Wood Santa Molds
Though there is some paper mache production still going on today, most of these wood Santas were hand carved primarily from the 1930's through the 1960's, when paper mache items were most popular. The molds are carved from the wood of native fruit trees - usually jackfruit, santol, and mango. The preferred wood for carving is jackfruit, which is a medium-heavy, yellowish wood. It's soft enough to be easy to carve, but hard enough to hold detail. (Jackfruit is the flavoring in Juicyfruit chewing gum.) Often passed down through generations many natives of the Philippines were exceptional carvers. The purpose of the carving in most cases was to make paper mache. Once the carving was completed a coating of wax would be applied so that the thin layer of paper mache could 'release' from the carving easier when dried. A knife was used to cut down each side, through the paper mache thus pulling the paper mache off the wood in two halves. The halves would then be seamed back together with paper mache and ultimately painted. In some of the photographs you will notice these 'cut marks'. Some consider 'more wear' better for authenticity sake while others prefer a 'cleaner'look. Either way, we leave them as we acquire them, dirt and all, for the collector to decide. In our opinion these wood Santa molds are priceless in any condition.