July 21st, 2011
This arrived by email and it made us all smile. Thought you might enjoy reading this submission to ABC World News for their “Made in America” series.
GREETINGS CARRUTH STUDIO,
We wanted you to know we sent this to ABC World News. Hope to see you on air! Sending waves of support from Key West, Deborah and Tim
Too often a person goes on their way never really knowing the extent of their contribution to the world.
Today, I am compelled to submit this testimonial in honour of George Carruth, an American-made sculptor who brings joy, understanding and renewal to people he’s never even met. How do I know this? Because Tim and I are two of those people.
We live in Key West, Florida and American-made Egbert has changed our lives.
Growing up as kids we recited, “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
For the last few years, these words haunted Tim. At 57, his career in the commercial real estate industry was in jeopardy. The Florida market had fallen off its proverbial wall and lay shattered in a thousand pieces. People were deeply frightened which perpetuated paralysis. Florida banks were ice cubes melting into oblivion.
Yet, Tim did not give up. Every day he took one step forward and then another. He was determined to survive the nation’s financial crisis but, sometimes, I would hear him say, “I feel like Humpty Dumpty.”
One afternoon I discovered George Carruth’s online store: www.gardensmiles.com. His art made me smile – spontaneously and wide! I felt delight, happiness and joy. George’s pieces captured the imagination and moved my thoughts away from negativity and fear. As I scrolled through the many choices, I discovered Egbert. There was Tim’s Humpty Dumpty! Yet, he was not broken. In fact, George Carruth’s Egbert H. Dumpty had the most amazing facial expression of happiness, hope and victory. I thought, If Egbert can lift my spirits, I know he will do the same for Tim.
The day Egbert arrived was a particularly discouraging day in the office. Two deals, requiring months of work, disintegrated. The bank called to say a client’s check had bounced. A computer crashed. All in all, it was the kind of afternoon you wonder if the Universe is conspiring against you.
When the beautiful box from Carruth Studio arrived, I knocked on Tim’s office door. He said, “Come in.” I walked in to find a guy who looked like his dog had just died. Let me explain: Almost nothing ever gets Tim down. He is an authentic optimist with a passion for life. He takes nothing for granted. Tim is known for saying, “I love life and life loves me. Smile because you can!” On this afternoon, the business challenges had taken a white-shark bite out of his heart. He looked defeated.
Without a word, I put the box on his desk and said, “It’s important you open this. NOW.” Tim took a deep, rather skeptical, breath and opened the package. Egbert appeared. Tim looked at him, long and hard. Then, very precisely and gently, he set Egbert directly in front of him and whispered, “Humpty No More.” Then, Tim looked at me with a passionate fire in his eyes and said, “HUMPTY NO MORE! Thank you for this gift.”
George Carruth’s little Egbert is a powerful talisman, representing an energetic motivational force. Now, everyone in the office has fallen for Egbert. We hear him speak in Winston Churchill’s voice, “Never. Never. Never give up! HUMPTY NO MORE!”
Sculptor George Carruth, his muse Deborah and their American-made sculptures continue to change lives!
Imagination, inspiration, passion and dedication are infused into every piece. We have just ordered more Egberts and we’re going to ask Carruth Studio if it’s possible to reduce the size so we can put Egbert on our key rings and carry him with us for support, wherever we may go!
ABC World News, don’t be a HUMPTY. Profile George and Deborah Carruth on your show.
July 13th, 2011
Deb and I are in Atlanta right now starting the first day of the AmericasMart International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. We exhibit Carruth designs at AmericasMart during their trade shows and then have our showroom open year round here in Atlanta. The Carruth product line is sold by retail vendors across the United States and Canada and we are always eager to meet new vendors and to hear the feedback they offer.
We’ve been working feverishly to move to a new showroom and prepare the displays. It’s exciting because we will be introducing my newest designs as well as the four new colored patinas. Adding the new colors really changes the traditional look of the Carruth line. We’re really interested to see how the gift buyers react to the new designs and to the new colors.
- It’s been a crazy and busy time for us. Introducing new designs always includes a lot of behind the scenes work for our staff at Carruth Studio. They do an excellent job and we’re proud of them.
We’ve made things even more hectic as I’ve worked on the development of the new colored patinas. The process of developing the proprietary new colors has been long and arduous. It has involved many hours of testing colors and combinations of colors on different designs. Each paint shows differently at different stages of the process and it has taken quite a bit of time to find just the right look for each new patina.
