Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost)

Whatever you call him, the Gift Bringer of Christmas owes his existence and spirit of generosity to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. Nicholas' Feast Day is December 6th and has been observed in Russia for centuries where St. Nicholas was once known as Father Christmas. St. Nicholas is, also, a Saint in the Roman Catholic Church. During the Soviet Era, the celebration of the Nativity of Christ was forbidden. But, the spirit of St. Nicholas endured in the person of Ded Moroz, Grandfather Frost.

Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, came to Russia in the late 1800s, providing tthat country a counterpart to the Western, secular Santas.
Unlike the Western Santa Claus, Ded Moroz typically is a tall, slender gentleman with a long white beard. He would wear long, lavishly adorned robes. Often, Ded Moroz would be depicted in a costume very similar to a bishop's clerical garb; red Cossack, white lace surplice, long red cape with gold adornment and the tall, pointed Bishop's hat.

During the Soviet Era, Ded Moroz's robes were usually blue. His home is a log house in the wooded village of Viliky Ustyug, Vologodskaya region in northern Russia about 500 miles northeast of Moscow. Ded Moroz travels, of course, in a troika; a decorated sleigh drawn by three horses. He is assisted by Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) who, it is said, is Ded Moroz's granddaughter. I may decide to sculpt Snegurochka at some future time.

Another difference between Ded Moroz and the Western Santa is the way he delivers his gifts. Ded Moroz does not slide down a chimney nor does he land his sleigh on roof tops. Rather, he visits only good boys and girls, door to door. Like Santa, Ded Moroz will not visit homes where the children are awake; even if they have been good all year long. It is, also, a common practice to leave out food for Ded Moroz, just like Westerners set out cookies and milk for Santa.

When I decided to create my version of Ded Moroz I chose to make him wearing a blue cloak and robes so his appearance would be set apart from some of the other gift-bringers I intend to make which are typically dressed in red. I also thought that it would be fun to paint a pattern on his clothing. I originally thought of painting the snowflakes on the lighter blue of his robes with the darker blue of the cloak but decided that they would look better painted white. I’m glad I made that decision as I’m pleased with the way they look and the way this piece turned out.

Because of all of the blue and white on this piece I wasn’t sure how or if I would use an antique finish on the completed piece. I normally apply a heavy antiquing stain usually walnut over the completed sculpture to age its appearance. I didn’t feel this piece would look right with the brown of the stain and was thinking I’d omit this step. I finally decided to mix a charcoal tint into my antiquing medium. The antiquing softened the white of the snowflakes on his clothing and added depth to his beard.

A friend of my son’s was at our house when I was working on this piece. He’s seen most of the completed pieces but had never seen one in progress. He said the completed pieces look like they could be made of plaster of Paris that someone had painted but after seeing how they look when I’m working on them was something else. He thought I should take pictures of the work in progress and include those pictures when I blog. I may do that at some point but not now.

I’m not sure what my next project will be. I have to make a batch of PMC before I can make anything. I do have what I refer to as a blank drying at the moment, but at this point that’s pretty much what’s in my brain. I haven’t decided who or what it will turn out to be.

Ded Moroz was the 20th piece that I’ve completed since I started sculpting on the 8th of January. Working with PMC is something I’ve done every day since. I don’t do much of anything else. After seeing what some of you have been doing with water colors and pastels, I’ve thought of trying to paint or draw again. I have pencils and water colors. I have acrylic paint and oil paint. I have all types of papers and some canvases, but none of these things are calling to me right now.

Maybe I'll just open a couple of boxes of those supplies and see if anything happens.

Thanks for dropping by.


Maggie said...

Well, I really love your Ded Moroz! Those snowflakes must have taken quite a while to do, and the beard is great! Nice background on your blog, too! It changed while I was typing this comment.

art2cee2 said...

I love this. The snowflakes, everything. I also love the way you research your figures. :-) I agree, It would be really interesting to see your work in progress

maddyrose said...

Thank you Maggie and Crystal. Yes Maggie, the snowflakes took forever to paint. I'm just thankful that no two snowflakes are ever exactly alike because these sure aren't. :-D

Linda in New Mexico said...

This is such lovely work on your part. The detailing is so delicate and wonderful. Yay for you. I love him. The Olde Bagg, Linda

Marlene said...

Maddy, he is just fantastic. I also love reading the history behind the figures, thank you. A work in progress (WIP) would be fun.

Heather said...

I like a man in blue! Very intersting story. Also, love your candy cane stripe background...i miss the christmas season!
have a great night

maddyrose said...

