Wednesday, October 24, 2012

St. Nicholas Candlesticks

Here's what I've been working on for the last few weeks: St. Nicholas candlesticks, or candle holders perhaps is the more correct way to say it.   I used to make these some years ago, and sold some on consignment in a gift shop, as well as giving some as gifts.  I was on the fence about whether to make any for my etsy shop for awhile, because they are time intensive, but decided to go ahead and make a few.  

Here is what I start with: a commercial American Colonial style table leg that is 10 1/2 inches tall, and a pre-cut plaque, in this case a 5 inch square.  My husband helps me by drilling a hole in the end for the candle (this is not easy to do!) and one in the center of the plaque to thread the screw end of the table leg into.  I sand and seal the raw wood.

 Then I put base coats on them (here just showing a St. Nicholas candle holder that will have a green coat):

I start painting the details, shaping the features of his face and fold of the fabric with highlights and shadows to give the illusion of depth and prominence to the flat wood surface. This one has a red coat and holds a teddy bear and candy cane.  The plaque is just base coated in this photo. 

After a bunch more hours of painting, then varnishing, the I have a finished St. Nicholas.  This one is in a red coat and hat with fur edging, putting a shiny red apple in a stocking:

This is the only one I've finished so far.  I hope to have two listed in my etsy shop by next weekend, and two more by Thanksgiving.  I doubt I'll have time to do more.  I don't know if any potential buyers will find them this year, but I hope maybe next year I'll have more visibility.  I think this is a unique craft and could appeal to collectors, if they find me! 

I'd like to eventually start turning our own sticks, since that would be truly handmade and not just hand painted.  The table legs are not easy to find anymore, either.  I have a small supply from past years but it won't last forever!  First I have to see if there is a market for them before investing in a lathe, though! 

On another note, I have to apologize for going missing for three weeks!  I would like to be a regular blogger, who posts like clockwork, but okay, I'm not.  Sometimes stuff gets in the way...and sometimes I don't feel inspired to write.  I think it was a combination of both this time.  Well, it happens.  I don't think I've hit my stride yet on blogging.  Guess we'll see if and when I do!  But thanks so much for tagging along!  I feel honored that you take the time to read my post...thank you!


  1. I LOVE that santa!!! You did a terrific job on that project lady!

  2. ". . . could appeal to collectors, if they find me!" Found you! When are they going up on Etsy? :-)

  3. Thanks Jamie! Thanks David! I hope to list the first two by next weekend, if I can get myself in gear to finish the second one this weekend. I'll let you know!


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