This Artist's Passion to Teach Music, Leads Him to a Whole New Passion!

Local sculptor and herb farmer, Tony, stopped by Bethlehem based saffron startup, Zaffrus to perform this intricate pumpkin carving.

 Tony's Pumking Carving for Zaffrus

Tony’s passion of sculpting is beautifully combined with his lifelong love of medicinal herbs and vegetables, as pictured above.


For many, Halloween is an exciting, nostalgic holiday. The rush of late night trick-or-treating reminds us of our youth, preparing Halloween costumes and patiently staging light-hearted scares.

The best costumes often are those which are creatively developed. Household items can transform people into just about anything, using a bit of imagination. The Zaffrus Team was recently treated to the presence of an imaginative local artist, sculptor, and herbalist, Tony, who shared some of his best Halloween costume memories as a kid.

The most memorable costume that Tony ever created was of a robot. Using nothing but cardboard boxes and, in his own playful words, about 30,000 square feet of aluminum wrap, Tony cased himself in a robotic shell. His costume was quickly foiled by his friends at school. They picked apart his wrap in five minutes! Amidst this pestering, Tony never lost touch with his flair for the artistic.

Tony: The Sculptor

A lifelong cartoon artist and brass musician, Tony’s professionalism in sculpting stems from a charitable backbone. While teaching a group of young, aspiring trumpeters, Tony was approached by a young man who wanted to learn how to play the instrument. There was a glaring problem though. The boy was missing an arm. To remedy the issue that lay at hand, Tony acted deftly and fashioned some strips of wax into an apparatus that would properly anchor the trumpet. This allowed the young man to begin his lessons.

Amazed at how naturally he could form wax, Tony began to take incremental leaps into world of sculpting. He created chess sets and various sculptures. It wasn’t long until other artists started to notice Tony’s talent. His colleagues offered up their favorite materials for Tony to work on. Sandstone, soapstone, and wood are now commonly molded by Tony’s tools.

Herbs and Healing

Influenced largely by his grandmother, Tony became interested in wholistic medicine when he was just six. A prudential teacher, Tony’s grandma showed him how herbs and vegetables could be used for the betterment of the body. These teaching never left him. At the age of thirty, Tony developed a farm dedicated to the growing of medicinal herbs and the pasturing of horses.

Ginseng, raspberry leaves, passion flower, and many others were gathered for sale. Tony ceaselessly read about the herbs he was growing, their medicinal purposes, and of other herbs that peaked his interest. This educational pursuit was undertaken to both better himself as a gardener and to increase his quality of life.

The Zaffrus Team has continually assisted Tony in his education of healing herbs and spices. Zaffrus’ owner treated Tony to traditional, cultural, and seasonal saffron infused recipes. Many are aware of saffron’s incorporation in dishes like Paellas, rice, and chicken, but who knew it could also be used in seasonal staples like pumpkin shrimp soup and honey pumpkin desserts?