Posts Tagged ‘garden art’
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
I don’t always do little 3D sketches, but this flying Gnome idea grabbed my attention. This is an exercise to explore how little flying Gnomes would look. OK, Gnomes have been around forever, but I wanted to make tiny flying Gnomes that were more part of the insect world. So by giving them insect wings, they can flutter around from flower to flower. This tiny sketch was originally a model for a full size cast stone plaque series, but as it came to life, the idea of turning it into a strong magnet for the fridge or file cabinet developed. So, what do you think? Do you even like the concept of tiny flying Gnomes? Do you picture them as full size cast stone plaques or a little fridge magnets? Maybe both? I’d love your input. Good idea or too much time on my hands. George
Monday, 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.
Monday, 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.
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
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Sunday, July 25th, 2010
Thanks for coming back to check on our progress and welcome to those of you who are visiting the blog for the first time. I have been documenting the process of a new stone carving commission I’m working on. The process calls for a combination of creativity and intense concentration, not mention long hours of hard work, but I love it.
You may know of me from my sculpting work, which my wife, Deb Carruth, and I market through our little studio in Waterville, Ohio. Carruth Studio is our online store and we have a gallery and retail store called Garden Smiles, also located in Waterville, Ohio. Garden Smiles is Deb’s inspiration and great delight and she takes pride in featuring my work there as well as that of other artists from all over the United States. You can also find my hand cast stone sculptures in garden shops, gifts shops and floral shops throughout the country.
Back to stone carving though. Now that all the elements are roughed out and in their proper places, at their proper depths, I start refining with home made hand chisels. The chisels are made from masonry nails that I heat, hammer, file teeth into and re-temper. The steel shaft is then inserted into a small home made wooden handle. The handles are reusable and the chisels only take 15 to 20 minutes from start to finish. The trick is getting the right angle, tooth spacing and bevel on the tip so that it cuts accurately with the control required. Otherwise, it shatters and crumbles the stone instead of cutting smoothly. By making my own tools, I always have exactly the correct shape for difficult areas.
Now for the imagery. Saint Clare was a follower of St. Francis of Assisi and had similar qualities relating to nature and the environment. The moment in time depicted in this scene portrays Saint Clare protecting the town of Assisi. An invading army had made it’s way to the city gates and was ready to capture the city. Legend has it that she appeared in the cloister door, just to the left of the round window of the basilica. Holding a monstrance in her right hand, she faced down the enemy from high in the basilica. The enemy withdrew and the town was spared.
Other elements include two birds in the upper border, a rabbit and the bright shining sun to depict her close relationship with nature. All of this was refined with small home made hand chisels. Tedious but rewarding. My typical carving day starts at 8:30 in the morning until 9:30 or 10:00 at night.
Once the imagery is complete, I will rough up the other surfaces of the stone to give it an old, hand carved appearance. The base will match as well. With time and weathering, this texture should pick up a natural patina that enhances the detail. In a year or two, this stone should have enough patina to give it that old medieval appearance I’m after.
In a few days, you can see this stone completed and mounted on it’s base. It will then be strapped to a pallet and delivered to the memorial garden in Parma Ohio.
Tags: American crafts, art, art commission, artists, Carruth Studio, Deb Carruth, garden art, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, memorial garden, Saint Clare of Assisi, sculptor, sculpture, stone carving, stone carving tools
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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
I’m working on a stone carving of Saint Clare of Assisi for a memorial garden. We have been documenting the project in order to share it with you since many of you are unfamiliar with stone carving. I started as a stone carver but now spend most of my time sculpting whimsical designs for the garden art we sell through Carruth Studio and our retail gallery, Garden Smiles.
It’s great to be carving again.
A word about the tools I use during the carving process. I use a variety of tools including electric saws, pneumatic drills and hammers and many different types of hand tools. I tend to manufacture some of my hand tools because I have specific requirements for them.
After the stone has been prepared for carving, the next step is to develop a rough sketch of the carving. I use the sketch to think through which elements of the design must be carved first. As I carve back different things have to be carved out at different levels. For example the first thing that may need to be carved is the nose or the hand, which in this piece is stretched far away from the body. The sketch helps me clarify the spatial relationship of each element in the design and where it comes into play. After I have finalized the sketch I transfer it onto the stone.
At this point I begin to slowly take away the surface using pneumatic and hand tools. This step is usually a little unsettling because I’m trying to get a handle on how deep to carve. I know it all looks very shallow, but if too much is removed in an area, it totally affects the relationship of how everything else relates in space. Once the stone is removed, there is no magic tool that puts it back. The only option is to make everything deeper into the stone.
This might not sound like a big deal, but depending on how far along the carving has progressed, it all has to be re-sculpted at a deeper depth, face, hands and everything else.
The scene is of Saint Clare holding a monstrance in her right hand with her basilica in the background. As the carving unfolds, I’ll describe exactly what all of the images mean. Remember, this will have a rough medieval appearance. But until then, I’m just trying to put all of the elements in position at the correct depth. Saint Clare’s nose will be a little smaller when completed, but for now, a little extra stone is left on in case I accidentally bump it with a chisel while working on an adjacent area.
That’s all for today, but if you enjoyed this, check back in a few days to see how we are progressing. And again, if you liked this post please share it with your friends and networks. If you’d like to learn more about our company, visit our website or join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Tags: arts, Carruth Studio, carving, chisel, garden, garden art, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, hand tools, memorial, memorial gardens, plastic arts, saint, saint clare, saints, Sculptor George Carruth, sculpture, stone carver, stone carving, stones, the process, visual arts
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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
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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
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