Each year during the annual Collector’s Dinner one lucky collector wins the chance to work with Judi and design a chalkware piece that reflects a bit of themselves. This year, Jim O’Leary unveiled the 2016 piece—Blue Father Christmas with Dog.

During the 2015 Collector’s Weekend dinner, Mr. O’Leary won the chance to work with Judi on this piece and started immediately. Using a mould similar to one in his personal collection, Judi painstakingly took to carving a dog to fit in the Father Christmas’ bag and also moulded a dog house to sit at the base. With a Nordic color palate, the piece features light Victorian glass glitter to embellish snowflake shapes around the coat.

While Mr. O’Leary took home the original piece that Judi painted, a limited edition of 15 have been painted and are available for you to take home!

We hope that you enjoy the 2016 Collector’s Design Series and hope that you consider joining us in 2017 for the Annual Collector’s Dinner where you might have the chance to design your own piece for the following year!

In Jim’s words when collaborating with Judi in designing the original (which Jim has taken home as a one of a kind):

I am both excited and honored to be a part of this Santa collaboration with Judi. I was so thrilled when my name was called out last April at the collectors dinner, it was a memorable highlight of the weekend that I’ll never forget.

27 years ago I acquired my first piece of chalkware as a 16 year old, a Christmas gift for my Mom. Collecting Vaillancourt chalkware and ornaments has now become a special tradition that we share together. I grew up five miles from the Vaillancourt studio but now live out of state, so whenever I see my chalkware I’m reminded of home.

This piece will be very special to me because it will symbolize memories of my life. My father, who passed away 5 years ago was an avid hunter, the deer on the piece will symbolize him. The fish symbolize my beloved Grandfather, also gone, who in my childhood took me fishing in the brooks and streams of New England. The barn is the country house that my grandparents built in New Hampshire that my family lived in for a short time. I have many fond memories spending time there thing and exploring.

Finally, the old world look of the Santa will symbolize my Mom and that first piece of Chalkware that started it all 27 years ago.