Posts Tagged ‘artist’
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
As Christmas and the end of the year approach I find myself thinking about both. One aspect of the holidays I particularly enjoy is rediscovering decorations that have been packed away all year. Specifically the hand made ornaments and drawings our children have gifted us over the years. I love sitting and reminiscing, while surrounded by hand made decorations that say ” to Mom and Dad”.
And somehow, another year has come and gone at our little company. Everyone at Carruth Studio (all 19 of us) has worked extra hard and feels especially grateful to do what we do. We appreciate the conversations with people that have used our sculptures as fun or meaningful gifts. Whether they are used as a ”Thank You” or “Thinking of You” gift, it feels good to know that our images are used for more than just decorative accents. Certainly we have fun making light hearted sculptures that make people smile, but it’s the meaningful gifts and stories that stick in our memories.
From dogs and cats in cars to angel sculptures–it has been a wonderful year. Who knows what sculpted images will emerge from the studio in 2011? Facebook has allowed me to listen to stories and see photographs from around the country. In the past, I quietly strolled our Garden Smiles gallery, listening to people discover and talk about how they intended to use the sculptures. But now I can go to my computer, while still at my desk, and enjoy the same experience. The wonderful quote from 4 year old Megan, about the moon eating all of the stars, is a perfect example of this.
Another satisfying project this year was the 1000 lb limestone sculpture of St. Clare of Assisi now placed in a memorial garden near Cleveland. Although I don’t carve stone as often as the early years, it felt great to use a hammer and chisels again.
So thank you for taking an interest in Carruth Studio. We truly do appreciate the support of our valued customers. To everyone we’ve come in contact with over the years, have a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year!
George, Deb and everyone at Carruth Studio
Tags: American Artisan, American crafts, American made, art, artist, Carruth Studio, Christmas, Facebook page, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, gifts, Grateful, hand cast stone, Moon, New Year, Saint Clare of Assisi, Sculptor George Carruth
Posted in George's Blog | 2 Comments »
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
Before we begin our holiday gift shopping and over the top decorating, lets pause to enjoy Thanksgiving. The holiday when families come together, to enjoy each others company and share a special meal. For this one day, for a few hours, take time to acknowledge and appreciate YOUR family.
This years’ table might have some new faces to welcome or miss some favorite faces from the past. In any event, new memories will be created and old memories shared.
Warm wishes from George and Deb Carruth and the families at Carruth Studio. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
Bringing art to the marketplace has its challenges. Among them is helping people understand the work that goes into the creation of a piece of art. In previous posts I talked about my stone carving commission because I thought people might be find the steps that go into carving a stone sculpture interesting.
I start with a clear image of the finished piece. It may change as I work on it but I always have an idea to begin with. I begin kneading a ball of the acrylic clay called “sculpey”.
I slowly rough out the image in the “sculpey” using dental tools and some of the homemade wooden tools I have crafted over the years. Magnified eye glasses are another valuable tool.
After a week of two of refining details and smoothing the surfaces, the image is baked with a heat gun.
We create a mold for the piece by covering the original art with rubber. The original design is usually damaged or destroyed during the removal.
While being vibrated, the rubber mold is gently filled by hand with a custom mix of cement. stone and colored dye. We embed a wire hook in the back.
After about 24 hours we pull the cured but fragile casting out of the rubber mold. The scrap rate is 20-30%.
We work on the rough edges and spill-over on the back by hand by filing or sanding. Then we re-inspect the piece.
We apply a custom paint or stain by hand in a three step process. This helps to highlight the details and the texture of the piece.
The finished piece. “Celestial Attraction“.
After a final inspection, each piece is gift boxed, using recycled biodegradable packaging materials. The piece is now ready for adoption.
A few times each year I choose a handful of pieces to sign since we have many people who collect my designs. They feel that having a piece signed by the artist adds special value. These signed pieces are available on our website in very limited quantities. We also host special artist signings at our gallery and gift shop, Garden Smiles. Both Deb and I truly enjoy these events and hearing the stories about how people are using my designs. We have three artist signings scheduled for the holiday season: Saturday, November 27th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm, Saturday, December 4th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, December 12th Noon – 5:00 pm. Visit our site for directions or, for more information, call 419.878.5412.
Hopefully this helps you understand the process behind the Carruth Studio collections. It is easy to assume that the pieces are churned out mindlessly in vast quantity but the reality is that each piece is thoughtfully crafted by hand here in the United States. One last thought: we often have pieces that are slightly damaged or imperfect and we offer these “seconds” in our slightly blemished area fondly dubbed “The Pursuit of Imperfection”. Only Garden Smiles carries these slightly blemished items and, as a result, customers come from great distances to take advantage of our minor mistakes. If you like this post, please share it with your friends and family. We can use all the help we get to get the word out about this blog and my work. Thanks!
Tags: American Artisan, American made, art, artist, artist signing, Carruth Studio, collection, collectors, completion, concept, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, gift, hand cast stone, processes, sculptor, sculpture
Posted in George's Blog | 5 Comments »
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
In June we launched a contest on the Carruth Studio Facebook fan page. The idea was to encourage our fans to post images of their gardens and how they used Carruth sculptures as accents or decorative elements. The “Beautiful Gardens 2010” contest has been popular and we have all enjoyed viewing each picture; admiring the flowers and plants and the creativity displayed in the use of my work.
