Tiger Claus Carvings Santas
Tiger Claus Carvings began about 30 years ago when Clausman (my husband) and I began collaborating. He’s been a woodcarver since he was given a pocket knife by his great-grandfather. The best advice he said his “Dad Dennis” gave him was to always keep his knife sharp! There is an art to keeping tools sharp and is imperative for creating intricate cuts. Clausman often spends as much time sharpening tools as carving!
You can find available Santas in our Gift Shop.
When we began creating Santas (which we do only once each year) I painted them with oil paints because I had little experience with acrylics. Although I loved working with oils, painting a sculpture was incredibly difficult due to their slow drying nature. Clausman could amass carvings on the bench but the painting and finishing process ground to a halt as I continued to look for a workable solution.
As the old adage goes, necessity is the mother of invention and I began experimenting with acrylics. Slowly, I developed a process that replicated the look of oils that I loved so much. Each year I refine my process a bit more. Sometimes companies discontinue colors – often the ones I’ve become incredibly fond of! My favorite brushes wear out and I have to try new ones. Nothing stays the same and that continually keeps me trying new techniques and supplies.
Once the carving has been painted, dried and cured, it requires several protective coats of varnish, a layer of thin felt on the bottom to prevent any scratches on fine furniture and then each Santa tells me his story. I must quickly write when I hear them because I’ve discovered that Santas only whisper so I must always be ready to pay attention!
Most of the pieces have hand carved accessories – animals (dog, cat, fox, bird or tiny Christmas packages) or wire embellishments added. Each Santa deserves (and demands!) his own unique companion element.
Click on the photos below to see the details.