Sunday, December 18, 2011

CATACOMBS X-MAS: From Santa in a golfball to an exquisite ceramic bird

Crafty and cute, these wood, glass, and ceramic treasures start at just $10
 
COLUMBIA, 12/16/11  (Beat Byte) --  For the golfer in your life, the ornament collector, and the folk art lover, be sure to check out woodcarver Cecil Nuzum's classic pieces -- and soon!  He's moving out of Columbia for Oklahoma, Catacombs tour guide Karen tells me, and his unusual precision creations are going with.  My favorite:  carved wooden Santas -- every facial detail intact -- nestled into real, hollowed-out golf balls.  At $10 each, these are one-of-a-kind handmade gifts even Tiger Woods doesn't have!
 
Speaking of ornaments, glass artist Shawn Palmer is selling $15 hand-blown Christmas tree ornaments "that are just amazing!" Karen tells me.  "I mean, look at them!"  Among Palmer's many offerings, my favorite ornaments look like ornate snail shells that wind round and round into a mathematically-perfect little point.
 
When I ask what she likes, Karen literally pulls me over to see one of her personal favorites in all the Catacombs:  a ceramic red bird nesting tentatively on a wood branch, every detail so finely drawn Karen is amazed that during the ceramic firing process, the bird didn't break, snap, or burst.  "Do you realize how hard it is to get ceramic to do this?" she tells me.  "I don't know how this survived the kiln.  I don't know how they did it!" 
 
I don't know how they do it, either.  The bird's creators, Jacqueline and Jodianne Pepper, have priced their little artifact at just $35.00.  
 
Artists and artisans featured in this story:
Cecil Nuzum
Shawn Palmer
Jacqueline and Jodianne Pepper

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