The Art of Craft in a Christmas Village
An interview with Nicole Joseph

Date 20 December 2012

Interviewer Michael Pink

Each year local craft artist Nicole Joseph recreates a large scale Christmas village replete with houses, buildings, ski hill and figurines that is both exquisite and intricate. Measuring 12’ by 4’ the village transports the visitor to a simpler more magical time with all the charm and tradition that a snowy Christmas village represents.

Joseph, originally from Haiti, has ironically been fascinated with Christmas scenes since her childhood. “My older brother Lionel loved to make nativity scenes in Haiti and was an accomplished craft artist. I got inspired watching him carefully assemble the scenes,” recalls Joseph.

“After arriving in Vancouver from Montreal, I started creating nativity scenes in 1992. Over time, I expanded the scenes to include an entire village. I work for several days to complete the village and each year the scenes and arrangements of buildings and people are different.” Joseph has an artist’s eye for creativity and an engineers’ eye for detail. For those who have lived in or visited a small snowy village in Switzerland, Austria, Norway or some similar place, the memories from seeing Josephs’ work will surely inspire warm memories.

The village is beautiful in its detail , with houses, post office, stores, churches, market square, outdoor skating rink, ski hill, toy store, flower shop, hotel and other buildings all set in a 19th century style and lit from within. Finely detailed figurines fully complete the village scene.

For Joseph, the Christmas Village is a labor of love. “When I see the village, it fills me with joy. One friend who visited wept because it rekindled wonderful childhood memories.“ Clearly, the art of craft is alive and beautiful in the home studio of artist, Nicole Joseph.

© 2012 Michael Pink