Makers ~ Noah Anacleto ~ Providence

Artist's Name: Noah M. Anacleto (a.k.a. "Babs Adonai")
Shop name: The Ark and Wine
Instagram: @thearkandwine

1. Tell us about your work
I refer to the broad, occasionally schizophrenic spectrum of my work as "bizarre, unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade, &/or vintage oddities with an affinity for witchery, queerness, camp, kitsch, & smut."

The majority of my work lately is one-of-kind pieces &/ or limited run series. My process involves drawing inspiration from my surroundings, repurposing of found objects, and exploring the intersection of the natural with the artificial. Sometimes the things I create are well-planned and fully thought out, often times though they begin as a curious experiment and turn into something I've come to embrace as an "elegant atrocity."

Subtlety is not one of my strong suits. My work often reflects as much.

I appreciate the value and aesthetic of the raw materials used in the construction of things, as well as signs of the procedures of said construction. While most modern makers of things- carpenters, woodworkers, jewelry makers, fashion designers, etc.- seek to eliminate, remove, or refine the characteristic "tool markings" or other indications of the creation process of their work, I find these elements as beautiful and as critical to the end product as the product itself, adding to the design as opposed to detracting from it. Accordingly, I often deliberately incorporate these elements into the overall aesthetic of the piece I'm creating: one that is raw, unrefined, unpolished.

"General witchery, a flair for the gawdy, &/ or the seedy underbelly of life imitating art" pretty much rounds out the rest of the description of what one can expect to find from the madhouse that is The Ark & Wine.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I was having trouble coming up with a name for my business, as I didn't intend to be producing simply one type or style of anything specific, and thus sought a name that reflected the broad spectrum of the things I had been creating/ those that I intended to create. So my first name is Noah, a name many folks might recognize as the character from the Old Testament of biblical mythology who built the ark that housed his family and two of every animal on the planet during the great flood. The lesser-known epilogue to the flood myth is that after the waters receded, Noah proceeded to become the first person to cultivate and harvest the land, and in this specific scenario, grapes. He was subsequently the first person to make wine from those grapes and drink that wine. He was then the first person to get wasted, remove all of his clothes, and pass the f*ck out. (In terms of being his namesake, I'm certainly more comparable to the "post-flood" Noah as opposed to the previous "talk-to-God/ save-the-world" Noah, but that's neither here nor there.) Anyhow, long story short: "The Ark and Wine" is representative of "Things Noah makes."

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I am completely self-taught, thus far having had no formal training in any type of creative process, art, or design. I've always been pretty crafty, so when a new idea/ procedure/ process of creating something interests me I research as much as I can about it and then attempt it. Essentially, I'll watch a YouTube video tutorial and then think I'm an expert at whatever the subject matter is, which almost always leads to a long series of catastrophic failures/ plunging into a vortex of self-doubt and sheer hopelessness, at the end of which I have either learned a new process/ accomplished something new or wasted a ton of time and energy and begin questioning my life choices.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I've always been fascinated with the combination of the natural vs. the synthetic/ artificial/ man-made, and I draw a lot of my inspiration from the intersection of those elements; this is almost always reflected in my work to one degree or another. I'm also very intrigued/ inspired by ancient and modern cultural traditions and customs, the occult/ metaphysical schools of thought, and the concept of microcosm/ macrocosm. I'm also really into repurposing things in general, and lately I've been having a blast re-imagining random objects and incorporating them into some of the jewelry I make.

5. What’s your favorite item to create?
As I mentioned, I really get a kick out of repurposing objects and crafting them into strangely elegant/ bizarre jewelry. Additionally, I really love working with gemstones and crystals, and having learned how to use a soldering iron a while back I've been able to expand the possibilities of what I'm able to create with them. I also love sewing, although I haven't featured any of that stuff in my Etsy shop yet.

6. What’s your best seller?
Folks have been really stoked about the God's Eye/ Evil Eye Talismans, as well as some of the newer soldered gemstone pieces in the WITCHBLING collection. The "Smuttons" (Smut on a button) are also a big hit with the (18+ y.o.) locals.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
My entire life. Never left. Eventually I'll need to though, if only to be reminded of why I love it so much and then move back. But I'll be stickin' around for the time being.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
That's a tough one, it's my home, and there's so much. If I had to choose, the ocean/ shoreline is definitely up there (I'm a Pisces). Del's Lemonade. Also coffee milk and bubblers, duh.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Beavertail, any beach, or any bonfire in the summertime.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Just f*ckin' go for it. If something inspires you, make it happen; ultimately no one ever really has any idea what they're doing, so there's nothing to worry about. Embrace failure and make sweet love to it because it will be your lifelong companion but it will also teach you pretty much everything you'll ever need to know. Soldering irons get wicked hot. Dogs are a source of unconditional love.

11. Please include anything else you’d like to add:
Because I {heart} all things Rhody, including this blog, and I'm so stoked to be included on it, I've added a special coupon code to The Ark and Wine Etsy shop for your readers. From now thru August 31st, folks can save 10% on purchases of $35 or more at by entering coupon code 'IHEARTRHODY10' at checkout. HUGE thanks to I{heart}Rhody for the shout out and for highlighting so many of the wonderful things/ people/ art/ culture that our tiny little state has to offer! #401


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