Sunday, July 27, 2008

Black Swan Box Santa

My box Santas were a combination of chancing on a good buy and a bit of hard work. I found these boxes and loved them, but they were covered with some awful paper. After many hours of peeling and scraping, I had bare wood which I then coated with some prim colored paint and sealant. I held onto these boxes for two years before I finally connected santa and the boxes in my mind. I plunked an armature with a santa head on it into the box and my imagination began to run wild. I only have 6 of these boxes, and every one is different, but this one is particularly appealing to me because it has elements I love. Driftwood, boats, water birds and santa! They remind me of a couple summers I spent on a lake with my family. If summer lasted all the time, I would be so content! I picture him displayed in a lakeside home. I hope he gets that home!

Santa's January Vacation

This santa's face looked like he was having a fabulous time doing something...vacation makes ME smile, so where would santa vacation? On the slopes!My fave vacation spot would be on a tropical beach somewhere, but santa is a winter sports kind of guy. So here he is, tucked for maximum speed down the mountainside. Santa is such a speed junkie... If only the reindeer had "turbo" buttons... So his thrills are sought on the ski slopes, and by the look of him, I'd say he is relishing the ride!
Hang onto your hat, Santa! Big jump ahead!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bird Whisperer

My first Santa is done for 2008! I love him! I think he is so sweet and gentle looking. Off to my studio for the next one!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Box of Heads

I have been a sculpting fool this past couple of weeks. I've made so many santa faces I'm dreaming faces! Each face takes me an hour or two to sculpt. I use glass or plastic eyes (plastic...not a good idea when I am baking the heads, but if I bake longer and at a lower heat, I can manage it without distortion.) The eyes tend to speak to me as I lay the clay on. Sometimes just one swipe of the modeling tool sets me on a whole new track in where I am going with the face. I may start thinking, 'he is a serious face', and then, with a little more clay on the cheek than I wanted, suddenly his eyes sparkle and I am adding more clay and making him laugh. They evolve for me, taking me with them as I bring forth the face they want to be. Once I add the wool to these faces they will take on a whole new look and feel. Some faces that I am not too happy with will sometimes be the ones I step back from and admire as a finished santa, and sigh with pleasure. I never know where this process will take me.

Check back for the next stage of santa building. Bases and bodies....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Process of Santa

I have a show soon in Cumberland and since I can only make stuff from one category, I chose to make santas. I thought it would be fun to share my creative process while I make them. So here is the first stage. I begin with a ball of tinfoil and shape it into roughly the size I need for a 16-22 inch figure. I then add a pancake of polymer clay to the back of the head and bake. Then I set the eyes, and fill in any deep crevices with polymer so there are no air pockets. I bake them again. This is the result of the second bake.
These creepy little faces are the basis for my santa faces...really...they look better later...

Monday, July 7, 2008


Summer seems to be passing so quickly for me this year. I was sitting on my side porch in the warm July sun and as I listened to the birds and felt the warmth of the sun on my face, I noticed the flowers were as eager as I was to absorb the sunshine. I wandered around my yard with my camera and tried to capture the smell and warmth and quietness of a Maine July day so I may refer to them in the depths of -20 degree days in January to remind me that winter is not forever.