Wood Carving | How does a carved Santa come to being? | BACK |

|Step 1|

My carving begins with a Canadian Basswood block, and a very rough idea of what my Santa will look like. His likeness is sketched on the block in pencil as a rough guide, and he will eventually speak to me about his looks. All carving is done with hand tools – chisels and knives. Thus starts the process that will take about 8 hours from start to finish.
|Step 2|

The rough carving begins with the shape of Santa’s hood, and a refinement of his facial features – will his moustache curl up or down? Is he jolly or pensive? Is he holding something, or are his hands simply clasped?
|Step 3|

His face begins to appear as I structure the eyes, cheeks and nose. His personality begins to assert itself and I begin to see who he wants to be.
|Step 4|

This Santa is a jolly fellow, and he’s holding a present. His toes poke out from below his robe. A little more carving and he’s ready for hand-painting.
|Step 5|

Once Santa is carved, his real personality comes through with daubs of acrylic paint. His face is what makes him really shine.
|Step 6|

After he is painted, he’ll take on two or three coats of varnish to protect him from the weather, and sometimes a little antiquing to make him look weathered himself.
|Step 7|

I apply very little sanding to my Santas because I want the cuts made by my carving tools to show. Every Santa is unique, and more often than not, the finished Santa is a wonder for me, too. Like Michelangelo said, I just release them from the block!