- I’ve been wanting to add new colors for some time now. In the past we had to rely on directional lighting to help make the details stand out on each piece. Now, with the new finishes, the sculptures seem to come to life–in any environment. People are amazed to discover all of the tiny details I include in each piece. The new colors include “Aged Stone”, which is not too dissimilar from the traditional wash we have used on my work, but really enhances the look and gives each piece more depth and character.
“Designer White” was developed to fit in with the contemporary high design world. We’ve learned that so many of our customers purchase Carruth designs for use in interior decorating that we wanted to develop something that would contrast well with different wall colors and really stand out in interior settings. “Terra Cotta” and “Green” each add a subtle warmth to the designs and will work well both inside the home and outside in the garden.
- Back home the “Beautiful Gardens 2011” contest is taking place. We’ve asked customers and Facebook fans to share their photos of their beautiful gardens decorated with Carruth sculptures. We’re really pleased with the range of pictures coming in. Every day we receive email and Facebook posts with pictures from gardens all over the country.
Each gardener has a different approach to decorating their gardens and we all enjoy seeing Carruth sculptures in different settings. Today someone posted a photo of their water garden with some of the sculpture appearing to float above the water (using a garden stake to insert the piece in the water garden itself). If you haven’t thought about using garden stakes to mount your sculptures, that picture will give you some ideas.
We hope you’re enjoying your summer and finding plenty of time to rest and relax as the days unfold. Deb and I are about to greet our first customers of the day right now, so I’ll sign off and get to work meeting and greeting the visitors to the show. Wish us well…we can’t wait to hear the feedback.
By the way, the prize for the “Beautiful Gardens 2011” contest is a $150 gift certificate for Carruth products. We’ll be choosing a winner on July 22nd so you don’t have too much time left. Post your photos directly on our Facebook wall or email them to us at info@CarruthStudio.com. We look forward to seeing what you’ve done with your garden!
June 7th, 2011
As you know, these are complete opposites. Since every rider is in love with his or her particular motorcycle, there tends to be quite a rivalry between people with cruisers, crotch rockets, tourers, off road and everything in between. Throw in country or origin or manufacturer and there will be many emotional opinions about who makes the best bikes.
So, my goal was to capture something every rider could agree on-the pure thrill of charging down a road on two wheels, without offending anyone’s bike of choice. The ”History of Motorcycles” plaque is the essence of riding. To me it captures the spirit of the sport. Now there is something to finally agree on, we all share the same history of motorcycles and we love of riding!!!!
May 27th, 2011
With Memorial Day only days away I thought I would share the story and images of the Tommy Tucker Veterans Memorial.
Our daughter Libby Krock worked as assistant sculptor to the artist, Rip Caswell, in the creation of the Tommy Tucker Veterans Memorial. The piece was sculpted in clay and cast in bronze. As Libby tells it, the inspiration for the piece was U.S. Army Pfc. Thomas “Tommy” Tucker, from Madras, Oregon.
Tucker was one of two U.S. soldiers who disappeared after an attack on a traffic control checkpoint just south of Baghdad on June 16th, 2006, launching a massive three-day search effort, and galvanizing citizens of the United States.
As described by the sculptor, Rip Caswell, The emotion-packed figure represents a U.S. soldier, reaching upward to aid an Iraqi girl – who is both fearful and hopeful at once, as she sits perched on the edge of a shelled building ledge.
The life-size bronze of this magnificent piece is installed at Friendship Park in Madras, Oregon.
On Memorial day I will pause to think of the many who have died or been injured in service for our country and of the artists whose work helps us remember them.
If you like this post, please share it with your friends and family and ask them to like and share it too.
May 12th, 2011
One of the things that inspires our work at Carruth Studio is the feedback you provide; the stories, the pictures and the suggestions we get from all of you. Last year, a little girl’s comment about the moon inspired me to sculpt “A Child’s View of the Moon”, which has become one of my favorite pieces.
Earlier in the month I asked you to post your stories about Mother’s Day on our Facebook page and we enjoyed reading each of them. I have shared a few of those stories below. We were so moved by Wendy Weldon’s story about holding her daughter on Mother’s Day, that we have chosen her as the recipient of a $30 gift certificate for a Carruth piece.
I’m always looking for sources of inspiration for new pieces and am particularly interested in finding new verses that resonate with you. I’m also interested in the way young children, like Megan, who provided the inspiration for the moon piece, describe the world around them. Especially their views of the natural world and family members.
