During the holiday season the Court of Oakdale Mall, Johnson City, is all decked out in its’ Christmas splendor. As you walk by, you feel as someone is looking down at you, watching you. And yes, it’s Santa! Actually six life size Santa’s created by artist Linda Kays-Biviano and Margaret Kreiner from Norwich, NY. Each Santa displayed is costumed in a different theme, the Traditional Santa, the Russian Santa, Kris Kringle, St. Nicholas, the Civil War Santa, and the Victorian Santa.
Since the first year of creating the 6 custom Santa’s for the Oakdale Mall (10 years ago) Linda and Margaret have sent their life size creations all over the world.
Together, Linda and Margaret partner their artistic talents to make life sized Santa’s for commercial decor. To create the Santa’s, Linda hand sculptures the head and hands in clay, and then molds and cast in a lifelike silicone rubber. Glass eyes are inserted and wool fleece is hand felted directly into the silicone. A skeleton of PVC pipe was assembled and covered with pillows and foam. All this is then covered with fabric to create the body. The costume is sewn by the artist, and either faux fur or recycled fur is used for trim. Linda and Margaret make every effort to create a realistic lifelike character.
Their Santa’s have been shipped worldwide, one commission of a life size Traditional Santa Claus went to a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The owner of the restaurant in Vietnam had a vision of displaying a large Santa Claus for her customers to have pictures taken with him. The Traditional Santa left Norwich in a wood crate via a freight truck bound for San Jose, California and from there, on a plane to Vietnam. Maybe a sleigh pulled by reindeer would have been faster?
Santa or any other life size character can be custom ordered. It may take as much as 6 weeks to complete, so if you want one for a specific date, make sure you order early. You can pre-order with a $500. deposit and request a delivery date. Balance of order plus shipping is required before Santa leaves our studio.