Friday, December 08, 2006

Hand-Carved Santas

Vera at KCQuilter has some photos of her gorgeous Christmas display here. Love the hand-carved Santas and the samplers. Go take a peek if you haven't already.

I really miss my Santas. Here is a small selection of them:

I am infatuated with Santas carved from cypress knees (bits of the cypress tree that grow up out of the water in the bayou) - they have the perfect shape for Santa. In this pic, the second and third from the left are cypress knees. That back one is by Bill Evans who is incredibly talented.

A few years ago, back when I was living in Georgia (the state, not the country), I tried my hand at carving cypress knees. Turn out that I LOVE finding the hidden Santa and carving him out:

But absolutely hate everything that comes afterwords. I have no idea how many years you'd have to spend trying to completely sand one of these. I hated that step and don't think I got a single one of them sanded down right. Then I was completely intimidated at the thought of painting on them. I hate cutesy faces and I just was having a heck of a time trying to get the eyes right on paper, let alone the wood. So these guys never got finished, although they have a certain amount of charm as is. They are living with my mom and dad now.

I took my tools with me to Cairo but never picked them up. I hate the idea of trying to carve with the cats around, but I'm sure I'll make another stab at this one of these days.

Anyone else have a hand-carved Santa they'd like to share?

I'm currently reading Heat by Bill Buford, yet another book about life in a professional kitchen. I never ever wanted to be a chef or cook, but I'm fascinated by what a hard life it can be. Routine twelve hour days, no taking off work when you are sick (which is rather repulsive from a customer's prospective) and the amount of abuse that is hurled around.

It has gotten incredibly cold here. Okay, yes it is much colder elsewhere, but still, it's COLD. I am not happy. We were actually walking in snow flurries last night. Definitely time to decamp. But first I have to go out in that cold weather to get books back to the library and buy cat food.


Joyce said...

Your Santas look great. You should just bite the bullet and paint them some day. I have seen some gnome looking faces that could be Santas made from very coarse bark from some tree that grows around here. I think the secret of them is more in picking the bark than carving and No Sanding! Lol. Sorry I don't have a picture of one. I saw them in an art shop but didn't buy one.

Nancy said...

I rather like your Santa's unpainted! They look great sitting on that tree trunk table.

Judy said...

I have never heard of these, but they are fabulous!! My mom collects more traditional santa's. These are totally cool. I can see getting stuck on how to paint these guys, and they really look sort of neat raw and not painted like that.

No santa's at my house. I collect lighted snowmen tho, they come out in January! It's 41 here...too cold for me! After have to be freezing!

Laura said...

Wow Tonya - the santas you carved are fantastic. You are sooo talented! I wouldn't paint them I think they look perfect as they are!

Candy Schultz said...

I think the santas you carved are great just as they are. You wouldn't need to paint them.

Have you read Michael Ruhlman's books about chefs? All of them are really good.

quiltpixie said...

I actually prefer your "unfinished" santas. I think they have a charming quality to them that is lost too easily with too much polishing....

Tazzie said...

You're amazing Tonya, you know what? I love them just the way they are!

YankeeQuilter said...

I think I prefer them I saw some of the German Father Christmases and they were pretty scarey looking! If he was in charge we would all get coal! (which if it is as cold as you say may not be a bad idea!)


Darcie said...

I actually like them just as-is, Tonya! They're gorgeous!

And...did you really intend on this pun?!

***make another stab at this one of these days***

Silly girl! So glad you're feeling so much more like yourself!

Anonymous said...

The santas look good - you're nearly done! If you don't want to do them yourself, get a painter friend to finish them - they are very unique and make up a fantastic collection :-)

Finn said...

Hi Ton, love seeing the "boys" again..*VBS* I'm not familiar with cypress, but it does make great Santas. I think I have one hand carved one..a bit more cutsy than your, but kind of neat. I'll show him when I finally get those decorations dragged in..hopefully today.
We are coming up and out of our deep freeze, suppose to be up to 40 degrees today! I sure hope so!
I'm with you on never wanting to be a cook, chef or anything else kitchen related, but I'm always fascinated by the reality show "Hell's Kitchen" on the Fox Network. The head guy is Gordon Ramsey, apprently of British fame..LOL. It's quite the show. Take care of you, and get going on those pink Bobs! Hugs, Finn

Joanne said...

I love your santas the way they are! They are wonderful -- in fact, I would buy a santa like that before I would buy one totally painted and finished!

The Lone Beader® said...

I love your skinny santas!! :)

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

don't touch those fabulous Santas-you'll lose that great character. they are fab. and I hope you get back into it when you are newly set up. I am looking at a huge plantation of old cypress trees out my window-I may have to go out with the axe. Do you know why else I love them unpainted/-they remind me of the talking trees in Enid Blyton's Enchanted Wood books. You have your own little enchanted woods.

McIrish Annie said...

how awesome are those cypress Santas!!i would be afraid to tackle them too. Maybe youcould find someone locally to do the painting??

AHHH, life in the northeast! but at least you have florida to look forward to. I'm stuck here in Coldville for the duration! Boo! Hoo!