Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Christmas in July

I love Christmas.  And it's a good thing, because being an artist who sells the majority of her work in the fall season, I have to begin making Christmas things long before a normal person even has Christmas on their radar.  Who among you even wants to think  about holiday shopping yet?  NO ONE!  (There are five months until Christmas, right?)

Well, for me, Christmas season began about two months ago, when I made my first Santa of the year.  And to be honest, I'm feeling the pinch of time already!  How is that possible, with five months to Christmas you ask?  Well, I'm beginning to stock my etsy shop already.  And I have a BIG arts and crafts show approaching very quickly the first week of October.  I sometimes wish I had about a dozen elves in my studio like Santa does, busily working away!

But no.  I am a one woman show.  Each and every piece that appears in my etsy shop or in a show display is made by me.  And only me.  When you buy one of my clay pieces you are truly buying A Piece of Lisa. 

Today I listed my first Christmas items on etsy.  Among them was that first Santa of the season.  Here's a look at him now:

All my pieces begin with an armature made from wire and foil.  Then I begin covering the piece with clay.  I usually have an idea in my head of where I am going with a figure, but sometimes it will veer off on its own.  I listen to what the clay and the armature are telling me as I work. 

Santa needs a red suit, of course, and tall black winter boots with silver buckles.  A black belt and green mittens complete his ensemble.  I have all sort of brads and notions and buttons and trims to use in my work, and for this piece I chose two different styles of studs for his buttons and belt buckle.

Once I have the body constructed, I begin on the head.  Faces take forever!  I'm not after complete realism and perfect proportions.  I want them to have a personality, and I'm not bothered by flaws.  Who doesn't have a few flaws??  His eyes are hand painted and his cheeks and lips are lightly brushed with blush. On this piece I decided to make his beard from clay.

Santa has a little red hat with a jingle bell on the tip.  His fur trim is chenille.  I relish in the little details of a piece! 

I like to accessorize my dolls, and this time I used a bottle brush wreath I bought in the doll house miniatures department at Hobby Lobby.  It was already adorned with a red satin ribbon! 

I finish my dolls with a dusting of glass glitter on the base.  I have all sorts of wonderful glass glitters and mica flakes, most of which I purchased here.  This particular one is a Japanese glass glitter, and it's very fine (read: messy), but it glitters like freshly fallen snow.

I love this jolly old soul.  I love that his eyes are not exactly the same size and that his hat might be a little bit too small.  I think he's got lots of character.

I hope you'll stop by A Piece of Lisa and have a look around. 

(OK, it IS a bit early for that)


  1. Merry Christmas to you, too! I can't wait to see this year's batch of Christmas ornaments. It wouldn't be Christmas without your ornaments!! (P.S. I love this little Santa, too!)

    1. Hi, Ila! I'm glad you stopped by! Just so you know, the sketches for this year's collection were finished up over the weekend, so the actual ornaments will be started probably next week! It wouldn't be Christmas without you, my best ornament collector! :D

  2. Love your Santa Lisa! He has lots of character! :)