December 2017 Artist Interview: Intricate Knot

Copyright © Intricate Knot

To find where Intricate Knot sells her wares visit her on her artist page on HAB. 

Interview with Intricate Knot of Tarryfails Corner:

Which pieces of your artwork are you most proud of, currently for sale or sold? Share an image of it if you have one.

I’m most proud of my set of Three Black Kitties: Eenie, Meenie, and Mynie. Beware. These guys may look cute and harmless with their lollipops and Trick-or-Treat buckets, but I have it on very good authority that Mynie and Meenie are evil masterminds. And Eenie? Eenie is a super evil mastermind, playing his brothers with a gusto generally not seen outside Fish & Chips Night at Mac’s Evil Kitty’s Eatery.

Name an artist(s) whose work you admire and what influence have they had on your art?

Edward Gorey. When I was a kid I went to the library after school and poured through every Edward Gorey book I could find. Seeing his work made me realize that I wasn’t the only weirdo in the world. There are lots of us. We’re all one big weirdo family!

What would you consider the highest honor or greatest goal you would like to achieve with your art?

I would love to make a good living with my art and writing. One day, (I hope!) that will be the ultimate achievement for me.

What Halloween costume that you got to wear in childhood was your favorite and has the fondest memory for you?

It wasn’t until I was older that I really got to let loose on Halloween. My fav costume was one I put together for my son when he was little. He loved The Terminator (original film). I had a really cool black leather jacket and then made up his face with make-up skin putty, fake blood, and aluminum foil. It came out really good! And my son had a blast.

What is your favorite Halloween icon? Why do you identify with its imagery?

Candy. Hah! Just kdding (not really). Hard to choose one. I love it all: Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, witches, vampires, devils, and scarecrows. I supposed if I had to choose, it would be the witch. Love them so much I became one. Witches are mysterious, powerful female icons. We’ve been subjugated, ridiculed, imprisoned, and burned at the stake. Yet, the witch still stands. And still thoroughly enjoys all the wonders of Halloween.

If money and wherewithal were not an issue, what would be your dream way to spend Halloween?
All sorts of cool events take place worldwide: Haunted walks and underground tours, witches balls, ghostly hotels, cemeteries, and fun sites! If I had the money every Halloween I’d visit a new adventure and take a few of my fellow haunted friends with me.

Give the Gift of A Kitchen Witch

Give the Gift of A Kitchen Witch
-By Angelique Duncan

This Thanksgiving as you plan the traditional meal you may want to include a Kitchen With to over see the preparations. A Kitchen Witch is a small poppet or doll that brings good luck to the kitchen. She makes sure pots don’t boil over, cookies don’t burn and gravies don’t lump.

The Kitchen Witch is a talisman who originates from Scandinavia and carried over to Europe and then to the United States. Usually taking on the appearance of the traditional Halloween witch, often with a large nose, hunched back and gnarled fingers wearing a simple dress made from cotton, a scarf on her head and sometimes a cloak.. She is usually small only a few inches, at largest about six inches. She rides a broom or sometimes a whisk, wooden spoon or spatula. More modern interpretations depict the Kitchen Witch as elderly, jovial and sweet faced and sometimes she has a youthful more traditionally attractive or sexy appearance.

She is often suspended from a string in a corner of the kitchen facing the room. On occasion the doll might sit on a shelf or windowsill. Tradition states that the most effective place for a Kitchen Witch is to fly is above the stove to so her magical protection is concentrated over the cooking area. She should face the entrance to the kitchen, to ward off any evil or ill intent from visitors to the home whose bad vibes might sabotage a meal.

Sometimes the doll is scented with essential oils or is stuffed with herbs that offer protection and aid in good cooking and help in domestic tranquility. Often a small note is attached to her dress or broom giving her mythology explaining the tradition or a handwritten spell to ensure her magical powers.

Pre Christianity, Kitchen Witches were prevalent in Scandinavian and German homes, given as gifts and passed down from generation to generation. It is recorded that the Kitchen Witch was once a common inventory of the kitchen and was quite common during in the late 1400’s in the United Kingdom. The tradition carried over to the North America. However the tradition faded as Puritan Christianity frowned upon the old folkways and anything associated with Pagan religion or witchcraft during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The tradition quietly re emerged in the United States in the 1950’s and became popular again in the 1960’s and 70’s as a movement of freethinking was on the rise. Many began to research and practice the old Pagan religions and handmade folk-art was extremely popular during the era. Kitchen Witches were once again given as gifts to young newly weds and as housewarming gifts. They lost popularity again during the staunch religious political era of the 1980’s and early 90’s as all things Pagan were rejected. However Kitchen Witches have made a come back in the modern area partly from a more open and accepting environment to alternative beliefs, a longing for simpler times and the old ways in a world of technology, and a huge resurgence of handmade crafts and the popularity of folk-art.

