A stay-at-home dad in Fredericton has turned a fun activity with his kids into a passion that’s starting to turn heads.
Jon Holt looks after his two daughters and two of his neighbours children each day.
Not long ago he brought home some clay to use as a fun activity with the four kids.
“We would all sit around here and play with clay and see what we could make and come up with,” Holt explained. “Then they started to challenge me with what I could make.”
He first set his sights on creating a unique Christmas gift for his wife.
As she’s often on the road for work, Holt created clay versions of their family members for her to take with her on her travels.
“She’d set them up on her nightstand in her hotel room to keep her company at nighttime,” he said. “Often she would leave herself at home for our daughters to put on their nightstand so that they’d have their mom at home and she’d have us with her in her hotel room.”
From there Holt branched out to create local Fredericton celebrities, including Perley the Magician, Police Chief Leanne Fitch and Willie O’Ree.
“There was no rhyme or reason, it was anything that popped into my head,” Holt explained. “As soon as my kids go to bed … I’d sit here and think what would make me smile or somebody else, my parents or one of my friends or whoever it happens to be.”
It wasn’t long until he was crafting bigger names both past and present, such as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wrestler Randy “Macho Man” Savage.
“Mr. Dressup, Mr. Rogers and the Friendly Giant all people that I loved when I was a kid,” Holt said.
In the course of just a few months many requests for figures have come in from companies and friends.
Holt doesn’t immediately shoot down the idea of it being a budding business, but he said he doesn’t plan on quitting his day job just yet.
“I have more ideas than I have time to make things,” he said. “The hours that I have free to make things out of clay are fairly limited but I’ve been making families for other families with parents that travel.”