Do you have any verses you’d like us to consider using? Any things your children have said that you think we would find inspiring? Post them here or on our Facebook wall and we will review them and may even decide to use them in the future.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to share your Mother’s Days story. We enjoyed your contributions.
Your Thoughts on Mother’s Day:
Here is my Mother’s Day story. On April 27, 1990 I went into early labor with our daughter. She was not only 5 weeks premature, but she was also born with Spina Bifida. We had no idea what Spina Bifida was until the doctor explained she had an opening at the bottom of her spine which was allowing her spinal cord to be exposed. They took her away for care immediately after she was born. Meanwhile the pediatrician was trying to locate a Neurosurgeon in Toledo as she had to have a surgery to close her back. He later told me the nearest one was at Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
When the ambulance came to get her in the middle of the night, that’s when I got to hold her for the first time for about 5 minutes. Then she was swept away to have surgery the next day all by herself. Three days later I finally was released from the hospital and traveled to Columbus. A few days later I was told she would need another surgery for a shunt because she had hydrocephelous or water on the brain. She made it through that ok and she was finally released from the hospital on……Mother’s Day. The day I finally got to bond with and hold my baby girl in my arms at home. I always cherish that day! Wendy Weldon
Okay, here’s one on how we surprised my Mom on Mother’s Day last year. My folks live halfway across the country from us, so we planned a little surprise. On the day before Mother’s Day, we called her from my cell, told her we had plans on Sunday so were calling a day early. All the while we’re parked in her driveway, and were trying to sneak past her kitchen window without her seeing us. We rang the doorbell, and I said, “I heard your doorbell ring, go ahead and answer, we can wait.” So she opens the door and there’s my husband with a big bouquet in front of his face like a delivery guy. Then he lowers it and I pop around the corner, and I think it was the first time in my life I saw my Mom speechless. She’d had a hard past couple of years with health issues and other things, and we just wanted to give her something to put all that aside. It worked! Carolyn Dreiling Hammerschmidt
What I have become, what my daughter has become, and what her daughters are becoming, has come down from one mother to another throughout time. I’m thankful that I came from a long line of strong , loving women. Paula Schrickel Renfro
I lost my mother to Cancer after a long, hard fought battle. She showed me what a True Hero is with her grace and love of life. Mothers day has been a particularly hard holiday for me since her passing. My heart aches to feel her comforting arms around me but I thank God for blessing me with a mother so loving and kind. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to hug your momma! Paula Stapleton Gossman
As my mom progresses in age I become a mom to her. So glad she taught me well. Do blessed to have a Godly example. Becky McIlroy Brown
One of the Carruth pieces I bought for my Mom was Hope. It is such a beautiful angel piece and makes a nice piece for Mom’s or anyone to have. My Mom was the one that told me about the Roots of a Family Tree piece (the older version one) when it came out and went with me to buy it The new design of it is beautiful as well. Deb Cameron
Mothers Day makes me think of my Momma. She passed away in 2008 and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her. She had Alzheimers and it was so hard to see what that terrible disease did to her. I am a Busia now, as she was to my kids and I feel she lives on through me and my children as well as her beautiful great granddaughter Emma. Mary Smigielski Toth
My mom was my best friend. I would tell her everything. She and I would laugh until we couldn’t breathe. She never said a bad word about anybody or gossiped. She read her Bible every night and helped me have a great faith in God. She was a wonderful mom. Ann Teatsorth Broughton
I don’t have a great story, but I do have many great memories and pictures from lots of mothers days gone by…and I appreciate so much that I am able to hold on to those we’ve lost with those memories and pictures! Emily Stover Barnes
May 5th, 2011
As Mother’s Day approaches I find myself thinking of the many people whose loved ones have passed away. Bereavement can be hard to talk about and especially painful during holidays. My mother is no longer with us and and we miss her terribly. I think of her often and imagine her reaction to the new designs and new colors we’re introducing now.
Over the years my work has been used to commemorate and pay tribute. Every day, at Carruth Studio and at our store, Garden Smiles, we help our customers choose designs that will be given as sympathy gifts. Some are used at the grave site, some are added to floral arrangements and some are just given, with love.
I’ve come to understand that a bereavement gift can be more than a card or a floral arrangement. Some sympathy gifts are whimsical, some reflect an aspect of the loved one’s personality and some just resonate with the person who is giving the gift. It is different for each individual.
