FALCONER - Santa's presence will be even larger for children in Michigan thanks to Fancher Chair Co.
Fancher Chair of Falconer has made a 300-pound chair for Santa Claus that is 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The chair will be part of a Christmas exhibit at the Somerset Collection, which is a mall in Troy, Mich.
''It is the biggest chair we've ever made. It is just the right size for Santa,'' said Pete Scheira, Fancher Chair Co. president. ''I guess this is our way of letting people know we still believe in Santa Claus.''
From left, Pete Scheira, Fancher Chair Co. president; Anna Wilcox, Fancher Chair; and Mark Barnhart, Fancher Chair, are pictured with Santa’s throne which will be used in a Christmas exhibit at the Somerset Collection, which is a mall in Troy, Mich.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Imagination Theatre Etc. is the company building Santa's workshop at the mall. m'Arch McCarty, Imagination Theatre Etc artistic director, said they are making a new Christmas exhibit for the mall, which will be used for the next 15 years. McCarty said he has been planning the new Christmas design for about 10 years.
''It has to be the largest, coolest and most exciting design we've ever done,'' he said. ''The company trusts us to do the best for the center.''
McCarty said he toured the factory in Falconer and was impressed with the quality workmanship.
''They have a specific way of looking at things. We sense that they do things the right way,'' he said. ''They are so proud of what they do. If you meet someone with that kind of pride in what they do, you trust them.''
McCarty said 10,780 children had their picture taken with Santa at the Christmas exhibit last year in the Detroit-area mall. He said not only does the chair have to deal with a 11,000 children this year, but for the next several years.
''That is another reason we used a reputable company. The chair has to hold up and be there for awhile. It will be there for the next 15 years,'' he said.
Scheira designed the chair, with handcrafted engraving done by Bob Harris, area crafter. Mark Barnhart, Fancher Chair, built the statuesque piece of furniture. He said it took about a month to do while working on other projects. He estimated 100 man-hours went into its construction.
''Custom work is a lot of fun,'' he said. ''It is nice to throw in my creative side.''
Scheira said it was the first Santa chair the business has made. However, he said about once a year they are contacted to do a unique project, which includes items for Disney.