by Megan Durocher
Before the snow starts to fall, I’m working on holiday and winter-themed sculptures. As soon as there’s a chill in the air I start looking at the red and green clay. I’m very much a home-body, so when winter arrives it’s really an excuse for me to stay in, bundle up, and do things like read, bake, and make art!
I make just what you would expect – Santas, penguins, nativities, angels – but then I make other things to open up the creativity a bit more. I really enjoy making cardinal birds on a branch. Something new I’m trying this year is making pups wearing wreaths.
I also make Halloween ornaments! Nothing like combining holidays. One of the most difficult sculptures I’ve made for the holidays is a nutcracker! Something that’s been very popular has been my custom family ornaments. I love to see people cherish the custom work I make for them. But I also love when someone appreciates the art I make straight from my own mind.
While sculpting as much as I do during the holiday season, I need some other stimulation. I spend hours upon hours sculpting! I am a big fan of The Golden Girls. I know that show inside out, and could quote every episode. There’s no need for me to give the show my full attention, which keeps me focused on my work while I get a few laughs from the Girls. It all keeps me in the right headspace for creativity.
To keep me in the holiday mood, I like to listen to Christmas music while I’m sculpting. I don’t mean those new pop versions of classic songs. I mean Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, The Carpenters, and Perry Como. I like to keep hot chocolate nearby, scented candles lit, and the window shades up so I can watch the snow fall. I know this might sound cliché, but it all adds up to become the quintessential Christmas scene needed for me to create holiday art!
I like to create things in sets of three. I feel like the sculptures come to life when they’re being made, so when I make more than one, it’s like making a little family or bunch of friends. Since everything is completely hand-made, even my sets look slightly different from each other. Maybe one is taller, or has a rounder face. Maybe one has a bigger smile, or a crooked one.
These are all happy happenstances of making multiple sculptures of the same subject. They all end up with their own personalities! Take a look at my penguins and my elves. If you really study them, you’ll see the subtle differences among them. I take pride in those differences – as I’m not a mass-producing machine! I like to think my elves would be proud of the love that goes into the art I make in my own North Pole (ahem, my workspace).