In November 1992, Dave Francis first picked up a carving knife and a block of wood and began a journey that turned pastime to passion – and a life-long dedication to creating one-of-a-kind Santas. Read more...
Some twenty-five years ago, Department 56 began as part of Bachman's, a premiere retail florist in Minneapolis. Bachman's used a numbering system to identify each of its departments. The number assigned to wholesale gift imports division was, you guessed it, 56. Read more...
In November 1992, Dave Francis first picked up a carving knife and a block of wood and began a journey that turned pastime to passion – and a life-long dedication to creating one-of-a-kind Santas.
Totally self taught, Dave is able to bring these wooden figurines to life. “I can’t draw to save my life, but I can envision the end product which is the absolute key”, says Dave about his creations. He carves Santas all the time – the demand far exceeds the hours in a day! His Santas are in collections literally all around the world! He carves the whimsical, the traditional and everything in between.
Each Santa is lovingly hand carved, chip by chip, then lightly sanded, painted and rubbed with wax. It’s a process that takes a few hours for the smaller pieces and ornaments to over a hundred hours for the larger Santas. “There is nothing more satisfying than to see the smile you put on someone’s face when they see what you have created out of a chunk of wood”, says Dave.
Dave lives and works from his home studio in Castlegar, Bristish Columbia (about three hours drive north of Spokane, Washington) with his wife and two children.