First, the santonnier models and carves the santon in clay, then it is reproduced by moulding.
The print of the santon is taken by pouring plaster twice in order to obtain a mould in two parts.
This mould is used to reproduce and duplicate the santon in series. Clay is placed between the two parts of the mould, and is strongly pressed with the hand. The santon is then removed from the mould and the santonnier carries out the final improvements, trimming and smoothing with water, and adds possible accessories.
The santons are left to dry and then placed in an electric furnace to undergo a cooking at 950°C in order to make them more resistant.
Eventually, the ultimate and delicate part of the making takes place : decoration.
It gives life and personality to the santon. It is carried out with gouache, using brushes, proceeding in successive stages, the santons are dressed (for example: face and hands, hair, shirt, trousers, jacket, cap, shoes, base). Sometimes, certain parts (baskets, bunches of flowers, shoes...) are varnished, but the santon itself must remain matt.