Award winning wood carvings since 1963
Award winning wood carvings since 1963
Each new Christmas season brings new ideas for ornaments. Special orders considered.
The Rabbit and Squirrel Ornaments can both be reversed in design if requested, so pairs can be created in case two of the same ornaments are needed for the same tree.
We have lovingly hand-carved:
Of all her carvings, Coffman enjoys creating
her nativity sets the most. If a client is willing to allow
her enough time, it is generally no problem to create a
nativity using the client's broad suggestions. It should be
known ahead of time, though, that the suggested nativity
must be something that will make the carver proud of the
finished nativity scene.
Coffman will be making several nativity sets over the summer in preparation for the holiday season. If you have in mind a special nativity with a certain theme, it is very important to discuss this very early in the fall, to make sure your nativity will be done before Christmas.
Rather than turn out a wood nativity scene that resembles the usual stiffly posed figures in mass produced nativity sets, Coffman likes to create nativity scenes that reflect separate moments in time, captured in wood. She tries to give the setting a natural feeling of a candid snapshot, rather than the structured appearance of a formal portrait.
Because Jesus was born in a city, Coffman believes that there is no limit to the variety of characters that could have been nearby that night, which could be added to the nativity or used to create an original nativity that shows their individual reactions to the event. Her interpretation of what a nativity can be, could be seen as more flexible than standard nativity scenes.
A single sheep quietly looking at the sleeping Baby Jesus is simple nativity.
Three village children pausing in awe by the manger create a nativity.
An older couple exchanging a knowing look while passing the nativity scene could be added to a traditional grouping or made into a special nativity of their own.
Many people start with a simple nativity scene, and build it with new nativity pieces through the years. Records are kept with photos of each nativity so duplication of poses within the nativity is avoided. Care is also taken so there is a flow between the separate groupings within the larger assemblage. Varying the heights and ages and standing or sitting positions of the individual pieces helps to make an interesting scene. Adding palm trees gives a sense of being out of doors. It also serves the same purpose as a frame would for a painting, by containing the scene, and calls attention to the figures by setting off their naturally lighter hue of linden wood, against the black walnut that the palm trees are cut from. The palm tress are not carved, but cut in silhouette on a band saw.
Each single piece of the nativity set is
carved in detail, so if removed from the nativity it would
still be an interesting figure on its own merit. People have
often told the artist that they leave particular favorites
out on display all year.
It's not unusual for Coffman's artwork to be interpreted in ways other than originally intended. Sometimes people will notice a certain figure and it will suggest a completely different story to them. Once someone thought the figure of Joseph holding Baby Jesus up for the crowd to see was more representative of Simeon. Shepherd figures holding a staff have been bought because they reminded a client of Moses. The child clutching the shawled woman's skirt reminded many of a representation of a mothers love and protectiveness.
Whatever a person sees in the figures, as long as it is a happy, positive feeling, then Christine Coffman is more than amenable to see it find a home with them.
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