Santa Claus - sculpted in Augsburg, Germany 1999
This project was an amazing experience and one of the more extreme challenges of my career so far, if only because of the scale. I've sculpted dozens of Saint Nicks in my lifetime, but only one that was 35 feet high.
The piece was sculpted for Moebel Biller, a large retail store in Germany for their holiday display and is still used to this day, as far as I know. One of the design parameters was to engineer it to disassemble and store in a warehouse for the non-holiday months.
Here I am standing proud by Santa's gargantuan head after completing the paint job. Sculpting it in sections was a task unto itself, because the building I worked in wasn't tall enough to stack more than 2 sections at a time.
Forgive the quality of this next photo. It's a scan of a copy and I'm not sure where the original is, but I wanted to give you an idea of the scale and the amount of work that goes into a project like this.
The medium is styrofoam, which was coated with a barrier, fiberglassed, then painted.
This last shot was taken the night the piece was installed in the store. That's me kneeling in the bottom center. Beside me to my right (your left) is an incredible German sculptor, Christa Spaniol. She and I sculpted and painted the entire Santa ourselves. The others in the photo were members of the installation crew. The gentleman on the far left in the theatrical pose is Ingo Bogatu, the owner of the studio who contracted Christa and myself to execute this Colossus of Claus.
As I said, I'm all about the creative process. And craftsmanship. Working now out of my own studio with this level of experience is something I value very, very highly and utilize daily. I also focus this same amount of energy into everything I do, no matter how big or small, simple or complex.
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