Latest News: Artists

Latest News: Artists2018-03-12T13:54:52-06:00

Home & Family: DIY with Anita Marra Rogers (UPDATED)

Hallmark Keepsake Sculptor Anita Marra Rogers visits. She discusses her career as a keepsake artist and participating in Hallmarket event, an art fair for hallmark employees where employees and retirees sell their non-hallmark artwork. Anita shows you how to make DIY bleach tie dye shirts.

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Tie Dye Shirts with Hallmark Keepsake Sculptor Anita Marra Rogers

  • Bleach
  • T-Shirts (dark colors)
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Funnel
  • Masking tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Tray
  1. Wash your T-shirts, leave them wet and lay them out flat.
  2. Starting from the center, twirl the shirt until it is wrapped tightly around itself.
  3. Use masking tape around the outside edge and secure your bundle.
  4. Use your funnel to fill the squeeze bottle with bleach.
  5. Squirt bleach across the shirt liberally, but make sure you don’t soak it completely.
  6. Allow to sit for a few minutes to an hour depending on the desired effect.
    NOTE: The less time the bleach is on the more orange the bleach spots will be.
  7. Un-tape the shirt and wash thoroughly to stop the bleaching process.
  8. Dry and enjoy!

UPDATE (10.15.19) –  Anita shared some behind the scenes images of her time on Home & Family.

October 2nd, 2019|0 Comments

Artist Journal: Robert Chad

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Robert Chad’s Artist Sketchbook and Process.

Keepsake Artist, Robert Chad doesn’t fool around when it comes to brainstorming new ideas for his ornaments. Instead, he goes right to his sketchbook. “I’m not big on research,” he said. “I like to draw. A few of years ago, I bought an iPad with an Apple pencil, so I could start drawing digitally. It kind of got me back into drawing. There’s even a program I use that creates a video of your drawing—I’ve posted those videos on the Community web site before.”

Whether in a paper sketchbook or on his iPad, Robert’s ideas can go through quite the metamorphosis from his original concept to the actual ornament that ends up on Christmas trees in homes all over the world. “You’re always creating throughout the entire process,” he said. “Sometimes technical things get in your way, or the price. Plus, there are so many hands involved in the creation of our ornaments. That’s the truth about how things are made in Keepsakes—’it takes a village’ is not just a saying. It really does. By the end of the process, it’s become something a lot different than where it started.”

Robert remembers one ornament in particular that went through a big transformation before it became an ornament. “I worked on a hand-blown glass fox in recent years,” he said. I sketched it first, then Ken did some drawings and I really went from Ken’s insight, but in the end, it looked nothing like either of our sketches. The factory in Poland made changes to soften the look and make it work in blown glass—something we know very little about. Things changed and changed, but we ended up with a great ornament that has a ton of great detail.”

Dapper Fox

And detail is something Robert knows well. After more than 30 years of sculpting Keepsake Ornaments by hand, he still has a few tricks up his sleeve—one of them being the actual wax he uses to sculpt every day. “Years ago, Duane Unruh invented a concoction of wax that became the wax we all used,” said Robert. “The shop at Hallmark attempted to make us a wax that was similar, but never got close. You can’t get your hands on some of the original ingredients anymore. Interesting fact? I still have a big stash of the original wax that I use today. I melt down old sculpts and reuse that wax over and over and over. I’m using recycled wax from 30 years ago so every sculpt I’ve ever done is inside what I’m working on now.”

Box of recycled wax sculpts

September 17th, 2019|0 Comments

Artist Journal: Edythe Kegrize (Majestic Cardinal and Majestic Lady Cardinal)

Majestic Cardinal and Majestic Lady Cardinal Progression

My Vision, inspiration, and creative process for Majestic Cardinal and Majestic Lady Cardinal!

The cage portion of this ornament was loosely inspired by ornate cast iron filagree garden gazebo domes. I thought it would make an attractive frame for a smaller bird. I design quite a few birds and this was something new to explore.

I started by designing the ball pattern by placing clay on a clear glass ball ornament to get a feel for the flow and proportions of the design.

I enjoy a good puzzle and this one was challenging to design keeping the production limitations of the metal material in mind while trying to create a pretty and delicate overall effect.

August 27th, 2019|0 Comments

Artist Journal: Anita Marra Rogers

Monday, July 29, 2019

Hallmark Keepsake Artist Anita Rogers has always considered herself to be more of a sculptor than an artist who draws. “I usually end up drawing an idea, then redrawing again and again,” she said with a laugh. “My sketches almost never come out like what’s in my head the first time. I don’t really think I draw as well as I sculpt!”

Anita Marra Rogers’ Toster Oven

Thankfully, Anita honed her knack for sculpting and has been an integral part of the Keepsake Studio for more than 30 years. And because she sculpts by hand, instead of digitally like other artists, she’s got a unique set of tools to help her in her day-to-day work. “I use a toaster oven!” she said. “I turn it on a low temperature to warm up my wax before starting a sculpt. Once I have the rough shape created and it cools off and hardens, I have a hot tool with various sizes and shapes of tips to melt and move wax around. I also have some metal sculpting tools to carve with—some especially made for sculpting—as well as other tools homemade from old paint brushes, razor blades, and even dental tools!”

Those unconventional tools have turned hundreds of designs into the ornaments for which Anita is known best. Sometimes, though, ideas are presented that never actually become an ornament. “I always keep some old drawings in my files,” said Anita. “Who knows, maybe they’ll still become ornaments some day!”

Besides making ornaments for three decades, Anita has also flexed her creative muscle by crafting. “I don’t really sketch for fun,” she said. “But I do love to tie-dye, and even make a little money doing it!”

Over the years, whether crafting fabrics or creating ornaments, Anita has looked to her fans for inspiration and she’s looking forward to seeing collectors at this year’s KOC Convention in Kansas City. “I am always inspired by the fans and getting to meet with them,” she said. “They are the most awesome group of people and they keep me going. I am always trying to do my best for them!”

July 29th, 2019|1 Comment