636 S. Park St., 441-8808
Holiday hours: 10 am-6:30 pm Mon.-Fri., 9 am-5:30 pm Sat., 10 am-4 pm Sun.
You know Rivera and Kahlo and Orozco and Siqueiros, but do you recall ' a shop in Madison that sells a decent selection of Mexican artisan crafts? Now you will.
Because with the opening of Chiripa, a new store on Park Street featuring (predominantly) Mexican handicrafts, you can feed your addiction to Day of the Dead figurines while being enlightened by the amazing wares selected and presented by owners Kathryn Leide and Beth Robinson.
The two traveled extensively with their husbands in Mexico and found themselves enchanted with the beautiful arts and crafts created in traditional workshops and homes. Eventually the pair bought a building on Park Street, renovated it and opened this earthy, inviting shop to present to a larger audience the goods they find so compelling. 'We need to provide a market for these traditions, or they will go away,' says Robinson.
A unique component of Chiripa is the display of photographs that Leide and Robinson take of the various artists and workshops. One such photo depicts the Gonzales family of TeotitlÃn del Valle, who together weave and finish stunning rugs made of naturally dyed wool.
Add these great gifts to your last-minute shopping list: petite hand-hammered copper vase from the Santa Clara del Cobre village in MichoacÃn ($38); engraved sterling silver and red porcelain fish pendant necklace ($575); brightly painted shocking pink and orange 'alebrije' lizard ($40); Oaxacan cut tin ornaments in various shapes such as an avocado and a rooster ($2); kitschy Frida Kahlo bottle cap button ($7); and the most-expensive-piece-in-the-store-but-totally-gorgeous copper urn with carved ram motif ($2,500).