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Thursday, December 16, 2010

SANTA HELPER FOLK CARVING

SANTA HELPER CARVING
Although I swear that this is the jolly guy, Santa Claus, -- the carver, Frederick Hyatt named his carving Santa Helper. Perhaps, by the fact that this figure was smoking a pipe -- it made him ineligible for being Santa Claus.

SANTA HELPER AND PIPE

This whimsical carving is a robust-full figured carving approximately 8 inches tall. It was not only carved by Frederick Hyatt, it was painted by him in its red, white, and black Santa colors.

SANTA HELPER AND ELF LIKE SHOES
It is all one piece from the bottom platform to the tip-top of his hat. The wood being basswood.

FULL BACK VIEW
Mr. Hyatt was a folk carver and artist that went fairly unnoticed during his life time. He lived meagerly in his old age and was bound by a wheelchair. He lived in an old trailer in what he referred to as a trailer park consisting of about twenty trailers. This park was located in an urban setting. I knew him for a short time and then lost track of him.

CARVING MARKS DETAIL
Below is the bottom of the platform where he signed his signature and address in Lansing, Michigan. His title of the piece runs up the side. 





I thought this little Santa expressed Hyatt's joy for Christmas. It exemplifies the idea that life is what you, alone, make of it. May your holiday be a pleasant one.

18 comments:

  1. Barbara, I think I am going to have to agree with Mr. Hyatt. I think the carving looks like Santa's helper and not Santa himself. Maybe it is because the carving looks a bit too skinny to be St. Nick. Or maybe it is the shoes. Didn't Santa always wear boots? Thanks for a great post! Darcy

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  2. He's wonderful! So much personality. Hyatt's quite a talented artist.

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  3. I love this!!!! If you ever get up this way, there is the Warther Museum. It's nirvana for those who love such things!

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  4. HA! The pipe disqualifies him as Santa Claus! LOL!

    Wait... isn't there a line in "Twas the Night Before Christmas" about the smoke from his pipe encircling his head like a wreath?! Santa is SO busted. Though frankly, if I had to put in a night like he does on Dec 24th, I believe I might unwind afterward with a pipe and a glass of good Kentucky bourbon, yessiree!

    I thought he looks Santa-ish from the bottom of his coat up, but Helper-ish from his coat hem down. Looks like he's wearing tights or leggings, and those are elven shoes for sure. Definite Helper get-up. ;-)

    Mr. Hyatt was the same man who carved your Cigar Store Indian, wasn't he? I wonder what else he carved, and how prolific he was. You can tell he really enjoyed it! You've got yourself a couple of wonderful treasures!

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  5. Vicki -- Glad you liked the folk art -- barbara

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  6. Laloofah -- You know you are right -- I forgot the words to "Twas the Night Before Christmas.-- it does refer to a pipe. I think the upper part must be Santa and the bottom elfish. I guess that is what makes the piece folkish.

    Yes, this is the same artist as the Indian. I only have the two pieces left of the four or so I had originally. I knew of about ten carvings that he made. All of the carvings that I knew of were of people that were rather primitive looking.

    Thanks for the inquires of the carvings -- barbara

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  7. Kay -- thanks for the recommendation on the museum. I will google it. I just might get up that way someday as I travel to see friends in Michigan.

    Thanks for the good words about the post. Fun stuff. -- barbara

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  8. Hi Tess -- He was so talented -- I wish I had gotten more of his work and kept it. Folk art makes one feel good. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  9. Darcy -- I think the carving is half Santa and half elf. Folkish for sure. -- barbara

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  10. What lovely folk art :)
    Yes, he's Santa's helper cos, dontchaknow, Santa is still in the North Pole ;)

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  11. Lots of my images of Santa have pipes in mouth or hand. I can live with it. Hahahahaha

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  12. This figure does really convey a lot of personality. Such a talented person Mr. Hyatt was.

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  13. Jayne -- I guess -- Santa is still at the north pole but to tell you the truth Santa Helper has been here with me and its like the north pole here. -- barbara

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  14. Birdman -- Geez -- I didn't know Santa smoked -- he has lived such a long life! Thanks for the comment and my ignorance of Santa. Ho Ho. -- barbara

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  15. Farmchick -- Yep -- he was a cool old man. Wish I had kept track of him. -- barbara

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  16. He's a cutie, your elf. I like the Indian from your earlier post, too. Cool that you met the carver.

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  17. barefootheart -- He has become a traditional family piece after so many years of having him. He comes out only during the holidays. Look forward to your posts in the near future. Thanks -- barbara

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