Hi... I am Linda Cowell, artist, and owner of Linda Cowell Originals. I am excited to share my world of Santas with you! One of my heartfelt passions is creating one-of-a-kind Santas, and I'm so very pleased you chose to visit my site!
I have been married to my husband Bill for over 32 years now, and we have taken this fun journey together - from buying in flea markets throughout Germany and "antik" shops in Austria to sell in places like the Ritz Carlton here in St. Louis. We have enjoyed every minute of it! We work together to put these works of art in the hands of collectors who truly appreciate artistic talent and attention to detail.
We currently live in O'Fallon, Missouri, which is a suburb west of St. Louis. Our home sits on three and a half acres of wooded property, where we regularly see deer and wildlife enjoying the nature around us. Talk about a place to be inspired!
Our studio is on the lower level of our home, where each Santa is lovingly created as an original piece. Each face is meticulously molded and hand-shaped, baked, and/or hand-painted to give him just the right expression. The muslin bodies are completely custom-designed with a pose-able armature; others are designed from a variety of more rigid foundations that allows him to stand appropriately. Most of the clothes are hand-sewn using recycled textiles, and often the coats are made from turn-of-the-century "crazy quilts" that display artistry perfected many years ago.
Long hours are spent in our studio, working with a combination of antiques and accessories which will be used to capture the charm and personality each St. Nicholas will have. After 20 years, we still lovingly create each St. Nicholas by hand! We have declined the opportunity to be bought out, or to have our Santas mass-produced for volume sales. Many of the nationally known Santa artists have done so; they create the ideas, and a "limited number" of pieces (literally in the thousands) are mass-produced for them.
We continue to believe that true quality and originality only come the old-fashioned way...piece by piece! My first and only limited edition of "Santa's Best Friend" was chosen for the cover of the Winter Edition of the "Better Homes and Gardens Crafts Showcase"! My work has been displayed locally at the St. Louis Museum of Art, the St. Peters Cultural Arts Center, and of course in downtown Historic St. Charles, Missouri. In 1997, I was commissioned to make a special hockey Santa to be given to each of the members of the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team.
I am a juried member of and have also been featured in the "Best of Missouri Hands", which is an artisan's catalog featuring fine Missouri-made arts and crafts. I am also a member of the Ohio Designer Craftsmen out of Columbus Ohio. My work has been featured on both KMOV and KSDK television stations in St. Louis. In fact, I have shown my work at galas and benefits in many of the major cities across the Midwest.
Thank you again for your interest in my work. I hope you enjoy my Santas just as much as I enjoy making them!
From our warm house to yours... Merry Christmas!