Any queries please email us on

Signs of Christmas

The weather is getting colder and the heating is getting cranked up. That must mean it isn’t long before we max out our credit cards and prepare for Christmas. The above image is a nice homely Christmas scene. The warm glow of the fire, the tree & the lights and it’s strange how certain time of the year bring up images or memories.

As Hooper signs is a family business I would love to say that we all gather around a warm fire and discuss the days work. Unfortunately the storage heaters don’t have the same feel to them!

I would say though that Christmas does bring back a memory from one particular year.
About 20 years ago (yes it’s that long ago!) Washington Galleries asked us to help out with their Christmas Displays. Our work involved parts of a Santa’s Grotto, Santa’s Sleigh Ride and the Hanging Decorations.

There is nothing more Christmassy that White twigs and branches (unless you have to make them). Below is an image I found to illustrate the type of twigs we are talking about. Notice also that the trees in the background have no leaves on them.

You see, the main difference between the above photo and our preparations for Washington Galleries was that the leaves hadn’t fallen yet! To get a shopping mall’s decorations ready for the Christmas Period (which seems to start mid November) you have to start much earlier.
The Galleries arranged for some twigs to be dropped off for us to paint white. We didn’t realise exactly what they meant until it turned up. The delivery was the the branches of several trees that had recently been felled. They were complete with leaves. It was my job to strip the leaves from the trees and cut the “twigs” into six foot lengths. After 3 days of stripping we painted the forest of branches white, which all had to be hung out to dry. We had a very Christmassy feel workshop that weekend, in September.

I don’t think I’ll look at white twigs the same ever again.