Brooks News

By Melissa McDonald | Nov 22, 2019
Courtesy of: Jim Gibbs Jim Gibbs' Mitten Santas, available at the Mount View Craft Fair Dec. 7.

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Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you at the Community Dinner beginning at 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The holidays are here!

Thank you to everyone who came out and made the Varney Ladies Fellowship Craft Fair a huge success. All are welcome to help decorate the church for Advent/Christmas on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 9 a.m.

The Brooks Holiday Celebration is Sunday, Dec. 1, at the Varney Building. Activities for children are from 2 to 3 p.m. Santa arrives at 3 p.m.

Don't forget: Brooks Action Group monthly senior lunch will be held at the Varney building on Tuesday, Dec. 3, beginning at 11 a.m.

Happy Birthday: Molly Donovan and Shelley Whitlatch (Nov. 28).

Happy Anniversary: Paula and Dan Miron (Dec. 1).

The 30th annual Mount View Craft Fair will be held Saturday, Dec. 7. I spoke with Jim Gibbs, one of the popular artisans who sells his (much in demand) paper mache pieces at this event. Jim is a Brooks native who has lived here for most of his life — except for an 8-year stint in Pennsylvania, where he worked for Clipper Magazine and managed a Williams Sonoma store (he says he was very happy to return to Maine).

This is Jim's 21st year making ornaments. He started when he was 25, but has always had a passion for art. As a child, he would go to the Town Office with his mom, Millie, and head upstairs to "make stuff" with his art teacher. As for inspiration, he's always been a Santa collector and likes to look at various objects and think, "Hey, that could be this."

The pieces are labor-intensive: two coats of paper mache (drying between each), prime, paint, antique, varnish. The pieces are then dried on his wood stove. They are only created in winter months because the medium has a tendency to mold in the summer.

Jim can now sculpt a piece in about 10-15 minutes; when he began, the process took much longer. When I worried about exposing trade secrets, Jim replied, "No one would ever do this if they knew how much time was involved." I think there's also quite a bit of talent involved.

Jim used to do several craft fairs per season, but says Mount View is his favorite — it was started by his class. He plans to have about 600 pieces available this year. They range in price from $9 to $50 and include ornaments, figural pieces and wall decor (all in various sizes).

Santa Moon is a bestseller, but new this year are gnomes. Jim has also donated decorated wreaths to various charities for fundraisers. Check these out. I have a bunch and add to my collection each year. They are awesome!

 

Gnomes by Jim Gibbs. (Courtesy of: Jim Gibbs)
Santa Stars by Jim Gibbs. (Courtesy of: Jim Gibbs)
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