Nativities on Display at Artist Alley
Artist Alley is featuring the wood-crafted nativities of Regis Sholtis this Christmas season.
Regis Sholtis has been woodcrafting for more than 40 years. He began his craft as a way to relax in the evenings after work. Now, in true Sandhills fashion, Sholtis enjoys the retired guys' life of woodworking after the almost daily round of golf.
Sholtis began his explorations in wood with simple toys and boxes. Today he almost exclusively uses his scroll saw to create functional and decorative items in intricate fretwork designs. He uses a variety of wood, including oak, cherry, walnut, maple and poplar. He likes to let the natural color and grain of the wood add to the beauty of the item.
His specialty items on display at Artist Alley include functional items like trivets, tea boxes and golf design boxes. A favorite fun and useful item is the "American Keepsake Bank." Sholtis uses the old post office box doors taken from post offices that are being renovated. The banks are made with their own key or combination door.
Sholtis' Christmas decorations really show his skill with the scroll saw. The ornaments are intricately cut nativity scenes, angels, snowflakes and other Christmas scenes.
"Regis' Christmas nativities are a favorite of our visitors during the Christmas season," says gallery owner Jean Skipper. "They are truly keepsakes that can be passed down through generations."
No two of his nativities are alike. One smaller, folding nativity shows the trip to Bethlehem and the manger scene. A multi-layered nativity uses a variety of woods for beautiful color. Children enjoy the lighted manger nativity.
Among his Christmas nativities there is one masterpiece - a German tradition leichterbogen nativity. Leichterbogens (lighted arches) were first made by German miners who spent much of their time underground. When they were outside, they crafted wonderful lighted designs to chase away the darkness. Sholtis' leichterbogen nativity is entirely crafted on the scroll saw. The four layers have an amazing 372 inside cuts. Although the traditional leichterbogen has candles for illumination, his design uses little electric lights.
Sholtis' nativities will be on display throughout the Christmas season at Artist Alley. The gallery is located in downtown Southern Pines, one block east of the train station, at 167 E. New Hampshire Ave. Artist Alley features the work of more than 60 North Carolina artists and craftspeople, many of them local residents. Regular business hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about the work of Regis Sholtis or Artist Alley, call Jean Skipper at (910) 692-6077. >
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