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All the Good in People

When asked what part of the creation process she enjoys the most, she says "coming up with the idea, watching my creation take shape, then watching it come to life.

Barbara Scoles is a member of the Aromas Hills Artisans and very active in promoting the arts and it's artisans in California's Central Coast region. Barbara is a very elegant lady with a wonderful sense of humor who can drive home a point with the same intensity and authority as Tiger Woods on the first tee. Barbara earned her degree in Theater Arts with a specialty in Costume Design from San Francisco State University. She worked for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco as its wardrobe mistress. Today she has her creations displayed and sold at the Folkworks Gallery in Evanston, Illinois. Her creations are not costumes from famous theatrical productions, or Steven Spielberg movies. Rather, the gallery displays Barbara's Santa Claus Wood Carvings. Nineteen woodcarvings were sent to the gallery in November of 2001 and on opening day all but three were sold. Barbara has been carving Santa Claus art since 1992. She says that the first Santa Claus that she ever carved was recently presented as a gift to her grand daughter. The first thing she ever carved was a neckerchief guide for her son then 8 years old and in the Boy Scouts.

When Barbara is asked what Santa Claus means to her, she responds "All the good in people." She says that Santa Claus is nurturing, giving, elegant, and wise. She loves to carve the face and enjoys picking out the color pallet. She not only carves but also paints her Santa Claus creations. When asked what part of the creation process she enjoys the most, she says "coming up with the idea, watching my creation take shape, then watching it come to life." She admits that it is a personal journey of struggle and a constant challenge to get the wood to do what she wants but in the same breath that she can never be unhappy with wood and knife in hand. The rest of the world ceases to exist as she smells and feels the wood and begins to carve.

Initially Barbara used a relief style, but it wasn't until she attended a week long wood carving seminar held at Doane College in Nebraska, that she began to carve in 3 dimensions. She still attends these yearly seminars and is constantly taking classes to keep herself current with her craft. This dedication is demonstrated by the seven blue ribbons won in last year's competitions. Yet the "Best of Show" award has eluded her. Barbara has set her goals for 2002 and 2003, to win the prestigious Annual Iowa Inter-Congress show, and to win a "Best of Show" award.

Barbara describes her latest 2002 Santa Claus carving cut out from a 6 in. x 6 in. wood block with the final height of the piece at 15 inches: Santa is wearing a knit cap with a fur trim, a bag full of toys with kitties and teddy bears. Barbara chuckled as she struggled with the dilemma of one day having to part with her creation and providing the world with one more reminder of  "All the good in people." END

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