How Department 56 Villages and Collectibles Are Made

Making of Department 56 Pieces

Making of a Product

The hand-crafting of Department 56 products involves many important production steps, but it is the combination of the processes –
  1. A great idea
  2. Design
  3. Sculpting
  4. Mold making
  5. Hand painting and detailing
  6. Packaging
Things like this are what distinguishes Department 56 products from all others. During production, the Department 56 logo is cast into the molds to guarantee authenticity. Each year several pieces are retired from production and the molds broken-this limits the number of pieces produced and allows room for new additions to the collectible lines. These retired pieces are never made again.


In 1987, five tiny bisque figures were introduced into a magical realm of sparkling imagination, heartwarming delight and youthful innocence called "Frosty Frolic Land™". Since then, this charming collection has grown to include waterglobes, music boxes, ornaments, hinged boxes, and display pieces. These finely detailed collectibles, each with a hand-painted face and hand-applied frosty bisque snow crystals are created by artist Kristi Jensen Pierro. Kristi’s ideas are inspired by watching children, mostly her own, and by recalling her own childhood experiences. Pewter miniature Snowbabies™ Figurines were introduced in 1989. As with all the Snowbabies™ Figurines, the title of each design is an expression that adds charm to the piece and tells the story.

  • Made of porcelain bisque
  • Hand-painted faces
  • Hand-applied frosty bisque crystals
  • Names of the pieces reveal the stories and sentiment behind each piece
  • Collection includes ornaments, waterglobes, hinged boxes, and music boxes

Common Questions and Technical Info

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