This is the process the artist and his wife use to make the pieces: He carves the original of each image in clay, using dental tools. Before making each piece he reads extensively about the saint, but once he begins carving he doesn't look at any other depictions. As to the statues, when the original carving seems to be finished, he makes a latex mold. Once the mold has cured, he begins to cast the pieces himself. He uses cast stone (gypsum with some metal powders and other materials), painstakingly working a slurry of the substance into each mold by hand in order to get all the details. Once the piece sets, he demolds it, trims it, and hands it over to his wife, who paints and glazes each piece by hand. All the statues can go outside. The process for the medals is roughly the same, though they are cast in lead-free pewter. Nicely gift packaged.
Nicholas was a fourth-century bishop in Myra, a city in
what is now Turkey. In this image, Nicholas holds three bags of gold in
one hand and a cup in the other. Both symbols refer to stories in which
a gift from Nicholas changes young people s lives from hardship to joy.
In one story, Nicholas throws three bags of gold through a window into a
house where a poor man lives with his three daughters, all of whom are
too poor to have a dowry and therefore be ready for marriage. The gift
from Nicholas allows the three girls to be wed and live happily with
their husbands. It is for this reason that Nicholas is the patron of
newlyweds and weddings. The cup evokes a story in which the saint helps
a child. Because of other stories about him, Nicholas is also a patron
of fishermen and sailors.
Dimensions: 6 (h) x 2.5 (w) x 1 (d) inches