Local News

December 13, 2013

'Labor of love': Couple transforms wood into Magi

Don, Pauline Stone build life-size nativity scene for church lawn

WEST CHAZY — Nativity translates as a lot of hard work to Don and Pauline Stone of West Chazy.

They are on a long rest after creating a full-size nativity scene for the lawn of the West Chazy Community Church located at 17 Fiske Road.

“We had done one for the Turnpike Wesleyan Church,” Pauline said. “We had done one but it wasn’t full size.”

She talked about creating a life-size depiction to Patsy Martin, the wife of the Rev. Marty Martin of the West Chazy Community Church.

“We saw one in the book,” Pauline said. “When I did the one for the Wesleyan Church, it was 10 or 15 years ago. Back then, they didn’t have the life-size one in our pattern book. We had this one in our pattern book and decided to do it.”

In his shop, Don cut out all the figures from wood.

“He primed it with two coats of primer,” Pauline said. “To cut out one figure, it takes two days with cutting out and priming. I take over after it’s primed. I draw the pattern back on it. It’s primed with two coats of white paint. I draw the eyes and detail back on it. I airbrushed part of it, and I hand-paint part of it. That takes up to a week for each one.”

Some figures need two coats of paint, and some need a third coat.

“It’s a labor of love, believe me,” Pauline said. “After it’s all painted and the details are done, we do two coats of sealer on it because it’s going to be out in the snow and weather and so forth.”

She and her husband started the project in April and worked throughout the summer.

“It got to the point I did not like it,” Pauline said. “One king is over 6 feet tall. The cow is 8 feet long. My grandson saw them, and he said, ‘Grandmom, get those out of the bedroom. They scare me.’”

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