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Crafting a Creative Christmas : Smell of Success Carries an Aroma of Gingerbread

December 25, 1986|Gerald Faris | Times staff writer

It's boom time for many South Bay artists, especially crafts people and others whose works make good Christmas gifts or decorations.

Maudette M. Ball, executive director of the Palos Verdes Community Arts Assn., calls the holidays an "everybody wins" time: Artists get a market for their work, and buyers get "something that is made by the human hand."

Times staff writer Gerald Faris takes a look at what some of those hands have been doing this holiday season.

Pat Hinz will remember this holiday season as the time she perfected her ceramic gingerbread houses.

She actually got them to smell like gingerbread.

"I found an oil that has the smell," said the Rancho Palos Verdes artist. "You put it in cotton in the chimney, and when it heats up from the light inside, it makes it smell real nice."

Gingerbread houses--with frosting and candies that look just like the real thing--are among Hinz's holiday art specialties, along with a miniature toy shop--"I call it the Christmas Every Day Toy Shop"--and Christmas trees and Santas and Mrs. Santas. There also are life-sized ducks that come with seasonal wreaths.

Long known for her whimsical ceramic renditions of landmark buildings--including the Peninsula's La Venta Inn and the Point Vicente lighthouse--Hinz has added something new this year: childhood homes, which she is doing for people who want something to bring back memories of youthful days. Each ceramic is done to order from a photograph supplied by the buyer.

"One is a small house in Wilmington," she said. "It is a little bungalow with a porch, grandma's rocking chair, and a hanging pot of flowers."

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