Spirituality as well as local and international artisans come together to create a unique shopping experience in Spirit Space, now celebrating it's first anniversary at St. Francis Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue.
Recognizing the interest in showing area residents how the crafts are made has inspired Sister Jane Omlor, shop manager, to plan an open house 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 19.
This outdoor event, to be on the grounds beside the center, is to provide demonstrations including pottery, basket weaving, woodworking, the arts of crochet and knitting and stone work.
Omlor also is to make pottery for children to paint Saturday for their mothers, and Sister Veronica is to offer a potpourri project.
Also featured is to be the shops new seasonal room. Now it is filled with spring flowers in Japanese ikebana vases made by Omlor; hand beaded bracelets and hair decorations, made by Guatemalans; tote bags painted by a Mexican woman, Sylvia Hernandez, to support her family; and candle holders made of the wood of olive trees from Palestine, for the Sisters mission to help the people of Palestine.
"All of our proceeds benefit the ministries of the Sisters of St. Francis," Omlor said. "We subsidize missions in Appalachia and Mexico."
Local artisans also contribute to the mix in the shop. Residents of the St. Francis campus, Dick Puffenberger makes handmade wooden scrollwork baskets, Gene Phillips does wood working, and Jeannie Ardner creates beaded jewelry for the shop.
There also are compact discs's, books and other gifts to "enhance the spiritual dimension of our lives," Omlor said. A new line of greeting cards, "Divine Gracie," is to be offered in July.
"I'm just amazed at how many people don't know about this," said volunteer, Tiffin resident Gabi Felter. "It's one of Tiffin's best-kept secrets, I've told all of my friends. I like the whole idea that there are some things from other countries that are their creators livelihood."
During the open house, there also is to be refreshments, music and special sales and offers available.