If you are traveling to Santa Fe to shop for unique ceramic planters, you couldn’t have picked a better city. As one of the world’s best-known art centers, Santa Fe’s shops are filled with ceramics and functional pottery created by local artists working in clay the traditional way. In fact, pottery is such an art form in the area that Santa Fe sits square in the middle of the Northern New Mexico Potters Trail, which stretches from Taos in the north, to the village of Galisteo to the south. Needless to say, if you plan a shopping expedition in search of unique ceramic planters in Santa Fe, you will be skipping the big-box home stores in favor of the one-of-a-kind pieces you’ll find there. Part of the charm is that some of these artists will make a planter design specific to your request.
This Santa Fe pottery store for handmade functional pottery features the work of some of the area’s best known ceramic artists, including Janet Williams, Mike Walsh, Peggy Gaustad, Blu Yee, Douglas Hough, and Pete Dugan. Located behind The Sage Bakehouse on 1424 Paseo de Peralta near the expanding Railyard District, Paseo’s studio and showroom are both open to the public.
Jackalope, located at 2820 Cerrillos Road, is a Santa Fe travel destination all in itself. This unique open-air home and garden store was founded in 1976 by Darby McQuade, an East Coast native who traveled extensively to Mexico and the entire world. Jackalope’s reflects McQuade’s experience with international folk art from not only the southwest and Mexico, but Asia, Africa, and the Middle East including a huge collection of pottery. The store also boasts several acres of New Mexico wildlife, such as a prairie-dog village, 150 white homing pigeons, as well as a plant nursery, a Mercado, and a cafe.
Green River Pottery, located at 1710 Lena St., is a studio and gallery featuring the stoneware pots and ceramics of pottery artist Theo Helmstadter. Helmstadter uses only local clays and glaze materials to create his wheel-thrown earthy designs, which are both functional and suitable for collectors. If you’re lucky, you can catch Helmstadter in his studio spontaneously throwing clay on his wheel or working his high-temperature kiln. Or you can explore the grounds where the studio is located, The Lena St. Lofts, a live-in artist sustainable community sprinkled with shops, studios, and the all-organic Tree House Pastry Shop and Cafe.
Sunridge Pottery, located at 880-B Chicoma Vista, is a true pottery artist’s studio exclusively showcasing the work of owners Frank Willett and Luisa Baldinger. Frank’s award-winning work in porcelain and stoneware is known throughout New Mexico. Frank and Louisa’s collaborative ceramic work is done in white stoneware and features her signature on-glaze landscape decorations.
If you’re looking for high-end, table-top planters, the Case Trading Post located within the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian at 704 Camino Lejo should be on your itinerary. While the museum was founded in 1937, the shop opened in 1975. Besides fine contemporary and historic Native American pottery with an emphasis on the Southwest, the historic Case Trading Post also hosts ongoing events with featured artists.