Blue Portal Great New Shopping Gifts

You have to take a sneak peek at these great gifts to shop for at the Blue Portal in Old Town. Artists get 100% profit and set their prices! 


Blue Portal Artist of the Week. Don Jantz

Don creates ceramics. He makes chilis, black on black ceramics, ducks and frogs, chili salt and pepper shakers. Don had been making his beautiful ceramics for approximately five years. 

Don likes the Blue Portal bease it is located in Old Town. He has been selling at Blue Portal for two years.

Blue Portal Artist of the Week August 25, Neil Marshall…Update Neil won 2 Firsts and Best of Show…Ol Bald Eagle Rocks!

Neil is called ‘Ol’ Bald Eagle and was born and raised on a farm in Ohio, just north of Cincinnati.  He signed a professional baseball contract right out of high school with the old Washington Senators.

Neil (‘Ol’ Bald Eagle) won best of show and 2 firsts at the New Mexico State Fair in 2017! Way to go Neil.

Neil became interested in pottery in 1976. His wife’s parents owned the Tinaja Bar and Trading Post in El Morro. NM. He became friends with Navajo and Zuni Native Americans and his pottery journey began.  He eventually became good friends with an Acoma potter who mentored Neil.

Neil is now a very accomplished Potter who creates unique pottery that he paints expertly.

Neil sells his pottery at the Blue Portal. He has won State Fair ribbons. He loves the volunteer dedication that Assistance League Blue Portal people possess to help New Mexican artists.

Come to the Blue Portal and see Ol Bald Eagles pottery for yourself.

Blue Portal Artist of the Week August 19th… Judy Watkins

Judy Watkins has been a crafter and sewer for over 50 years. She was a seamstress since 9 years old. She has sold hee artwork  at Blue Portal since 2013.

Blue Portal Artist

She creates the beautiful mermaids and the American Doll dresses and purses. She even has time to teach sewing classes at Hobby Lobby on Eagle Ranch.

Blue Portal History 

(History excerpted from Judith Elder, Assistance League Volunteer) Maria Carmen Lopez y Trujillo Martin, fortunately she has shortened her name to Carmen L. Martin and works as a programmer at the Albuquerque Council for International Visitors. She was pleased to share the Blue Portal history. She said the house her family lived in, now called Blue Portal, was built in 1942 and eventually sold in the early 1970’s. We know that the shop has been in existence since 1978.

Carmen is the 9th child of 12 children who grew up in the house. Her memories are of kind, loving parents. They fed their children first even though there were times when food was scarce. Carmen remembers having fun at Old Town Fiestas. The children would climb the roof and watch weddings and dances at the San Felipe de Neri church across the street.

Carmen’s older brother got married and his new bride came home and shared his bedroom. There were many happy memories living in the home prior to the building that we know as the shop, Blue Portal.

Elizabeth Jercinovic was President of the Assistance League in the late 70’s. Her husband and son built the back room addition. When her husband, Jerry passed away, in lieu of flowers the family wanted to make the final mortgage payment on Blue Portal.

The first choice for the name of the shop was The Cat’s Meow. However, that name had already been taken. The next choice was The Blue Door, whoops, that name was taken. We are not entirely sure when the name Blue Portal was decided on, but it sure is a beautiful name for this fine artisan shop.

One of the first crafters crocheted wreaths. Her wreaths sold like hot cakes. All the tagging and volunteer work was done by hand. Blue Portal has evolved to support hundreds of senior artists.

Blue Portal Artist of the week, June 26, Dan McDonell

Dan creates unique and detailed wooden toys that have wheels. He makes wooden trucks, tractors, play furniture for dolls, American Doll furniture, and even play kitchens. 

Dan grew up while his family worked in a Santa Fe lumber business.  Dan previously worked as a cabinet maker. This experience makes sense that Dan transitioned into making children’s toys for Blue Portal. 

Dan has been selling his safe children’s toys for four years now at Blue Portal.  He thinks that the Assistance League of Albuquerque volunteers are very helpful and nice to work with. 

Blue Portal Artist of the Week Bunn Hearn, June 19

Bunn Hearn is an artist who makes a variety of beautifully designed wooden boxes (some boxes have hidden shelves), wine bottle holders, rocking horses and benches.

Bunn has been selling for approximately ten years. He has been doing wood working for 35 years and he is self taught. He says if you have an interest, you can just keep building your skills over time.

He says Blue Portal is a great outlet for the public to purchase handmade gifts and useful household items.

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