When I'm working on a peice I become impatient when I have to stop working and wait for the piece to dry. To hurry the drying along I've discoved that a couple of hours in the oven helps. I employ other methods but this is the quickest way to dry a piece. When I was making the snowkids this method worked without a problem because they are short enough to stand on a cake rack on the bottom shelf of the oven. This Santa on the other hand is too tall to stand upright, so I decided to lay him down to bake. Big mistake.
I was painting another Santa when my son informed me that whatever I had cooking in the oven had gone flat. My son is a great kidder and I wasn't sure I should believe him, so I went to look for myself. I opened the oven door, looked in and saw one really flat paper mache cone. When I say flat, I mean really flat. I was sure he was a goner. He nearly ended up in the trash can, but being me I had to try to save him. I hate for things to go to waste. After holding him under the faucet and running warm water over and through him I force the cone open as far as I could. I couldn't get it to open completely, but that only gave him a more interesting shape. This was the first of my Santas where you can see the toe of one of his boots. That wasn't my intention when I started making him, but I'm really glad things worked out the way they did.
When I work on a piece I don't always have one clear idea of what I'm trying to make. I start out with a general idea of what I want and then let the peice I'm working on have some say in how it will turn out. For instance I've worked on a Santa for days thinking that I was going to be painting his cloak blue then for whatever reason, I end up painting it red. I've told my sister, the other Santa artist that my peices have some say in how they want to turn out, and she told me the same is true for hers.
Now that you've heard the story behind this Belsnickle Santa here he is:
This is the third Santa that I made and he has eliments that the first two do not. His left arm is extended and holding onto a staff. His hair is different from my other Santas as it's "wind swept". Notice the branches in the basket on his back? Those are actually very small branches from my yard that have been preserved.
Well, what do you think? Not too shabby looking for something that nearly ended up in the trash can.
Thanks for dropping by.