At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina, Bill Apelian creates heirlooms in wood. Using traditional tools—handsaws, carving gouges, and artist’s oil colors—and his imagination, he crafts elegant Old World Santas. Each carving is one-of-a-kind: named, signed, and dated by the artist. Bill prefers the American linden (basswood) for its straight grain, just as the Renaissance master carvers did. After he shapes a block of wood, Bill carves the Santa with hand tools, giving each wood sculpture a personality of its own. Then he mixes and thins artist’s oil colors to make stains that color the wood while allowing the grain to show. He lets his imagination, his tools, and the wood work together to produce the delightful expressions, soft coloring and craftsmanship that are the hallmarks of these highly collectible works of art.