Victory Garden Gnomes is a new Arts on the Square maker and we’ve honestly never seen anything like their completely adorable pop culture gnomes! Artist Lynn Shannon casts the gnomes herself and then goes to work turning them into the superheros and other larger-than-life characters you see here.
Tell us a little about yourself and how Victory Garden Gnomes got its start.
My name is Lynn Shannon and I live with my husband Mark in Lackawanna County, PA. I am originally from Maryland, but moved to Pennsylvania in 2006.
The idea began as a gift I created for my husband in 2013. He’s a huge comic book fan (Batman obsessed since childhood) and I thought a superhero themed gnome collection was a unique idea. The set I created for him became a popular conversation piece, but only evolved into the reality of my shop in 2016 when I met a fellow artist, James Serra of JRS Replications. James is prop/movie replica maker from Susquehanna County who showed interest in my idea and helped me to develop an efficient casting method for my gnomes. James invited me to show my work at the 2016 Salt City Collect-a-Con in Syracuse, NY. The event was successful and highly motivating for me, so I committed to continuing to create more gnomes and attend future events. I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s Arts on the Square!
How do you make the Gnomes?
My methods have changed over time but I now cast each gnome individually in solid casting stone. The trial and error of working with ceramics convinced me that the fragility of hollow ceramic pieces was too problematic. Each poured gnome weighs just under 2 pounds and requires several days of drying time. Once dried, they are sanded, sealed, painted, and sealed again with a glossy top coat. Some gnomes have accessories (weapons, shields, etc.) which I hand-make from wood and/or clay.
Do you have a favorite or best seller?
My best seller at the moment is Deadpool, but my personal favorite design is Two-Face. My newest designs are Mario & Luigi, though I am constantly adding to my collection and also creating custom made-to-order designs.
Your gnomes are so unique. What inspires them?
The uniqueness of each character combined with the cuteness of the gnome seems to be just the right blend.
Where else can our readers find your work?
My gnomes are only sold online or at events. My etsy shop is the “hub” of my operation. The only place to find them on display (though not for sale) is at Letterhead Comics in Honesdale, PA, thanks to shop owner Aaron Vietri for giving them some shelf space!
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