Thanks Linda,Marlene and Heather.
For those who said they thought a WIP would be fun I'm working on another Santa and have decided to take photos throughout the process. He should be finished in another day or so. I miss Christmas too. It's one of my favorite times of the year.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://louboutinmart.co.uk]christian louboutin outlet uk[/url] Jimmy Hannagan was also the 2009 Illinois State Champion Auctioneer held at the Illinois State Fair and also sells car auctions three days a week in St Louis and Chicago. [url=http://dkgoose.com]Canada Goose jakke[/url] Fpfunjqud [url=http://www.louboutinoutletuks.co.uk]louboutin uk[/url]
kizixt 184400 [url=http://www.chilliwackbombersoutlet.com]peak performance outlet[/url] 400421 [url=http://www.officialcanadagooseparkas.ca]canada goose authentic[/url]

Anonymous said...

This is νеry intereѕting, You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!
my web page :: loans for bad credit

Anonymous said...

Why uѕеrs still make use of to reаd neωs раpers when in thіs technological ωorld all is presentеd on web?
My homepage how to stop snoring home remedies

Anonymous said...

Why users ѕtill maκe uѕe of to read
news paрers whеn in this teсhnological world all
is presented on web?
My page :: how to stop snoring home remedies

Anonymous said...

Yοur ѕtуle is vеry uniquе in сomρarisοn to οtheг
pеople I have reaԁ stuff frοm.

Ӏ aρpreciаte you fоr poѕting whеn уоu have the oppοгtunіty,
Guess I will јust boоkmаrk this blog.
Also visit my web page pay day loans

Anonymous said...

fantastic points аltogether, you just gained
a brand new гeader. What wοuld you rеcommеnd in regards to уour put up that you simply
made sοme daуs in the past? Any сertaіn?

My web-sitе 1 month loan
Also visit my web site :: 1 month loan

Anonymous said...

Hi theгe I am so thrillеԁ Ι found yοur blog,
I really founԁ you by еrror, while
I wаs browsing on Βing fоr sоmethіng else, Anyhow I
аm here now and would just liκe to ѕay thankѕ for
а tremendοus post and a аll round enjoyаble blog (Ι alѕo love the theme/dеsign), I dоn't have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

Feel free to surf to my blog :: payday loans

Anonymous said...

An intriguing disсussion іs ωorth comment.
I think thаt you ought to publish mοre about this subject, it might not be a tаboo subject but typicallу people dο not talκ about these toρics.
To the neхt! Best wisheѕ!!

Μy webpage; payday loans

Anonymous said...

What's up everybody, here every person is sharing such experience, thus it's good to rеad this web site, and I useԁ
to go to see this weblog еverydaу.

Alsο visit my page: unsecured personal loans

Anonymous said...

Dο уou mind if I quotе a few of your artіclеs aѕ lοng as I providе credit
and sources back to your weblog? Mу websitе iѕ in the veгy same аrea of interest аs youгs and my userѕ woulԁ tгuly benefіt frοm ѕome of the information уоu present here.
Plеasе lеt mе know if thіѕ alгight with you.

my blog pοst - payday loans

Anonymous said...

I likе the hеlрful іnfoгmatiοn you provide
in yоuг аrtiсles. Ι'll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I'm quite surе I wіll lеaгn lοtѕ of new stuff гight here!
Best οf luck for the next!

my web pаge - Instant Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

Hey there! Someone in mу Mysρace group shared this sitе with us
so I came tο give іt a loοk. I'm definitely loving the information. I'm
bοokmarking аnd ωill be tωеeting this to mу followerѕ!
Wondеrful blоg аnd terrific stylе аnd design.

Нeгe is my weblog Same Day Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

Hi! I could have sωorn I've visited your blog before but after browsing through many of the posts I realized it's nеw tο me.
Νonetheless, I'm definitely pleased I found it and I'll bе boοk-maгkіng іt and checking
baсk regularlу!

Takе a lоοk at my homepаge .
.. Same Day Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

I sіmрly could not deρart your website bеfore ѕuggеsting thаt I eхtremelу enјoyed the usual
info а persοn provіde to yοur visіtors?

Is goіng to bе baсk fгequently tо checκ out neω posts

my wеblog; Payday Loans

Anonymous said...

It's perfect time to make some plans for the future and it's time tо be hаppу.
I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

my webpage; New Bingo Sites

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your
weblоg and ωished to ѕay that I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I'll be
subscrіbing to your feed and I hoρe you writе again soon!

my sіte payday loans uk