Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Nambe is a small town in New Mexico north of Santa Fe. It is also the name of one of my favorite products from New Mexico: the metal alloy bowls and vases from Nambé Mills.
I think I got my first piece of Nambé from the store out on the highway to Española in the 1970s. Since then, every trip to New Mexico has meant an opportunity to check out the products at the Nambé store, which is now located on Paseo de Peralta in downtown Santa Fe.
Nambé Mills was founded in 1951 in the small town of Nambé north of Santa Fe, near Nambé Pueblo. Nambé metal products are cast from a metal alloy, and the pieces themselves have a beauty and simplicity that very much gives a New Mexico mystique to the metal ware.
Nambé is an eight-metal alloy, which is chiefly aluminum. It was created at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1940s. The alloy is said to have the luster of silver but the strength of iron. It is safe for cooking and resists tarnishing. However, acidic foods can discolor it. The pieces of Nambé ware are often sandcasted and highly polished. It is also expensive, but I think of it as an investment, becuse it will last for years and years.
My small collection consists of several bowls, a covered casserole dish and a tall modern styled vase. We have also purchased Nambé for wedding and anniversary gifts for our children, who now have their own growing collections.
My dream? Acquire more pieces of Nambé for my future home in New Mexico.
The Nambé company calls their products “timeless, simple and elegant”. Indeed they are.
Much of the information for this post (as well as the photos) comes from the Nambé website at www.nambe.com and also from Wikipedia.org..