Edythe H. Kegrize and Robert Hurlburt worked on the ornament together.
Edythe: “This was a fun project. Everybody in the studio had a category (a group of products to focus on), and ours was Santa Magic. Having seen a piece of research that someone brought in, I thought, we do books but books are flat. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could have the whole three-dimensional character be the book?
We’ve done books with characters jumping out and we’ve done ornaments with books as companion pieces. But we thought we’d take the next step where the 3-D thing is the book because Santa is a plump enough guy to carry a whole book in there.”
Robert: “So we put an earth magnet in there. It’s strong enough to keep the whole thing together. I brought Edythe’s ideas based on her artwork and I created the book first. I wanted to have the book in the shape of the Santa, and then I sculpted on top of the book cover and sculpted the backside from that. We had to get the story, the number of pages, the way it would fold just right. We also worked with our books department to get the font type right so we could get the pages right. The pages of the book are very durable. They’re less like paper and more like cardstock.”
Robert: “This was a classic wax sculpt. I often work digitally, but if it has more of an organic, human element, it’s more enjoyable to do it in wax sculpted by hand. Plus, it makes it easier to make sure it’s true to her design and still works. We have to make sure it’s going to hang right, etc.”
Edythe: “We were working with the idea of Santa Magic, so people thought, ‘Oh it’s going to have lights and sounds,’ but we didn’t need that because it’s just the magic of the story. In the end, it felt great because a little light bulb went off, and we thought, ‘Why haven’t we done this before?’”