I've been working my tail off to
finish my old world Santa clauses. I think my favorite part of creating each piece is the "wigging" part when I create his beard and hair. I don't know, call it a throw back to when I was a small child and would spend hours combing out my Barbie's hair, elegantly coiffing and styling it; either way, I love it. I probably should have become a beautician.
When I create my Old World St. Nicholas figures, I start by hand sculpting their heads and faces out of paperclay. It is close in makeup to paper mache, and I find that it is much better for holding details in the facial expressions, such as fine wrinkles around the eyes and forehead. after the drying process, I then paint the head in a portrait with real milk paints to make it resemble it's antique counterparts. I then use pure Cottswold sheep's wool, approximately one year's worth of grown on the animal's coat. I comb out the cleaned, washed and processed fibers and then attach them to the Santa's head with doll wig glue.
I think my greatest inspirations are those old antique, German candy containers. To me, they almost represent the spirit of Christmas past.