Carved Santas

Traditionally, Russian Santas are hand-carved from a solid piece of wood and hand-painted by select artists from all over Russia. The wood used is from the Linden tree (lime) and is carefully selected and dried for at least two years

Sometimes more than one artist is involved in a Russian Santa Claus creation.  Almost always the person who carves the Santa is not the person who paints it.  Typically the artist (individual who actually signs the Santa) is a painter who works with, and purchases a blank carving from a woodcarver - or goes to a market to purchase a blank carving.  Most artists study and do their work in the holy city of Sergeiv Posad, where other great icons, collectible nesting dolls and other crafts are made.

The magnificent painting on each woodcarving is unique to that artist and usually portray scenes from the winter holiday seasons and characters from Russian folklore. It is very common to see carvings of Russian Santas and Grandfather Frost with characters such as the Snow maiden, angels, children (representing the coming year), winter animals or a traditional Troika (three horses pulling the sleigh) in a winter scene.


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