There are companies that produce Kitchen Witches in popular styles as novelties, however to truly be an authentic Kitchen Witch, it is best to purchase a one that is handmade from an individual seller. This ensures the witch is crafted in the old way of care and concern for the craft. Also she will be unique in her character and her magic will be personal to the home where she will reside.

Consider introducing a Kitchen Witch into your home this fall before cooking your Thanksgiving feast, or giving one as a hostess gift to your friends or family. According to the tradition, not only will the Kitchen Witch bring good fortune to the home she presides over, the giver of the Kitchen Witch will receive good luck as well.

Angelique Duncan is proprietor of Twilight Faerie Nostalgic and Capricious Objects. Check out her artist page to find links to her shops and vintage inspired traditional holiday art. Visit again next month for more traditions and folklore.

Featured Artist Interview August 2015: Intricate Knot

To find where Intricate Knot sells her wares visit her artist page on HAB. 

Interview with Intricate Knot of Art For A Gloomy Day and Tarryfails Corner:

At what age did you discover your love of Halloween?
My love of Halloween began several lifetimes ago, at least a few centuries. Hope there aren’t any witch hunters out there reading this!

Seriously, my love of Halloween did begin over a multitude of pagan incarnations. In this lifetime it is pure icing on the Jack O’ Lantern. From the time I was first allowed out of the house to Trick or Treat (somewhere around the age of 6), I realized that Halloween is the best thing going.

What is your fondest Halloween memory?

This is a challenging question, as all my Halloweens are filled with fond memories. If we’re talking this lifetime, putting together costumes for my son’s trick or treating adventures. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we loved getting creative with my brother’s old make up kit (from his theater days). One year, my son transformed into the Terminator. Resplendent with partial robotic skull exposed (alá scar putty, oozey fake blood, and humble tin foil), and the ever-important black leather motor cycle jacket. Schwarzenegger eat your heart out.

Recently, I would have to say the first year after I joined HAB and participated in the Trick or Treat Giveaway. It was a first in many ways, not the least of which it was the first time I’d ever participated in a giveaway. It gave me such a wonderful feeling seeing a photo of my offering lined up next to such amazing pieces done by the other artists in the group. I felt like, phew! It’s been a long time coming folks, but I finally found my tribe.

How do you celebrate Halloween?

If time and energy allows, Halloween celebrations begin with some kitchen magick: making candy apples, apple pies, cinnamon potpourri, simmering, savory stews…and the list goes on! My husband and I decorate our sizable patio and our house. Stringing up candy corn lights, red skulls, and glowing purple LEDs…oh my!

Halloween is the great no-pressure holiday. It’s more than that, though. There is the entire season of autumn…the snap in the air, the energy that all builds to the day itself. The images, art work (especially the creations of our group!), sheer fun (and horror), not to mention the most excellent treats and tricks of Halloween is a spirit that I carry within all throughout the year.

When did you start creating in your medium and what training have you had?

Well it all started with a doodle of something that looked like a cross between a gloomy gene and a disgruntled meatball. (Hopefully) I have improved from there. I’ve had no training what-so-ever or at least not in any formal capacity.

When I was a kid I wrote stories and doodled pretty much 24/7 and by the time I reached the age of 16, I’d decided that this was what I was meant to do with my life. Then [insert dramatic music here], I allowed one teacher’s opinion of my work dissuade me from this course. Years went by. Then one day, I had the proverbial epiphany (more like a swift kick to the head) and now I just don’t look back. I still doubt my work…I think all artists and artisans do. Just part of the package! But the difference is now I keep going, despite the doubts.

What was the inspiration to create what you create and when did you know you wanted to create Halloween?

I’ve always loved all of the symbology of Halloween: witches, black cats, Jack O’Lanterns, scarecrows, ghosts, goblins, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, ravens, owls, haunted trees, and on goes the list! Artists are inspired by what draws them in and Halloween draws me in. It’s simply a magical time and the only time of the year when it’s not only okay, but you’re actually encouraged to come out of the proverbial closet and be a witch, which is freeing. That’s what inspires me.