Royal Santa: Holly Thompson
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Royal Santa

Royal Santa

Royal Santa

Royal Santa

"Royal Santa" is a one-of-a-kind art doll, sculpted using ProSculpt (head, hands, boots). He is a major "recycling" project - his hair/beard were made from a recycled mongolian lamb scarf, and his gown/cape are made from a recycled vintage gown! He has green glass eyes (not recycled - these were new!). Santa's has a needle-sculpted, posable cloth body with a wire armature (Jack Johnston method).

The head on this Santa was sculpted using Yanni (the musician) as a model. The head's original name was "Yanni Claus" (this was not the original head intended for this Santa, but it seemed to fit better than the original - the original is now back on the shelf, hoping for a new body).

Santa's gown and cape were created from a gorgeous vintage heavily-beaded gown. The cape is lined in black, and is finished with a braided black trim along the lining edge. Santa's gown is beaded with small pearl and seed beads, and has a 4-row large seed bead hem.

Santa's intricate headband and belt were hand-made, using beads from the original gown (this took many hours - 2 sizes of pearl beads were used, as well as a zillion tiny seed beads in gold, brown and tan). There is a matching (but much larger) beaded band around the wooden base (beaded during many hours of conference calls and then glued onto the base - major masochistic action, but it was worth it).

Santa is dressed to the nines, even underneath... beneath Santa's gown, he wears "long johns" created from black gimp trim (matching the trim on his cape), and has sculpted black boots with "pull-up straps". If anybody decides to look under his gown, they will be pleased to see that he's well-dressed, from top to bottom!

Santa holds a heavily beaded tapestry (again, lined in the gimp trim) that has been adorned with draping beads, and a brown cross that coordinates well with the gown/cape colors. He also has a Swarovski crystal crown (90+ crystals) that has been inserted into the base.

Santa stands 18" tall (19" including the base), and can be removed from the base (tubes in his feet fit over rods in the base). His round base covers about 10". His cape/train extends about 8" behind the base, when fully extended.

Created by Holly Thompson in 2003.

Royal Santa


Santa's head, prior to attaching hair and beard

After hair/beard...


Intricately-beaded headband - this took about 2 hours of beading, using pearl and seed beads from the vintage gown (so it coordinates with the gown/cape). Santa wears a matching belt (about 4 times the length of the headband, but I got smarter about how to do it), and his wooden base is adorned with more of this beadwork (this was beaded during about 5 hours of conference calls)!


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Yanni Claus starts becoming "Royal Santa" once he wears the beaded headband.


Cape is lined in black, and edged (inside) with black trim.

A heavily-beaded/sequined Vintage gown was used for construction of this outfit. This gown was so well-made that when any bead strand was cut, only one or two beads fell off (beads were individually sewn on) - quite a contrast from dresses that you buy today! The once-white pearl beads and sequins have all yellowed, which results in (my view) a gorgeous color that coordinates nicely with the gold and brown beads and the black dress (aging has improved this dress)! I bought this dress on ebay - it was coming apart at the seams and had a horrible poorly-done zipper job (which is why I was able to afford it - nobody else bid on it). Below are the photos of the gown as I received it (notice the seam problem in the neckline and the zipper puckering). The "neck" portion of this gown became the tapestry that Santa is holding!


Rods on stand (and metal tubes in feet) allow Santa to stand up, or to be removed completely from the stand.

BEADED BASE (an exercise in masochism)

Base has hand-beaded trim (just like Santa's headband and belt, but a LOT larger - this took approximately 5 hours to bead, with 2 sizes of pearl beads and a zillion little tiny seed beads - am I nuts?). Metal name plate was covered with a computer-generated holographic name plate (laminated for protection), and then nicely "beaded".

SECURE HANDS (may double as back-stratcher)

Royal Santa

In addition to the normal attachment "groove" on the hands, I added holes (thanks to Sherry Nicolas for this recommendation) for additional support. Floral wire is looped through these holes - these arms will NEVER come off!


Underneath, Santa has fancy long-johns made from black gimp trim (matching the trim on the cape) - not that anybody will ever see them unless they are snoops like I am, but he FEELS better! If anybody lifts his gown, they will see his long-johns and his needle-sculpted belly-button!


Santa wears sculpted black boots (with pull-up straps) and black knit socks.


Royal Santa

The cape appears to be clasped in the front with a sequence of beads (not visible under Santa's beard unless you lift the hair - but if you do, it looks great).

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Heavily-beaded (and very heavy) cape with train, created from the top center of the beaded gown.


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The NECK of the beaded gown was turned into this "tapestry" that Santa holds (the neck piece was removed from the dress, lined with gimp trim, and was then beaded even further - a large number of beads (removed from other parts of the dress) were added forming "drapes and drops"). In the center is a beautiful brown/gold cross that coordinates perfectly. The tapestry is held (not glued) in Santa's hands (between his thumbs and first fingers), and can be removed (just in case Santa finds other things he might want to hold)!.
Royal Santa


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Just when you thought this piece couldn't get any "flashier"...
A Swarovski crystal (gorgeous - more than 90 crystals) crown scepter was purchased for Santa to hold... but the plans changed since Santa's hands were already full. The crown part of the scepter was unscrewed from the rod and a hole was drilled into the base (see photo on left), into which the crown fits perfectly... this is intended to look like Santa may have removed his crown (since it is about the right size for his head) and set it aside. The crown is about 3" tall and measures about 9.5" around...

Royal Santa

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