Saturday, August 6, 2011

Craftaluma Vendors: Holy Nichos!

Susan Annette Wosk of Holy Nichos is a veteran Craftaluma Vendor , a talented tinsmither who crafts amongst the saints and spirits - literally, speaking. Patron saints such as Saint Francis, Saint Augustine, The Baby Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Frida (Kahlo) (she is a saint in her own right), and any other assortment of saintly flora and fauna make it's way into Susan's colorful and handcrafted art. Nichos are dated back to Spanish colonial times and are typically meant to honor a special ocassion, the dead, a saint, loved one, etc. It is set within a shadowbox casing or recessed dioramas. Susan'sattention to detail and gorgeous use of color is clearly heaven-sent - and the fact that Nichos can be personalized to any person, icon, loved one, event or color scheme really appeals to me, and works to enhance almost any decor- looks great outside as well. Take a basic sheet of tin, then Susan artfully, designs, cuts, shapes, stamps, patterns and then paints it in a meaningful and vibrant way. This ancient and traditional craft is tendered with cultural and spiritual meaning decades deep. Holy Nichos are often offered as a beautiful expression of honoring a loved one at Dia De Los Muertos, rendering it useful and beautiful, which is symbolic of craftsmanship at it's finest. We are blessed to have Susan's beautiful Holy Nichos and her gorgeous self with us at Craftaluma this year.

Interview with Susan Annette Wosk of Holy Nichos
By Petaluma Craft Mafia

Name of business and how you got your name: Holy Nichos!

Where are you from?
Sebastopol, CA

How long have you lived there?
43 years, since 1968!

Tell us the meaning of Holy Nichos and what it represents for you personally?
Nichos are a Mexican Folk Art, where you honor a spiritual being. 'Holy' is used in the universal sense of the word, meaning joyful, creative, and special. Nichos are frames in which you can place photos or scenes.

Your favorite Nicho?
Just recently, one made for Jessica and Bret's wedding, July 28, 2011!

Favorite spice in your cupboard?

Chosen music to craft to?
Gospel or The Mamas & The Papas

How do you start your day?
Lately, with a book called Life Magic

How does your crafty self reconcile with the bottom line business side?
My accountant side comes out and tells my creative side to "stand back!"

Ha! I love that! How do you unwind at the end of a stressful week?
Line dancing! (and it's not country, sorry)

Best thing about living in your town?
SebTown is the mecca of organic produce, loving people and happy family

Favorite book and why?
Life Magic....this gives me keys to who I am...and helps me to run with intuitiveness

Other crafts you would like to explore?
glass art, decoupage, welding & making silver jewelry, water color, acrylic painting

How has the craft boom influenced your own craft?
Online retail such as Etsy and virtual crafters has opened me up to a worldwide network

Your favorite comfort meal is?
BYP (brewer's yeast popcorn)

I confess, I don't know what brewer's yeast is doing messing around with popcornwhen it should be in a cinnamon roll, but I sure am willing to give it a go! What's in your handbag?
What isn't?

What is always in your fridge?
heirloom tomatoes for 6 months a year!

I'm inspired by:
My children! Music and harmonies, gardens and worms!

What still holds wonder for you in this world?
Love and the power of the heart

I couldn't go a day without?
... pulling a weed

"____" really ticks me off:

I dream of traveling to:
Europe and Africa

George, John, Paul or Ringo?

How do you feel American craftypreneurs have shaped craft and the craft industry?
They are making the wave of the future alive now. Since the economy is crashing for the middle class, homemade & homegrown and going to take over!

What empowers you?
Color, making people happy with my artwork, the feeling of tangible creativity

What advice would you give to crafters wanting to get into supporting themselves through their craft?
Work hard, work often, visit shops you like and show them your wares, be a good person, get out there and be brave enough to present your style!

I really love "____"
My family

I have already decided I want you to adopt me, Susan! :) Name a movie or poem or song that particularly moves you?
Oh Happy Day!

What puts that special hop in your giddy-up?
Hummingbirds, Sweet Peas blooming all over my yard, Dancing

Any Pets?
Johnny the cranky cat! Occupation: Complaining

Question of your choice: If you could have one super power....what would it be?
To make all people be kind!

Amen lady! (Thank you Susan and see you at this summer's CRAFTALUMA!

**For more amazing Susan Annette's stunning work see here:
(Photos credits in this post 2011©Susan Annette, courtesty of Susan Annette)


John M said...

I think Susan's nichos have special powers. She made one for me containing an image of Saint Isidore, the patron saint of the internet. I hung it in my network wiring cabinet next to the router, and I have had no network problems since then. It is a miracle, and it is also a very nice piece of art.

I can't thank you enough, Susan.

Moxieville said...

I'm a believer! Beautiful craft from a beautiful soul!