Suzanne O’Brien | ZanieCrafts 

Suzanne O’Brien

How long have you been an artisan? How did your particular skillset develop over time? 

I have been making handmade wool felt for 10 years and learning new techniques of felt making over time.

Please describe your work / product.

I create handmade wool felt gifts for textile and fiber enthusiasts. I enjoy using a lot of color in my work and incorporate found silks and haberdashery in my work whenever possible. I never tire of experiencing the wonderful properties of wool! I like to create pieces that are designed to be incorporated into one’s everyday life, whether it be a wearable pin or scarf, or with a small felted purse. I feel that these small infusions of art in our everyday life improve our outlook and quality of life. 

Who are some of your favorite artisans / makers in the region? Who amongst your peers inspires your work?

Western New York is filled with incredibly talented people! Some of my favorite artisans are those that capture pieces of human nature in their work. Barbara Hart, Nicole Johnson, and Michelle Collins are a few artists that come to mind. A group of fiber artists that inspire me to keep creating are the refugee women of Stitch Buffalo. Every time I visit the shop I am filled with awe for their embroidery skills and techniques. Taking time to create even a small thing and making it beautiful is worthwhile for the recipient of that item. 

How long have you been a business owner in WNY?

I have been selling my ZanieCrafts in Western New York for 6 years.

How long have you been a part of Buffalo Women’s Gifts?

I am lucky to be a part of Buffalo Women’s Gifts since 2014! 

Where can people see / purchase your work year-round?

I sell a small amount of work at the Burchfield Penney Art Center Museum Store and have work at the EXPO68 Art Gallery in the Eastern Hills Mall. I also sell work year round on my Etsy store.

Where else will you be representing your wares this holiday season?

This year I will be selling at the Rochester Science Museum Holiday Bazaar, Buffalo Women’s Gifts, and at the Burchfield Penney Holiday Sale.