by Al Longo
AL started carving Santas in 1989,
because his wife wanted one they had seen in a shop. “Honey, I can make you
one,” Al said. Well, 14 years and over a thousand Santa carvings later she gets
to keep a few of her favorite ones every year. Santas are his favorite subject
and each piece is hand carved and painted by Al from his original designs. His
own style of carving and finishing make his Santa figurines and other folk art
pieces very unique and collectible. AL and his family live on Bull Shoals Lake
near Protem, Missouri in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, where Al spends most of
his time working in his studio....carving Santas.
About Folk Artist Al
by Al Longo
I started carving in the
late eighties when my wife and I saw some Santa carvings at Peter Engler's shop
in Branson, Mo. My wife wanted one, I said, "Honey, I can do that" and bought
some tools, a good knife and some basswood. Well, a couple thousand or so
carvings later, she now gets to keep one or two a year.
I'm basically self taught which I consider an
advantage because it has allowed me to develop my own style of folk art carving
and finishing. In the beginning it was a slow process, a lot of ugly Santas, but
it was worth the effort. I hope to keep growing and expanding to new areas.
That's part of the magic of wood carving.
Santas of all shapes and sizes are my favorite
subject. The Christmas Season is my favorite time of the year. My style of
Santas range from the traditional Ho-Ho-Ho guy to the serious Father Christmas
figure, along with my favorite, the Eskimo Santa. I hope they all represent the
true meaning of the Holidays, Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all, and Joy to the
I also love to carve folk art angels and a few
witches for the Halloween season. Animals, Shorebirds, Decoys, Doves and the
awesome Crow are also some of the things I'm creating.
There a a few people who have been an
inspirational to me, and have helped me grow as an artists and person. I think
you know who you are and thanks for all your inspiration and help.