskey and Clay pottery is food safe and meant to be enjoyed daily.

 Photo by Kate Russell

Photo by Kate Russell

Avi Farber, Ceramic Artist

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Avi Farber is a ceramic artist, photographer and professional  fire fighter for the US forest service. All of his work is connected by the common thread of understanding the way fire moves through landscape. 

Born in Santa Fe and currently living in Taos,  Avi has connected to a wood-fire pottery community in Northern New Mexico that build their own kilns and keep them fired day and night for weeks at a time, camping as a group and tending to the heat of the fire. The positioning of each artists pieces inside these kilns determines the nature of sheen or matte finish on each unique cup, bowl and vase.

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 Opuntia is proud to be carrying Avi’s work on our shelves for the winter. Look for more of his ceramics and photos coming by way of his newly renovated, Airstream mobile gallery beginning spring 2019. 

photos by Avi Farber 

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Kokedamas

 

The Reputation of a Thousand Years May Be Determined by the Conduct of One Hour  

                                                                       - Japanese Proverb

 

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Kokedamas is an ancient Japanese method that formed along side of Bonsai in the 16th century. Literally translating to “moss ball”, Kokedamas were made by compacting plants roots, allowing them to form into a tight ball.  Then the roots were packed in clay and then wrapped in moss and wrapped again with string for hanging. This process of compacting roots took many years and when the bound plant was finally wrapped in moss and string, it could last its lifespan in this form.  Some were displayed on clay plates in teahouses, maybe as the one significant form to contemplate during a sacred tea ceremony- representing struggle and beauty as one expression. 

 

 These forms, translated into modern times,  have taken on many new manifestations.  With advances in moisture retaining potting soil and new methods of rooting plants, one could form a Kokedamas in about a half an hour!  Present day variations  include wrapping with neon twine and even displaying the moss ball upside down with branches spilling out of the bottom. Rather than native Japanese flora,  today’s Kokedamas are often displayed with South African succulents and Madagascar palms, spilling vines and even cacti.  I once witnessed a preserved moss and dried grass Kokedamas toting the slogan - “absolutely no maintenance required!” This couldn't be more distant from the original Kokedamas creations.  

 

Living in Santa Fe where the high desert can see months without rain,  reminders of soaking and simply the color of moss alone can be very helpful. Twice a week I fill a large pot full of filtered water and I soak my orchids and air plants.  Next, I submerge my Kokadames in the same water for 15 minutes and then allow the moss balls to drain into the sink. This water can now be used for the rest of our houseplants and no water is wasted! Its a calming habit that keeps me focused on caring for something beautiful and I can’t help but wonder if this was the original intention of the tradition centuries ago. 

 

 Inspired to try making one yourself? Opuntia will be holding a Kokedamas building class Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 in our buildings conference room - 922 Shoofly st  

Sign up with Jeanna

plantgirl@opuntia.cafe