Having used tools from HWFF extensively for almost two decades, I fully endorse their use for anyone who creates designs out of foam, whether Department 56 designs that I build professionally as well as for hobby enjoyment, or for life size displays to fit any backdrop or animation idea. These tools are available for all levels of artistry, whether beginner or seasoned professional.
For someone starting out, I highly recommend the Crafters Deluxe 3-in-1 Kit. This kit provides the user with a basic knife for cutting and trimming, the sculpting tool for shaping and contouring landscape, and the engraving tool for precise definition in walls, scripting, and borders. I use the sculpting tool predominately for shaping every design of landscape imaginable. It is flexible enough to provide infinite patterns and has a wide yoke that can be adjusted to any position which accommodates every need. I tell people attending my seminars that if they only bought one tool from HWFF, the sculpting tool would be it. Truly, it would be the most universal for creating finished designs as its cutting wire floats like a feather and captures every turn of oneâ€™s wrist to create a captivating impression or design that appears natural and real.
My primary passion is building and instructing on massive, running dioramas that capture the imagination with extensive carving techniques. I have been collecting Department 56 Christmas Villages since 1995 due to my childhood following of Dickens and Victorian London. The Original Seven Shops of Dickens remain my favorite of the collection with their history and nostalgic past. I have always been very active in the National Council of Clubs, having held offices in my past club in Albuquerque for 18 years. I designed and maintained store displays throughout Albuquerque in five gift stores since 2001 and conducted countless seminars to store customers and club members explaining the â€œhow toâ€? of my displays. I recently relocated to Tulsa and am now a member of the Oklahoma Village Collectors Club. I have presented seminars at several NCC Gatherings through the years, including Minneapolis, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. I was hired by Department 56 as one of their National Display Artists and have created showroom displays at their headquarters, One Village Place in Eden Prairie MN, Columbus, Seattle, and Denver. I have made two instructional DVDs for Hot Wire Foam Factory, which are sold nationally~~the most extensive being the 90-minute Building An Epic Village Display. I have been published in Village D-Lights for my work and have also created countless other displays in private homes and other retail establishments nationally.
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