Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We've made a mighty move! Our new mailing address is:

Crossroads Trade
4701 SW Admiral Way, #81
Seattle, WA 98116

Our phone number is still: 617-975-2001

Our products are on view at our website, www.crossroadstrade.com and eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/Crossroads-Trade?_trksid=p2047675.l2563.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Our Holiday Open Houses: Save the Dates!

This holiday season, our mantra is shop relaxed. Kate is opening her home for four open houses. Join us for unhurried shopping with free parking and hot cider. We'll be featuring our glorious new alebrijes, whimsical, carved, painted critters from Kate's scouting in Oaxaca.

We have some fine new turquoise and silver jewelry from Tibetan artisans in Nepal.  Our seasonal sparkle  forecast: outstanding. Shimmery,
subtle hues of cranberry, cinnamon, silver and gold, in your choice of chunky, slinky, ropy, loopy...even understated!

Our vivid basketry from Rwanda has a sweet scent of grass. The colors pop in bold geometrics. We'll have the world's finest, one-of-a-kind Wounaan baskets from Panama, plus your favorite South African telephone wire baskets.
We'll have fabulous bargains as well. We're closing out several lines, including our Bulgarian mugs, Indian and Egyptian boxes, Egyptian recycled glass vases, Vietnamese ceramic vases, and soapstone critters and candleholders.. If it's bulky or heavy, we're motivated!

We'll also be discounting our scarves, as we narrow out focus to one-of-a-kind and small production. We've plenty of sumptuous Indian silks in rich palettes and elegant drape.

We're looking forward to seeing friends old and new!

The open house schedule is as follows:
Saturday, December 3rd, 11 - 7
Sunday, December 4th, 11 - 6
Saturday, December 10th, 11 - 7
Sunday, December 11th, 11 - 6

The address: 24 Ottawa Road in Arlington. Easy access from Route 2 and Mass Ave.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Our Inuit art prints are up!

We are delighted that many of our limited-edition Inuit art prints are now on our web site. These are prints Kate bought from the famed Holman Eskimo Cooperative and the artist's collective at Cape Dorset -- both within the Arctic Circle of Canada.

Our prints are all numbered -- most from an edition of 50, some from an edition of 25 -- and signed, some with Inuit symbols in addition to the artist's name in English. Collectors will recognize the names Mary Okheena, Mabel Nigiyok, Mayureak Ashoona, and others. Our web site is completely searchable, so feel free to type in a name or a theme.

Some prints are easy to interpret, such as "Hunter's Dream" above. Others, such as "Asking for Help" on the right, recall Inuit legends and stories and shamanistic beliefs that are not entirely suppressed even in the late 20th and early 21st century.

Our prints are all shrinkwrapped on foam core, and are priced to ship in an oversized art box. If you'd like to discuss shipping prices with Kate, e-mail her at info@crossroadstrade.com.

We still have some more prints to post. Keep checking back!

-- Lisa Deeley Smith

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting ready for Town Day!

Town Day in Arlington, MA is a splendid aggregation of merchants, community organizations, food vendors, and musicians. The center of town is closed off and more than 200 booths line that section of Massachusetts Avenue. This year, Town Day is on Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's been a while since we've had a booth there, and we're eager to go back and see old friends and be part of the local business community in Arlington.

We'll have lots of charming things for sale: the ever-popular Kenyan soapstone hearts and critters, all sorts of earrings, wallets, handbags, and scarves; dream catchers and worry dolls; little Egyptian and Indian boxes and Guatemalan baskets. And more; be sure to look in the $5 bins! We will have amazing buys on items we're closing out. If you're paying cash, we'll pay the sales tax.

We hope to be near our old storefront location at 669 Mass. Ave, but one never knows where one's booth will be until the morning of set-up. Nevertheless, you'll be sure to find us as you walk up and down the Avenue, debating whether to have fried dough or a slice of pie, a sausage or a plate of Thai food, and what community e-mail lists to sign up for. It's always satisfying to contemplate what you've brought home after Town Day. Your bag should include something special from Crossroads Trade.

-- Lisa Deeley Smith

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Oaxacan alebrijes come to life

Alebrijes, fantastically shaped and colored animal figures, were born of a fever dream of a Mexico City artist in the 1930s. Sick and hallucinating about these figures, he recovered and fashioned these figures he had seen from cardboard and papier-mache. These figures are now a firmly established folk-art form in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca. Artisans there incorporated these new motifs into the local tradition of carving in copal wood. We are always interested how an art form evolves from a copy of another form into its own authentic style; wooden Oaxacan figures are a perfect example of this.

Kate visited some Oaxacan artists on her recent trip. Oaxacan pieces are made by artisan families. Here Narcisso and Ruby work take turns painting a dog.

Kate writes: "Painting this alebrije is trully collaborative. Where Narcisso leaves off, Ruby begins. Back and forth they went, as they went about their afternoon tasks."

 You can see the unpainted copal carvings on Ruby's table in the photo below. To the left, you can see the levels of detail the artists add to their painting. The pieces are signed, and with experience one can identify a particular family's work by sight. The dog Ruby and Narcisso are working on is a piece Kate is bringing home to sell. When it was finished, Kate said, from a distance it looked so chihuahua-like that only the blue color told you it was not a real dog.

Here Julio is at work on the back of a spectacular owl. And here is the owl itself, among some other alebrijes.

We sell Oaxacan figures in all sizes. We have a wide range of price points, although we look for originality and energy in the carving and the painting, and so do not stock the cheaper, tired-looking works. You'll see more Oaxacan creatures on our web site on Kate's return.

-- Lisa Deeley Smith

Monday, August 1, 2011

Kate's in Mexico!

Kate's in Mexico busy with several things: taking an intensive Spanish-language course, doing some scouting (she 's found one spectacular Oaxacan sculpture on a collector's special-request list), and seeing the sights.

She spent some time at a Guelaguetza.

She writes: "The Guelaguetza is an annual Oaxacan celebration of the ethnic traditions of its seven distinct regions and cultures. Combining ancient traditions with mestizo culture and Catholic ritual, the Guelaguetza takes place on the last two Mondays in July in several towns. This Guelaguetza took place in the town of San Juan Chilateca."

She went to a museum and solved the mystery of putting on armor. Note the buckles and straps in the second photo.

 And contemplated the differences in ironing among the socio-economic classes:

 More to come about Kate's adventures in Mexico.

-- Lisa Deeley Smith

Friday, July 22, 2011

Watch Our Other Space!

We want you to read this blog, of course, but we hope you are checking out our web site. We are posting new entries there nearly every day. Some are new arrivals, such as our stunning collections of Rwandan baskets and Nepalese beaded bracelets. Others are best sellers, such as the molas we ship all over the world.

Our web site is now completely searchable, both the titles and the text. Type in "Guatemala wallet" and you'll get all our selections, in two sizes and from four regions, each with its own distinctive motif.

We'll continue to keep you posted about new arrivals via this blog, but you don't have to wait for us. Just type in your search items and see what we've got!