December 20, 2010

Grey Havens Christmas – My Handmade Santa

I confessed back in June that I was traveling up to Berea, Kentucky, to take a Santa-making class by nationally known doll artist, Lindy Evans. The 4-foot Santa shown below is an example of her work (photo by Jim). Her creations are exquisitely detailed, life-like, and very much sought after by collectors.

santa by Linda Evans

I successfully completed her one-day class, though I could have easily used another day to work on my personal Santa creation. Since I had never done any sculpting before or worked with polymer clay, I was incredibly slow and frequently felt inept. I was convinced that my new fellow was going to look like a bedraggled Gimli after a weekend bender of hot buttered rum. It turns out that he appears to look more like Gandalf, much to my relief. Here he is, standing proudly in our master bedroom!

my handmade santa - overall perspective

Lindy prepared kits for us ahead of time, so that helped immensely. A wire frame serves as the foundation. No sewing was required in the construction of the outfit. Hot glue and scissors made quick work of the tapestry fabric coat, hat, and fur trim. The bag was already made. Polymer clay was used to make the head and mittens.

We spent the whole class morning sculpting the head. There is quite an art and science to making anatomical features! Lindy went a bit too fast for me (okay, a lot fast, LOL), and I made Santa’s nose too big. By the time I put it on and realized my mistake, she was zipping on to the next step. There was no time for redo’s! Just slap it on there and make the best of it. So let’s just say that my Santa has a decidedly German-style honker of a nose! I could have also fussed quite a while with his hair, but that was another slap-it-on-and-go kind of step.

my handmade santa

So my handmade Santa is a true piece of folk art, complete with imperfections. I signed and dated the base under his robe. Perhaps it will make a dollar or two at my estate sale after I kick the proverbial bucket! I may get around to making some more of these later on, since the mystery of construction has been cleared up and I now have a tiny bit of polymer clay experience. But don’t hold me to it! This may very well be a one-of-a-kind piece!


  1. Sorry for being so Tardy as of late! I LOVE LOVE him!! He looks Fantastic Donna!!
    And I love all the Other decorations as well!!

  2. Looks great!
    My Sister did a couple of these types of Sculptures and They are really good....One is a Black genie.

  3. These are fantastic, both of them. And who cares if he has a bigger nose than usually thought of? It gives him personality! :-)

    Wow, I can't imagine doing all that though! And quickly too. I'd have gotten befuddled early on and had to stop, and go have a cry. lol.

    Happy Yule Eve.

    Gentle Yule hugs...

  4. Ooohhh I love him Donna. What a great class to take!

  5. I've never worked with polymer clay. I think your Santa is wonderful, I can't believe you've never done anything like that before. You must be a natural. The Santa in the first picture is just awesome, so much detail she puts into them.

  6. Donna, You did an awesome job!!! He is just wonderful!! You should be very proud!


  7. Oh he is wonderful! He has a lot of character and that's what makes him so terrific. I think you'd have fun creating more of them.

  8. Donna, your Santa is fantastic! So much personality! I love all the small trees you have decorating your home. Maybe next year Baby will have calmed down enough to allow for a tree or two! Merry Christmas to you!... Donna

  9. Oh I LOVE Santas and yours is awesome!!! He's a one of a kind, truly special Santa! I think he looks more Icelandic, or maybe has Eskimo features. It's wonderful Miz Donna!!

  10. He's awesome, Donna. Girl, is there anything you can't do? I'm so awe inspired by your talents!! Love ya, and have a great day!!

  11. WOW!!! He is gorgeous! I absolutely love his nose, it makes him seem all the more real. Donna, I am SO PROUD of you! Now we are PC Sisters, as well. Big hugs and a Merry Christmas to you and J. Love, Jackie

  12. He's fabulous. I LOVE his big schnozz! His eyes are sweet.

  13. I think he is wonderful Donna! I love his nose and the whole face is really good. Your just too close to see it. I tried myself to do faces out of clay, it is not easy, the eyes are my challange, to get them straight. I love him and you should be proud and do more. I have one I was thinking of have inspired me.
    Merry Christmas!


Marty, here! Donna loves comments, and I faithfully pass them on to her. Thank you so much for visiting!