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Most of us doodled in our notebooks during high school, but Ken Crow’s drawings were a real learning experience. In his 11th grade history class, he discovered that his pictures were worth a thousand words. History teacher, Mr. Ciriello, began letting Ken use creative illustration instead of taking class notes. During a civil war lesson, Ken drew battle scenes. When Ciriello explained how an economy works, Ken sketched his teacher running a treadmill turning the cogs of an economic engine. Ken calls Mr. Ciriello’s encouragement the “green light” for his ability to express his artistic sensibility. Ken always understood the power of communicating ideas through art, and he became an editorial cartoonist for a newspaper. Now he conveys a sense of history and emotion in the expressive and complex work he does with Keepsake Ornaments.
Rocking Horse Keepsake Ornament
3rd in the Santa Certified series
What if Santa picked his favorite toys and then wrote his signature on each one of them, telling the world that these toys have his official seal of approval? That’s the idea behind the Santa Certified series ornaments.
Or, in Ken’s words, “They should look like the toys Santa would put on the shelf at his workshop and say, ‘Yes, these are the coolest toys we make.’”
Ken has worked on all three of the ornaments in the series. The first two featured a toy train engine and a jack-in-the-box. Ken said the challenge with this rocking horse ornament was to figure out something that hadn’t been done before. “I didn’t want to just make another horse,” Ken said.
Ken decided that he wanted to make the horse appear as if it were made from wood. And even though the horse rests on a glider, Ken wanted to create the illusion that it was galloping across a bridge. “I really wanted to make it look like the horse is galloping through a Christmas forest.”