We’re pleased to be introducing the newest Chalkware collectible within the Nantucket Santa Series. The 2020 Nautical Santa Riding Nantucket Whale.

Each year, since 2008, Judi Vaillancourt finds inspiration with the New England island of Nantucket. The Original Nantucket Basket Santa was designed and introduced as part of the island’s artisan exhibition as a fund raiser for the Small Friends on Nantucket. The hope for this piece was to find a customer base large enough to cover the expenses of the show. Over a decade later, the Nantucket Santa Series is one of the most popular Chalkware collections being produced.

To start, Judi would turn to her collection of antique confectionery moulds and adapt their shapes to fit the nautical feeling of summer. Although each piece is charming and beautiful on its own right, Judi packs them with historical details from extensive research. Whether it is decoupaged copies of pages taken from whaling logs on the Nantucket Sleigh Ride Santa’s coat, delicately painted patterns to match embroidery from the Nantucket Historical Association within the Nantucket Basket Santa, or even the Sailor’s Valentine Santa seen holding a 19th century double Sailor’s Valentine similar to one sold at auction in 2014 by Nantucket’s Rafael Osona Auctions.

For 2020, she knew that she needed something completely out of the box. And, while there are many whale references throughout the collection, she knew what she wanted. Drawing inspiration from other versions of Santa taking alternative modes of transportation (like the Santa on Zeppelin and Santa Riding North Pole Express), she knew that the 2020 Santa needed to deliver gifts on the back of a Blue Whale. The problem? There wasn’t a chocolate mould depicting this. So, Judi turned to long-time sculptural designer, and Vaillancourt mould-maker, Eduardo Rodriguez to sculpt her vision and create a mould.

After countless hours sculpting and moulding, the result was perfect: A traditional Santa, holding a Nantucket Basket riding the back of a Blue Whale with a extremely detailed Christmas wreath of shells—and a miniature Brant Point Lighthouse—on its tail.

The 2020 Nautical Santa Riding Nantucket Whale was introduced online and in the Sutton Retail Gallery on Sunday, July 12th. Additionally, to support the Small Friends on Nantucket after forcing to cancel their major fundraiser, they auctioned off an artist proof of the piece through their virtual Nantucket Art and Artisan Show and silent auction.

See Its Progress