325 Duckworth Street
Local painter, sculptor and clay miniature virtuoso Thomas Hutchings has done it again. On Tuesday, December 4, he unveiled another window display at the law offices of Stack and Associates on Duckworth Street. No stranger to Nooks and Crannies, Hutchings is the man behind the much admired, satirical crime-scape that graces the office’s west-side window.
Recently, Lawyer Greg Stack challenged his friend and in-house artist to produce something festive for the holidays. According to Hutchings the time frame was next to impossible, but in less than two weeks and after many sleepless nights, he delivered a parade of mummers making merry and mischief through the streets of downtown St. John’s.
The twenty-odd handmade figures are masked and brightly costumed. Many carry squeeze boxes, fiddles, horns and drums, while others swing around dancing arm in arm. One carries what looks like a hobo’s handkerchief sack, but which Hutchings says is meant to be an animal’s stomach filled with stones and hung from a stick. Apparently such things were used by mummers to tap people lightly on the head for luck.
The procession marches down a snowy street: a mix of Duckworth and Water Street buildings, past and present. In one of the storefronts, the boys from Mount Cashel Orphanage are hosting their annual turkey raffle. When I spoke with the artist, the miniature turkey was still drying (roasting, even) in the kiln.
Also awaiting its final touches is the figure of lawyer Greg Stack himself. Greg will be featured fallen flat on the ice, his parcels strewn around him, while shopping with his daughter. But—I was assured—it’s all in good fun.
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