Christmas decorations. For some, they can become more extravagant each year. For Gail Berberich, owner of Magic Mirror salon in Monona, her decorations have gone to new heights.
Added this year to her collection of 110 nutcrackers that line the shelves at the salon is a seven and a half foot tall nutcracker.
Two months ago, Berberich began constructing the paper mache nutcracker, using a stack of Wisconsin State Journals.
“My sister has a large one in her house, and I thought I could make one,” Berberich said.
Berberich has a studio in her home that she devotes to various art and craft projects, but has never made anything to a similar scale.
The nutcracker was built in pieces and then assembled at the shop.
“It was a challenge,” she said. “It just came in my head that I could make one.”
The most challenging part was making the gloves. She had to spray foam inside a pair of gloves and allow them to dry before layering the paper mache on them and shaping them.
In previous years, Berberich decorated a mannequin in holiday attire and lights.
“She was the icon for the shop. I just wanted something different [this year],” she said.
After inheriting a large nutcracker collection five years ago, which has continued to grow every year, constructing the large nutcracker seemed to be the perfect décor item for the shop.
“I like to have a conversation piece in the shop,” she added.
Berberich said the large nutcracker is for sale, and that she’d consider making a similar project next year.
“I’d possibly make something like it for next year, if someone wants one. I have all sorts of ideas,” she said.