I feel very honored that someone would choose my work as a bereavement gift or memorial tribute. I hope that my designs offer comfort and perhaps even bring a smile or two.
April 20th, 2011
Mother’s Day is in the wind. The day when families everywhere take their mothers to brunch to remind them of how special they are, offering gifts of baby handprints and homemade cards from school where the alphabet has been practiced and sweet little drawings of the family appear made in crayola by little hands.
In our case Mother’s Day spans three generations honoring both the living and the dead. It is a time to honor Deb’s Mom, who at 89 continues to embrace life with vigor and joy, and a time to honor George’s Mom who is no longer with us but whom we adore and miss dearly. Deb who mothered three beautiful children and our daughter Libby who is a magnificent mother to our beautiful grandson.
We wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day everyday!
I put together this short video showcasing a few of the designs I think make special Mother’s day gifts.
Finally, we take so much pleasure in hearing your stories about how you enjoy and celebrate the special days and holidays so we are again launching a Mother’s day contest on Facebook. Post your thoughts, stories, images and videos related to Mother’s Day and we will pick on person at random to receive a free Carruth design as a Mother’s Day gift.
Questions? post them here or on Facebook or send them to us in an email. We appreciate your input and value your support.
Happy Mother’s Day!
April 8th, 2011
We’ve been working hard to develop a new patina for my designs. We will be introducing the new look at my Spring artist signing on April 16. I think the new patina highlights the details in each of my pieces. In the past directional lighting was crucial for detail to “pop”, but with this new finish the sculpture comes to life in any environment. We posted some images of the new patina on our Facebook wall and received an amazing number of positive comments. People that have enjoyed the content of my plaques are now blown away as they discover all of the subtle details I include. I’m pleased with the dimension the new patina adds to my designs.
If you look at my sculptures, they almost have a children’s book quality. Every piece has a little story going on. Look closely for added details. Insects, tiny flowers, tiny objects and most of all, eye contact and body language. With all of these subtle images, most people are drawn into the scene by something THEY can relate to. I’m not choosing an audience. I’m piecing together images that tell a story. Sort of a snapshot, or starting point. Now it is up to the audience to dig into their memory bank and imagine what the rest of the story might be.
What do I hope to communicate? My goal is to share stories and images that make me smile. As I said earlier, my sculptures have a storybook quality to them. The viewer can observe all of the subtle clues sculpted into a scene, and feel as though they can relate to what is happening. It reminds them of something they might have seen or experienced. I’m sure you noticed that animals, nature and folklore are the themes that turn up in most of my sculptures. I guess I’m still a small child at heart…in awe of nature.
I’d love to invite you to join us for the artist signing. The event will be held at Garden Smiles, in Waterville, from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM on April 16. Call 419-878-5412 or click here for more information or to get directions to Garden Smiles. Hope to see you there!
March 28th, 2011
Since spring is, finally, here I’m getting out and walking around the neighborhood. Every now and then I’ll spot a Carruth sculpture peeking out from someone’s flower bed. I do mean peeking. Often it is barely visible under a pile of matted down leaves from last autumn.
While passing by, I can’t help but wonder if the home owner remembers placing the stone there, or will re-discover it when raking and tidying up the yard.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?
I’m also aware of the vibrant chatter coming from all the birds. Although we hear them all winter, you can almost feel a different level of excitement with the warmer air and radiant sunshine.
Several years ago, while sitting on our porch, there were several birds on the roof, hopping around on the gutters, probably hunting for bugs or seeds. With the angle of the sun that morning, shadows of these birds were cast on the ground in front of me.
The silhouette shadows of these little fellows hopping around, had the same jerky motion and energy of a puppet show. While they jumped around full of what I perceived as playful energy, I imagined a medieval puppet master using high pitched funny voices, entertaining a gathering of children, synchronizing his voices to the motion of the bird shadows.
What are you discovering as Spring approaches?
Share your stories with me. Who knows what they might inspire? I never know what I’ll be working on next.
March 14th, 2011
Here’s a new video by Toledo.com. I often have a hard time being in front of the camera but I think they did a nice job and this video really works. In the video I talk about how Deb and I got started with Carruth Studio and Garden Smiles and I also talk about some of the things that motivate me to sculpt. We shot it in inside of Garden Smiles so it gives you a real feel for the store and for the Carruth designs we sell-at Garden Smiles and online.
Do you like it? Let me know or just click “like” below. And, please share it with your friends. We appreciate your support.