We truly appreciate the feedback we receive from our customers and Facebook friends and fans. It has always been rewarding to see how people use my sculptures as gifts, expressions of sympathy, decorative elements–both inside and out–and as architectural installations. Our little contest produced some beautiful imagery. Thank you to everyone who participated. We’ll be doing another contest in the next few months and will ask you to submit images showing us all how you use your Carruth sculptures to decorate your rooms and offices.
The winner of our “Beautiful Gardens 2010 Contest is Carole Tannehill, whose creative use of the color blue around each of the plaques mounted on her garage was both impressive and visually pleasing. As the first place winner of our contest, Carol will receive a gift certificate for $200 worth of Carruth products. We look forward to seeing what she will do next!
My wife Deb was so impressed with some of the other entrants that she created additional awards and recognition for them. The second place winner of the “Beautiful Gardens 2010” contest is Pam Anderson for her beautiful photos of “Kindness Makes Friendship Blossom” and the “Hope Angel”. As the second place winner, Pam will receive a $50 gift certificate for Carruth products.
The third place winner is Chris Shannon for the artistic shot of “Ornithologist”: surrounded by grape vines. Chris will receive a gift certificate for $25 wort of Carruth products. And finally, we awarded an Honorable Mention to Nicole Heban for her Dad’s unforgettable photo of a chipmunk perched on the head of “Fairy of Lost Things”.
You can view all of the contest images on our fan page or on our Flickr channel. Tell us, which one was your favorite? Please share this post with your friends, and “like” it if you are active on Facebook!
Tags: "Beautiful Gardens 2010" contest, $200 gift certificate, artist, arts, Carruth Studio, client closing gifts for realtors, contest winners, garden art, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, George Carruth's blog, GeorgeCarruth.com, prizes
Posted in George's Blog | 2 Comments »
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
But in a few short years he took his love for animals, insects, flowers and the beauty of nature and transformed it into a thriving multi-million dollar company. Many of his themes come from medieval carvings and folk art, all gentle and light-hearted forms that blend innocence with serenity.
He left behind the security of a job in corporate America and, along with his wife, Deb, took a leap of faith and started carving stone, first in Cleveland and then in
his driveway in Waterville, Ohio.
George Carruth: An American Sculptor, a WBGU-PBS documentary, tells the story of how he and his wife created Carruth Studio, and how this shy, soft-spoken man from Ohio has become one of the nation’s premiere sculptors.
Carruth designs are featured in dozens of art galleries and catalogs and sold in hundreds of gift shops nationwide. His stone sculptures decorate homes and gardens across the country; one is even displayed in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.”
Watch the video here:
Tags: American crafts, art, artist, Carruth Studio, client closing gifts for realtors, fundraising programs, garden art, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, installations, Marlene Harris-Taylor, nature, pet memorials, sculptor, sculpture, stone, stone carving, sympathy gifts, table decorations for weddings, WBGU-PBS, wedding decorations, wedding gifts, YouTube video
Posted in George's Blog | 3 Comments »
Monday, June 21st, 2010
“Plant a Smile in Your Garden” has been our desire from the beginning.
It all started when I carved a cherub face into a rough piece of sandstone using only screwdrivers. It was a gift to my wife Deborah who immediately placed it in the flower bed and saw the potential of hand carved stones as garden accents.
A year or so later, Deb was promoting our new little business and I was sculpting stone full time. We began by participating in art festivals and selling to galleries. Commissions included The National Cathedral in Washington D.C., an ornament for the White House Christmas tree , Home and Garden Television, Botanical Gardens and even a few gravestones.
In those early days, a typical schedule went like this: I would carve stone Monday through Thursday, then load the van on Friday. I’d set up at an art show early Saturday and sleep in a tent or the van. I would sit at the show all day Sunday. I made one call each day from a phone booth to inform Deb if anything had sold. Then I’d chat with the kids. I’d arrive home after midnight Sunday and start all over again Monday morning. I did 32 art shows the first year and a day at the quarry once a month looking for interesting stones that I could lift into the van.
Later we began casting smaller images that were sold in craft shops and appeared in a variety of mail order catalogs. Attention to detail and unique imagery landed them on the coveted covers of at least 13 catalogs. Our classic and lighthearted designs are now some of the most collected sculptures in America. Its truly a privilege to make art that touches so many lives for such a variety of reasons.
Currently I sculpt images that fascinate or challenge me. These original carvings are sought out by collectors, sent as gifts for weddings, holidays, bereavement, birthdays or any event that needs a little character and whimsy. Although many of these sculptures are displayed in sun rooms, kitchens and indoor areas, they are designed to give many years of pleasure when displayed outdoors in the garden.
I guess it’s appropriate the ”Garden Smile” plaque has become our signature piece and captures the essence of that very first cherub face I carved into rough stone, simply as an unusual gift for Deborah.
Found these old photos from the mid 80′s. The early days when Carruth Studio was out of our house and Deb and I were the only employees…
Tags: American crafts, art, artist, Carruth Studio, carving, client closing gifts for realtors, fundraising programs, garden art, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, installations, nature, pet memorials, sculptor, sculpture, stone, sympathy gifts, table decorations for weddings, wedding decorations, wedding gifts
Posted in George's Blog | 6 Comments »