Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 DAYS of SANTA CLAUS Day 4 House of Hatten, Beeswax, and other Collectibles



I had no time to create Santas today because my artistic skills were required elsewhere. I helped my husband install a new counter top at our lake house.

The cool thing that I just had to blog about was that I received two packages in the mail yesterday from eeeeeeeBAAAAAAY!  

Well, not eBay specifically, but from eBay sellers who were actually putting collectible Santas up for action at reasonable starting bids. 

So...
"If the Lord wanted me to have something, I'd win it on eBay." See how that expression works with everything! Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you bestow upon me...and my new Santas!

Anyway...

The smaller box contained a small vintage (?) Santa ornament (bright red) made in Japan who is composed of either hard plastic or a thin ceramic. He's only about 3" tall and has such a sweet face. He'll look great with my other vintage Santas I display on my kitchen hutch at Christmas. 

The second is papier mache' and is probably just a mass produced item but he will still look good on my "bought" Santa ornament tree. I also have a tree that is decorated with Santa ornaments that I made. I have over 300 on that one alone. The "bought" Santas are probably less in number, but it looks as though they are quickly catching up.



The two darker Santas at the bottom left corner are actually made of beeswax cast in an antique chocolate mold. These are the first two beeswax Santa figures I've ever purchased but I have always admired them when I found them at juried shows and antique stores.  

The flash is making them look lighter than they
are in real life.
Beeswax melts at a higher temperature than Gulf wax (or whatever they call petroleum wax these days). I've used Beeswax combined with Gulf wax for creating batiks. It is a very creamy and workable wax, not stiff like the petroleum waxes. But the best thing about beeswax is that it gives the Santas a beautifully translucent skin tone.  

I've seen a few beeswax pieces where the artist stamped the bottom of their piece or actually carved into it to sign it. These two do not have any marks. That doesn't matter to me, I'm just glad to have them and I couldn't wait to tuck them in my display cabinet with my other chalkware and chocolate mold Santas. 

Perhaps I'll try my hand at casting a few this year with my smaller chocolate molds. Beeswax is significantly more expensive that petroleum (Gee, I wonder why?) So, I just might make a few for myself. I have no idea what type of paint they use, I guess I'll research a few wax artist's blogs!




Now, back to the other Santas in the first box!

The Santa ornament in the bottom center no longer has a tag but I believe it is a Silvestri piece because I have another similar ornament. I just love his vintage looking bottle brush wreath he's holding.

And then there is the House of Hatten elf. I generally don't collect elves or Mrs. Claus, but I do have a few reindeer, a vintage elf on a shelf, and a few other vintage elves. But this is a House of Hatten elf, and I love House of Hatten! I already have several pieces, but due to space, the Santas have to be packed away during the rest of the year. But come November, they join the rest of the gang decorating my home. 

Speaking of House of Hatten!

It looks like I'll have a much larger group this year.

The Santa with the tree (ornament) and the sitting Santa, and the one in the sleigh are all new to my collection. I already have the Santa on the moon, the Santa with the goose and I also have a the one with the star on his head, but I think mine might be smaller.

Back in the eighties, I worked in retail, so at Christmas I saw a lot of Santas. I could not afford to collect any nice Santas back then. You know, with rent, food, utilities, gas, plus the clothes I needed for work, I couldn't afford such luxuries as collecting Santas no matter how adorable they were.

There was a store in the mall where I worked that carried House of Hatten (AKA: H of H) and I fell in love with them. In 1988, I purchased my first three Santas at the after Christmas 75% off sale and have treasured them ever since.

I'll most likely have to sell a few of my duplicates this year closer to Christmas, to help pay for the ones I've just bought.

I will keep the little bunny angel ornament because I once had a wonderful New Zealand white rabbit named Mr. Lily. He was an after Easter return to a pet shop and, if they didn't find a home for him, he'd be sold as snake food. Not that I have anything against snakes eating, this particular baby bunny had a lot of personality. He actually stood up on his haunches when I reached in his box and let me pet him and pick him up. Since I had a guinea pig rescue, I thought having a a cute little Easter bunny couldn't be much more trouble, plus we already had another rescued rabbit. He was very large, rather old, and his name was Noo-Noo (pronounced with the long U sound). Yes, he was named after the Teletubbies vacuum cleaner and Noo-Noo is also the term we use when we want the dogs to clean up something spilled on the floor; however, we can't take credit for naming the rabbit. 

When Noo-Noo passed away, we rescued another friend for Mr. Lily named Duzo. Duzo was a supporting actor in the play "The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" where I played the leading role. He was a scene stealer.

We let our rabbits run in the yard, hang out in the house during days when the weather was bad (even though Duzo pooped everywhere), then we'd put them back in their hutch at night. They were both very affectionate and were like cats in that they'd come to you, but only if they wanted something. The neighbor's dogs never bothered them. That is until one neighbor, who lived about a half mile down the street, got a new (adult) Jack Russell terrier and, within a couple of days, my bunnies were no more.

I actually have a chalkware rabbit in honor of Duzo, so now I have an H of H bunny angel for my sweet Mr. Lily.