Monday, April 25, 2011


When I posted Santa and his coat of many colors my sister Marlene asked me if it was the one that I'd been painting in my mind. It wasn't, however this Santa is. I had told her how I'd been laying in bed and visualizing painting the patchwork on the cloak of a new Santa while we were having our morning coffee.

We were at their house on the coast getting in a bit of R&R . From just before 3:30 that morning I had been laying in bed imagining what this Santa would look like. I worked on the details trying out this and that and rejecting some ideas and making choices about what I liked and didn't like. Because I usually wake up earlier than I want to, doing this makes me lay in bed longer and I get the rest I need and sometimes if I'm lucky I'll fall back to sleep. Besides, it can be dangerous roaming around a strange house in the dark.

I started this Santa nearly two weeks ago but didn't get very far on it before we left to go to the coast. I'd just finished up six other pieces and still hadn't completely thought this one through. I hadn't even sketched it as I was working on several other pieces and this was still in the 'blank' stage and just a glimmer of an idea. Sometimes the idea for a piece just pops into my head and I have to hurry up and make it or it won't leave my mind and it's hard for me to think of anything else. This wasn't one of those pieces. The idea behind this one has been brewing in the foggy back part of my brain for a very long time.

Back in January when I first started sculpting Santa figures I decided I wanted to create a look that is expressly my own. There are so many elements that can be tweaked during the process of making one of these little guys. Noses and eyes can be made larger or smaller. Beards longer or shorter, curlier or straighter, thicker or thinner. The clothing can be made completely different each time, or a theme can be carried out from piece to piece. I like painting patterns onto the cloaks. The Russian artists who make the wooden Santa figures paint lovely scenes on the cloaks. I don't want to steal ideas from any of the figures I've seen while researching Santa, but have hoped to come up with a look that is my very own and no one elses, and something that will be appealing.  Is that too much to ask for?

Each one of the pieces I sculpt seems to provide me with inspiration while I'm working on it. I know this sounds a bit crazy but the truth is, my characters have nearly as much say in this whole thing as I do. They're like children in some ways. We guide and influence them but they'll be their own selves in the end.

Now that you realize I'm completely crackers I'll show you my latest effort in creating a special look for my Santas. This doesn't mean I'm not happy with the way the previous ones have turned out, they're all special to me but this one has some of the elements I've been working with on several Santas and a few different ones as well.

There's a touch of the Nossie in him, and he is dressed in one of my patterned cloaks but unlike most of the other Santas I've made, his is shorter and you see his boots. This pleases the male members of my family that have issued protests about Santa wearing dresses. I've tried explaining to them that he's wearing robes like a wizard not dresses, but do they listen?

Well, what do you think? I wanted the colors muted but don't know if I went too far. Nice boots, huh?

This shot allows you to see the nearly empty bag and the doll who is sticking out of the top.

This is one of the few I've made Santa without a collar turned up or a hood on the back of his cloak. I thought the belt would break up the long lines as would the patchwork but am not sure I succeeded because of the muting.

In some ways this Santa resembles the Nossie. Not around the eyes, that's for sure. As you can see, the Teddy bears just keep getting cuter and cuter. One of these days I'll start sculpting Teddy bears and nothing else.

So, what do you think? Am I getting close to having figures that are unique and are something people would want to have hanging around their homes for the holidays?

One more thing before I forget. Laura at Cobblestone Creations is having a terrific giveaway. Just click on the button on the right side of this page and see what's going on.
Thanks for stopping by.


Heather said...

YES! Their faces are so sweet....and the little details like the toys and the teddy bears make it! I can't believe you sculpt these by hand!!!! Great work! xo

Linda in New Mexico said...

Your work is exceptional and unique and yes of course you should offer them to others for sale. They are quite wonderful. The Olde Bagg

Marlene said...

Love the way he turned out, hope he is out of your mind now that you have him done. Like the boots, quite stylish.

art2cee2 said...

Your Santas always make me smile! :-)

Maggie said...

I think he is the cutest one yet! Do I say that every time? He is unbelieveable! Love his coat, and toys, all the little details that make him so wonderful.

Jan said...

I'm no expert on Santas but yours are sure cute to me. I haven't seen enough others to know how unique yours are, I'm sure you will know it in your heart when you are there.

Mina said...

I think he is fantastic and I love the little doll sticking out so sweetly. Do you have an Etsy shop where you sell these little treasures?

Erin Tame Designs said...

I absolutely adore him! The detailed doll and bear are my favorite made them perfectly! And his shiny belt buckle, of course.

Mina said...

Just wanted to drop in and tell you I have been studying such things for years and have collected information from several wonderful sources. I could recommend some books you might enjoy and if you are interested, please let me know and I will email some titles to you so as not to take anymore space here. ;-) As always, thanks for dropping by.

Astridbears said...

your Santas are soo wonderful, very sweet face!

ger chouinard said...

oops .. hit the wrong comment link ... try this one more time!

Maddy: U are Marlene's Sister ... how cool is that?!?!? So glad we met at PPF. I am Santa 'crazy', I think I told you that before! Love patchwork Santa! He came togther quite nicely ... glad you got to enjoy some R&R!