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Artist Clyde says you can make your own Christmas decorations

By Susan Shinn

For The Salisbury Post

Now the word “jolly” is one you’d probably never use to describe local artist Clyde. But today, he’s in a pretty dang good mood.

Stepping into Clyde’s Bank Street studio is not unlike stepping into Santa’s workshop. At the moment, he’s working on Old World Santas, and shadow boxes filled with vintage ornaments, and stockings he’s sewn himself and redneck snow globes, and …

Whew! Santa can’t be this busy, can he?

Clyde’s message: You can make your own Christmas décor.

With the help of Luther Sowers, Clyde learned to sew. He’s churning out stacks of folksy Christmas stockings, which you can find at Salisbury Wine Shop, 106 S. Main St. He sews them wrong-side out and then sits by his woodstove and “pokes them” right side out. (If you sew, you know what I mean.)

Clyde probably doesn’t qualify as a hoarder, but he’s got stacks and boxes and bags full of whatever materials he might need: Christmas ornaments, material, lace, ribbons, cards, even worn-out fur coats and collars he uses for the trim on Santa’s robes.

Don’t want to waste money buying a snow globe? Just take a Mason jar, a sprig of holly berries and greenery, add a couple of spoonsful of dry grits, put the lid on, shake it up and — voila! — a redneck snow globe. Clyde’s very own idea.

If you have some items you want to put in a memory box or shadow box, just pick up one from Clyde, use “Ye Olde Glue Gun” and — voila! — a memory box filled with your very own memories.

For his inventory, Clyde scours consignment shops such as Growing Pains and the shop at Nazareth Children’s Home.

“You just won’t believe the stuff I got this week,” Clyde says, his eyes twinkling. (I swear, I am not making that up.)

For his Old World Santas, he buys the plaster faces from Piedmont Garden Supply, secures an old tomato stake to a plywood base, adds batting and material and — voila! — you’re getting the picture by now, right?

You can find these Santas at Southern Spirit Gallery, 102 S. Main St.

It does take a certain flair, Clyde admits. “It’s part art and part craft — half and half, you reckon?”

But even if you’re not as crafty as Clyde — and really, who among us is? — you can indeed make your own holiday décor, he says. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it’s not plastic. You made it, and it’s heartfelt.”

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