Krampus calls again!

In December 2012 I posted a Christmas Greetings at the Artlog in the form of a picture I’d made of Krampus, a demon of eastern and northern Europe who traditionally accompanies Saint Nicholas. But whereas St Nick dispenses largesse to good children, Krampus is a malign creature who steals away the boys and girls who have been naughty. (See image at bottom of page.)

Shortly afterwards I heard from the artist Peter Slight, via a message left in the Artlog comment box. In e-mails we discussed our work with each other, and he mentioned how much he’d liked the image of Krampus I’d posted. Later he casually mentioned he was thinking of making a model of Krampus, perhaps as a tree-decoration. A year on and a blue-skinned, yellow-eyed Krampus, meticulously designed and crafted by Peter, has arrived in the post bearing a ‘Happy Kristmas’ label. The figure is so pristine that it looks manufactured, and could easily step up onto the department-store shelves to join the cast of Toy Story. However, although the little fellow looks as though he’s cast in plastic, he’s not. Back in February Peter described to me the technique he uses to make his figures:

‘My models are actually carved polystyrene at their core, which is ‘coated’ with air-drying clay rolled out with a rolling-pin to make a thin layer, and afterwards sanded a LOT to create the smooth, almost plastic finish.’

Above and below: here ‘s Peter’ Slight’s Krampus standing on the stage of a toy theatre and stage-set I made in 2011. Note the small, unhappy child tucked into the demon’s basket!

Peter, I feel so fortunate to be given this wonderful piece of work. It’s incredibly generous of you. Thank you. He’s going to have pride of place in our sitting-room.

Below: my own Krampus of last year.

Artist Paul Bommer made a wonderful image of Krampus, that you can see HERE. It was Paul’s image that inspired me, and now we have Peter Slight’s Krampus too. Next we need someone to come along and make another Krampus, inspired by Peter’s, that was inspired by mine that was inspired by Paul’s. This is the way the world goes round.

8 thoughts on “Krampus calls again!

  1. Pingback: Peter Slight, Gingerbread Zombie fabricator | Clive Hicks-Jenkins' Artlog:

  2. Oh! That’s fabulous! I went to school with someone who looked rather like that! Would that air-drying clay be Fimo or something other? I’m puppeting with Fimo (experimentally) and find it more subtle than Das but would like to hear Peter’s experience.

    • Hi Shellie, I’m slightly alarmed that you went to school with a Krampus look-alike! Was he/she a pupil or teacher? Were they friendly or fierce?!

      Regarding the making-process Clive described, I tend to use Das clay. I’ve never really got on with Fimo or Sculpy that well.T he models are made in pieces and then assembled. It is quite fiddly work. The finish is quite rough at that stage and detail is more or less ‘sanded into’ the model using different grades of sand paper. It’s not a very easy process to be honest, especially at the scale I tend to work. But for larger models it is not so bad. I do recommend using polystryrene as a ‘core’ for a model as it is very light and can be carved very quickly and easily with a craft knife. Scrunched tin foil is also good, but you can get more detail into the polystyrene, which could then be covered with paper mache or gum strip pieces. I would be very interested to know how you find working with Fimo.

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