'Precious Mutants' are the terrifying version of Precious Moments figurines

"I hope people smile. I hope they laugh. I hope they don't take it too seriously."

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alexander Kacala

You'll never look at your grandmother's china cabinet the same way again.

Canadian artist Keith Busher is taking those beloved Precious Moments figurines (and other similar tchotchkes) and morphing them into some pretty terrifying creations.

The figures are dubbed "Precious Mutations" by the artist, Keith Busher. Keith Busher/Precious Mutations

"About seven years, we were a bit house poor," the artist told TODAY Home. "I was looking for an inexpensive hobby to distract our kids from the amount of TV they were watching. We wanted to find something crafty that they could do, so we decided to try and upcycle items into interesting things."

Then at a thrift store, the father of two noticed a shelf with "terrible knickknacks" all over it.

"We bought about three or four of them for 10 bucks," he explained.

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This face is hard to forget.Keith Busher/Precious Mutations

From there, Busher used Epoxy clay and paint to transform the figures. His children soon lost interest, but Busher ended up developing his own passion for making the angelic figurines into something much more horrible.

"The idea behind it was when we saw them originally, they are usually so sickeningly sweet — like cavity-inducing sweet — the best way to counter that is to go the polar opposite," he said.

His creations, dubbed Precious Mutations, got a pretty great response when he shared them on social media, especially since the original memorabilia is so recognizable. So he decided to keep making them.

This piece is named "Why the Long Face." Keith Busher/Precious Mutations

His process is all about creativity. "I take a look at each piece. They may sit on my shelve for a few months at a time before I am inspired. It could be the way the character is standing or just the awkward situation they are in; something will click in me. It tends to lean more to the dark (side). I am not 100% sure why, but I have always enjoyed villains and creatures and monsters and mythology," he said.

And while his children, now 16 and 18, don't share their father's passion for creating mutants, they did end up going into the arts.

"My whole family is really into arts and I think this helped push them," he said. "My eldest daughter is an illustrator and my youngest is a painter."

"I am not 100% sure why, but I have always enjoyed villains and creatures and monsters and mythology," the artist said.Keith Busher/Precious Mutations

By day, Busher is a carpenter and welder at a shop that creates sets for theaters, commercials and TV shows. His coworkers joke that he is off "playing with his dolls" and Busher acknowledges that they probably label him the "weird guy" after he shows photos of his prized possessions, but that doesn't stop him from continuing to create.

Since starting less than a decade ago, he estimates that he has sculpted approximately 250 figurines.

This figure is labeled "Dead by Dawn" ... for obvious reasons.Keith Busher/Precious Mutations

His overall goal is to bring people joy with his horror.

"I hope people smile. I hope they laugh. I hope they don't take it too seriously," he said.

"I want it to make people look at things a little differently for themselves," Busher continued. "And then they can take it and apply it to real-life situations. If they're stressed and if they're dealing with something that is tough, they can ask: How can I look at this maybe a little different? How can I change it so I can see it from a different point of view? Hopefully, I solicit someone to have more of an imagination, not only for these dolls, but for their own lived experiences as well."

For more mutants, follow Keith Busher on Instagram and Facebook.