The artist who created Precious Moments figurines may want to hide his eyes. The porcelain figures — long associated with words like “adorable” and “heartwarming” and, well, “precious” — have been given a makeover. And their new look may shock you.
Canadian artist Keith Busher has taken the oh-so-precious faces that grace these popular figurines and transformed them into the stuff of nightmares. He calls his works “Precious Mutations” and he’s shared some of them on Instagram under the handle @preciousmutator:
He basically turns the sweet figurines into zombies, as in the case of this one, called “Why the Long Face?”
So delightfully disturbing!
Around since the late 1970s, the Precious Moments figurines were originally designed by Sam Butcher. He created them as gifts people could give to friends and family in honor of the Lord. They exploded in popularity and have been incredibly collectible in the decades since.
The current owners of the Precious Moments brand are Butcher’s children. And while you’d think they’d be horrified by this repurposing of their father’s work, Butcher’s daughter doesn’t seem too upset. On the contrary, she seems absolutely thrilled.
In a note the Precious Mutations artist shared on Instagram, Debbie Butcher wrote to him that she loves Busher’s art, and that “Why the Long Face?” in particular makes her laugh. As one of the present owners of the Precious Moments brand, she explains that she has sample figurines she can’t sell to the public, and that, “I can’t think of a better donation for these samples than to a fellow artist!”
Busher told Country Living that he started Precious Mutations after taking a trip to a local thrift store with his daughters. He spotted one of the Precious Moments pieces and was struck with inspiration.
Busher says it can take months for him to complete one figurine because of the attention to detail. Here’s one that got a full makeover, from head to toe:
Busher’s recreations truly define upcycling. He sells the pieces at events such as Ottawa Comiccon:
He’s also in the midst of transforming a Precious Moments clown in order to give it some Stephen King-esque flair. Here’s the clown when he first started this project:
And here it is a little further along:
We think these Precious Mutations figurines are super scary — and brilliant! We look forward to future Instagram posts in which we get to see him change even more of those sweet faces into complete creepsters.