Monday, April 12, 2010

Santos Workshop

One of the great things about being in a mixed media group of artists is that I'm often introduced to materials and techniques that challenge me and are things I wouldn't necessarily try on my own.

Recently Gaylen had a gallery show of her work featuring her beautiful Santos. She offered to show some of us how to make them after we ooohed and ahhhed over her exhibit. 3-D work and using power tools are way out of my comfort zone, but I decided to give it a try. We met at Kitty's studio in the country this weekend for step two of the process.

It was one of those perfect spring days.

Kitty's property is a feast in itself. She has commissioned beautiful pieces from many local artists.

Even the downspouts are works of art:


One of my favorites was this ceramic mosaic on an outside wall:

I'm on the left playing with shooting pictures through the outdoor mirror along with Dayna and Tory:


The Santos project was inspired by Gaelyn, but Tory taught us how to make beautiful, unique heads that took them in a different direction. And Stephanie, our wood carver, made each of us a wooden frame to speed up the project and let us get to the fun stuff more quickly.

Here is Tory's gorgeous Santos that got us on our way:

It was an amazing day as we watched each artist give her Santos its own personality.

Paula's had a calm simplicity:

Gloria's reminded us of Cirque du Soleil:

Jennifer's quirky Venetian character:

Kitty's very expressive face:

Stephanie and Dayna's winged wonders:

And Tory started on another colorful character:

We gathered together at the end of the day:

From left, Stephanie, Paula, Dayna, Kitty, Gloria, Jennifer, Tory and Gaylen.

I added a few finishing touches to mine once I got home:


She will preside over my studio as my Santos of Hand Stitching. It was so much fun that I'm now feeling the urge to make a second-- "Our Lady of Perpetual Color."

10 comments:

Jacky said...

On my goodness... these are awesome! Do you think your friend could come out to Australia and teach us how to make these. Absolutley LOVE them! Are the carved from wood?
What a great day you all had. Such a beautiful property (and I love that mosaic too) and surrounded by lovely, like minded friends.

Thanks for sharing with us.

jacky xox

lynne h said...

omg, robin, they are wonderful! wow! they make me want to go make a santos of my own *right now*! what a beautiful day this must have been!

Cindy Woods O'Leary said...

OH. MY. WORD. What a fabulous, inspirational post! First off, I want that yard--it must be amazing to live with all that yard art around. And the artwork you created-wow! I love those figures, each with its own distinct personality. I can imagine a whole tribe of them on my mantle, hanging out and whispering to each other in the wee hours of the morning. Wouldn't that be fantastic?! Thanks for sharing! xoxo

Robin Olsen said...

Jacky, Tory is a fabulous teacher who teaches at art retreats in the states, but I happen to know that she is very interested in visiting Australia. If you know of a venue, let me know and I'll pass it along to her.

The bodys are wood but the head is Sculpey. Tory has all sorts of magic techniques to make it look like carved wood.

Dee / Cloth Company said...

fabulous, awesome is right! omg I wish I could SEE them, stand NEXT to them, listen to what they have to say.

and naturally, I want to make one. what does "santos" refer to? sorry if it's elsewhere in your blog.

Robin Olsen said...

I have to say, they are spectacular in person! They stand about 3 ft. tall. Sorry I didn't explain the background--Santo means Saint. They are Catholic statues of the saints. I think of them especially being from Mexico, but I don't know the whole history. Of course, we gave them our own spin and stripped most of the Catholicism out of them.

Dayna Collins said...

What a beautiful post, Robin. Makes me relive our wonderful two days together creating our individual Santos dolls.

lynda Howells said...

as Jackie says from Australia...can you come to Uk and all of you teach us how to make these dolls.xxx love all your dollsxxlynda

Robin Olsen said...

Thanks Lynda! I'm sure Tory would love to visit the UK too, and I would be very happy to accompany her as assistant on these trips!

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Your Santo is very inspirational, Robin. Love the hoop on the skirt, and your hand stitching, of course!