Santa Claus, Indiana?

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Let us introduce ourselves, we are Laurie and Gerry Wilhite, we are pen makers, glass workers and show artists. We attend and sell at 25-30 major art shows every year, our travels take us from Minnesota to Florida, from New England to Texas with many stops in between.

We live in Santa Claus, Indiana. That’s right Santa Claus, Indiana, we didn’t make that up, and there really is such a place. At art shows we have signs with our names and hometown. We have grown accustom to shoppers walking by our display and saying out loud, “Santa Claus, Indiana,” it happens over and over again. Often they stop to ask, “is there a really a Santa Claus, Indiana?”

That is the point where Laurie typically explains that yes, there really is a Santa Claus, Indiana. She likes to add that we used to live at the corner of Donder and Blitzen Lanes, but now we live on Cupid Drive. I like to add that if they buy a pen from us for a gift, they can truly say that it is a gift from Santa Claus. It’s a great conversation starter.

The two of us are co-artists on everything we make, both of us are involved with pen making, glass working and selling. I do more lathe work that Laurie, she does more selling than me.

“How did you get into pen making?” we are often asked as shows.

It started with buying a few power tools to teach our kids how to make things and get them away from computer games. Then we found pen making and it just got totally out of hand. The kids grew up, but the lathe and other tools are still getting a great deal of use.

I’ve had a long work career that began as a product development specialist in the gift and greetings industry. I’ve spent years in marketing and management in the apparel industry and more years as CEO of a gift products marketer. As a manager of organizations involved with graphic design and product design, I find that I’m more interested in design than management.

As an artist Laurie has a flair for colors. In glass as well as the resins we cast, she has a practiced eye for developing creative color combinations. A former stay-at-home mom with a currently empty nest, she is a very active community volunteer and charity fund raiser.

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