Friday, October 3, 2014

31 DAYS of SANTA CLAUS Day 3 Anthony Costanza Collectibles

My favorite place to shop in Ruston, LA is Rolling Hills Ministry Thrift Store. Fortunately for me (but not so much for my husband), it is only a couple of miles from my home. I always say, "If the Lord meant for me to have it, I'd find it at Rolling Hills." Funny how that same saying applies to Salvation Army, Goodwill, Garage Sales, etc.

So, I purchased a bag of ornaments for $2.55 that had one particular ornament I wanted and several others I didn't. Those will most likely be donated back to RH. Also in this bag, was a set of seven wooden star shaped Santas that I decided to keep.

I had an idea to put my own spin on these hand made yet mass produced Santas, but since I was substitute teaching high school art today, I decided bringing carving tools to school might not be the best plan because sharp items such as carving tools are not permitted on campus with no exceptions.

I knew that the art supply closet had a box with a wood burning tool so I decided to use it instead. I own my on wood burning tools and points and, apparently I forgot why I don't enjoy using them. The smell is toxic and the tool gets so hot you have to wear a glove, and then there is the whole starting a fire on your project part.

My first attempt ended up with a few slips that I tried to work into the design of the coat and hat. The second, well, I pretty much burnt his face off.

Okay then, on to plan B. I've decided to reproduce the Santa starfish I crafted last year but instead of the serious face, I'll sculpt something more cheerful.

Photos to follow.

Now, about collecting.

I have been hitting eBay pretty hard lately searching for Anthony Costanza reproductions of his hand carved Santas similar to the ones I purchased twenty years ago.

Then I happened upon one and made an offer on it and it was accepted. It was much smaller than my other Costanzas but he definitely had the look that I liked.

Then I got into a bidding war with someone on eBay but ended up victorious and purchased this piece signed by Costanza for a very reasonable price and I am anxiously awaiting his arrival.

UPDATED October 7th, 2014

Well, I received this much anticipated Costanza reproduction in the mail and wouldn't you know it...the seller had not securely wrapped the him and placed him in a box that was too small. When I picked up the box, I heard a rattle and I immediately got that sinking feeling.

So, of course, he was broken.

I took this photo before I unwrapped anything. The base was just rolling around loose. There is also a crack that goes halfway down the base.

The worst part is, I don't feel he can be repaired because, even if glued together well,, the compromised base may fail due to the amount of weight it has to bear.

I was so looking forward to adding him to my collection. He would have been the tallest Costanza in my collection. Plus, he would have gone so well with my other pieces.

I believe it was 1991 when Better Homes and Gardens came out with a special interest publication titled "Santa Claus", and it featured classic Santa crafts and in 1999 BH&G published a series in hardback entitled Santa Claus Collection that focused more on Santa artists. To this day, most of my collection and creations are inspired by these series that only were published for about seven to nine years. I highly recommend that anyone who loves and/or collects Santas purchase ALL the volumes.

I am looking up photos and links to help you find publications.
A work in progress:

Santa Claus 1992

Santa Claus Collection Vol. 1

Santa Claus Collection Vol. 5