Connecting to collect - collecting to connect

Ken Crow

Hallmark Master Artist

Date started at Hallmark: August 1979
Date started at Keepsakes: November 1983
Hometown: Long Beach, California


Most of us doodled in our notebooks during high school, but Ken Crow's drawings were a real learning experience. In his 11th grade history class, he discovered that his pictures were worth a thousand words. History teacher, Mr. Ciriello, began letting Ken use creative illustration instead of taking class notes.

During a Civil War lesson, Ken drew battle scenes. When Ciriello explained how an economy works, Ken sketched his teacher running a treadmill turning the cogs of an economic engine.

Ken calls Mr. Ciriello's encouragement the "green light" for his ability to express his artistic sensibility. Ken always understood the power of communicating ideas through art, and he became an editorial cartoonist for a newspaper. Now he conveys a sense of history and emotion in the expressive and complex work he does with Keepsake Ornaments.

But how did Ken go from drawing to becoming an expert in mechanical Christmas ornaments? As a child, he tore apart every toy he ever had to see how it worked. He even made other toys out of the spare parts. For Ken, Keepsake Ornaments will forever keep him connected with that inquisitive kid inside.




Delivering all the toys on time takes Santa's full attention—or did, until he thought of this incredible invention. Now every year on Christmas Eve when Santa's sleigh takes flight, his Magic Cuckoo Clock makes time stand still throughout the night!

You can tell Ken Crow really put his heart into crafting this Keepsake Ornament. His face lights up each time the ornament’s music begins to play on the cuckoo clock.

"I always try to make the most wonderful thing that you can put in your hand that entertains you. My grandpa had a German cuckoo clock that was chocolate brown like this and chimed on the hour. He was a very serious man, but he wound it up every morning. For him to do that was wonderful to me. The music makes it famous—it gives it a real 'wowie zowie!'"

This Keepsake Ornament plays "Up on the Housetop" and has lighting effects that interact with other ornaments on the magic cord. At rest, the lights gently change color in the tiny tree, and you can hear a playful "tick tock" as Santa keeps an eye on his list. It is yet another magical, mechanical addition to Ken's impressive collection of fantastic creations—which will evoke a sense of wonder and awe in believers, young and old.


Recent Blog Entries

Upcoming Events

No upcoming events

Recent Photos