Winter Wonderland is a place where rides and fun can be had but there are some people working there who have quite serious jobs. I don’t mean the security or the behind the scenes staff, I’d love to do a post on that aspect of the park but I’d imagine its authorities would not wish it! Anyhow as one ventures into Winter Wonderland from the Marble Arch entrance, several wooden sculptures representing various Christmas characters will be seen.
These are set among the many stalls that reflect other people’s hard work at creating various kinds of crafts. The sculptures are the work of a Hungarian wood carver, Norbert. He is one of a few really specialist crafts persons working at the theme park, including a blacksmith. Norbert spends many hours carving wood sculptures from tree trunks and has been at Winter Wonderland number of times.
Norbert and his partner Wanda are from Berettyóújfalu, Hungary. Norbert does the big sculptures whilst his partner hand crafts all the small presents.
Norbert and Wanda
Some of Wanda’s xmas crafts work
Usually it takes round about seven days or so to create a single wood sculpture. Over the single course of a Wonderland season he will have done about seven, possibly eight, sculptures. To the uninitiated it does not seem much in number however he is working from 10 am to 10pm and each sculpture does indeed require a lot of physical work.
I first began taking pictures of his work in 2016 – although I don’t think he will remember me!
Last year the sculptures were more person looking, like this lederhosen guy! This year they’ve been almost all cartoon characters.
This year I recorded the progress of several of his works. The first of these is this medieval Santa.
Night-time scene with the medieval guardian watching over the place!
I think it must be hard work continually chipping away at wood. In a way I know how he feels – I’m working on my blog posts all day and all night and like Norbert’s sculptures, people only ever see part of the work, not the total number of hours or effort one has expended.
This was taken just before Winter Wonderland shut for the night. I should think our wood carver is ready for a good night’s rest!
The finished product!
Medieval figure sculpted by Norbert
An admirer poses with one of the sculptures
The minion from Despicable Me
The second sculpture I recorded was a xmas Grinch – from How the Grinch stole Christmas.
The beginnings of the sculpture – basically a strippeddown tree trunk with outline of Grinch drawn
Various tools are used to shape the sculpture
Working on the Grinch’s feet
Not even finished – yet some humans are already confiding in the Grinch!
More Grinch admirers out in force!
Here are some of Norbert’s other wood sculptures completed November-December 2017at Winter Wonderland:
Angel sculpture with Winter Wonderland background
Another xmas Santa