BuyDay Friday: Zaka's Studio


In a tiny gingerbread workshop in the shadow of St. Lucia's Petit Piton, artisan Zaka handcrafts his collection of Crayola-bright masks and fanciful sculptures. IMG_0601

Born and raised in London, Zaka came to the island 18 years ago to visit his St Lucian father. “But I tore up my ticket, burnt my jacket, and couldn’t go back,” says the former shipwright and carpenter, who soon began experimenting with wood carving and adopted the name of the Haitian god of earth, trees and fields.

Now his work can be found in gift shops all over St. Lucia, and Zaka is so well known that mail addressed simply to “Zaka, St. Lucia” actually reaches him. Jetsetters visiting his studio can watch as he transforms raw wood and telephone poles into striking works of art that are hand-painted in eye-popping hues.

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I met the man himself a couple of years ago when when we featured him in the St. Lucia episode of a TV show I hosted. Check it the video and then tell me you don’t crave an original “Zaka” of your very own.