It takes three months to create an ANRI wood carved sculpture!
The entire ANRI figurine creation process, from drying the wood to finishing the figure takes about 90 days.
The first model
Artists create original prototypes from the designs that are selected to become ANRI figures. The best master wood carvers are then hired to carve in wood or to mould the first model, which is made of bronze, in order to make a durable tool. From these prototypes, special models are prepared so that each figure can be accurately duplicated.
The suitable wood
Only the best slow and symmetrical grown wood species are suitable, such as maple, lime tree, alpine pine, ash tree and pear tree. Accurate drying is necessary so that the moisture content be reduced to the correct level. The process begins with the purchase of 80 year old maple or sycamore trees from plantations in France. The best and healthiest trees are selected and only about 20% of these meet the ANRI standards. The logs are then air dried for up to 3 years and cut into blocks, which are kiln dried to reduce the moisture to 10%. It is from this stock that the wood is sized for figures and placed in storage.
The first step in the carving process, cutting the contours, is mechanically aided. This helps to ensure that the figure is true to the model, and also prepares the work for the carver. With saw and shaper tools the woodblocks get the right proportion and appearance of the item they will be carved into. As this process is taking place, blocks of wood are roughly shaped to meet the requirements of that particular figure, then the special model is worked by hand to duplicate its form. From that stage, the figure is inspected and if approved goes into the hand finishing sculpture studio where details are completed.
With very careful, delicate manipulation of chisels and knives, the talented masters supervise every single cut, down to the tiniest detail.
After each figure goes through a process of sealing the wood, it travels to the hand painting studio. Here the painters carefully detail each figure with pastel shades of transparent oil paints so that the wood grain remains visible. The special ANRI transparent colors are used so that the beauty of the wood grain is revealed. Gold leaf and silver sheet are often added to the Kings in ANRI Nativities at this point.
After drying, each figure is again inspected and the ANRI seal is applied. It then goes to a storage area where it is carefully wrapped in ANRI logo tissue and put into a box that is properly labeled and eventually starts its journey to collectors in every corner of the globe. Every figure passes through the hands of 16 woodcarvers and painters, and is then quality controlled four times before receiving ANRI’s quality seal. This seal and the certificate guarantee the perfection of the sculpture.