Posts Tagged ‘hand cast stone’
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
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Some of the new directions for 2010 included the History of Motorcycles # 1183 and A Child’s View of the Moon # 1186.
On the motorcycle piece I tried to capture the raw thrill of motorcycles by creating a dust cloud and executing a looser ”sketchy” surface technique. By adding more texture and not defining every detail, the essence of the scene feels stronger.
On the moon plaque, the sculpting technique is similar. But the wonderful verse, ” The Moon is so full he must have eaten all the stars”, is the trigger for our imaginations. The quote came from a 4 year old girl named Megan. I really can’t express how much I enjoyed sculpting Megan’s observation of the moon. Since many Carruth sculptures already have a children’s book feeling, the quote from Megan made the sculpture complete. In 2011, I hope to receive a few more observations of nature in the form of children’s quotes.
Over the holidays I’ve been working on a sculpture that is influenced by how much people love and look forward to their morning coffee. Again, the sculpting technique is a little looser, but the scene is full of delightful details. Naturally, I’ve included some family pets in the composition. Anyway, the characters are coming along nicely and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. Because so many people display their sculptures indoors, I’m more comfortable choosing topics that are not garden related. Plus, people who post comments and photographs on our Facebook page, allow me to better understand how the sculptures are displayed.
2010 was full of new experiences and subject matter. It seems fitting to mark this passage with The Birthday Fairy, a new design we introduced only weeks ago. Because of the internet connection to our customers, 2011 should be just as exciting.
So, thank you for another good year! Everyone at Carruth Studio will be busily creating and shipping original new designs that serve as fun and meaningful gifts.
Tags: A child's view of the moon, American Artisan, American crafts, American made, artist signing, Carruth Studio, George Carruth, gifts, hand cast stone, History of motorcycles, sculpture, The Birthday Fairy
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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
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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
People always ask me where I find inspiration for my work. Well, I’ve always been daydreaming when I should be paying attention. As a result, I’m constantly aware of my surroundings: Sounds, textures, people. So when it comes time to sketch out an idea, I have huge amounts of unrelated images floating around in my imagination. Usually I’m drawn to a texture or shape that seems interesting. Sometimes it’s a scene or emotion. Anyway, something always bubbles to the surface and I’m never sure what it might be.
Several months ago I read a young child’s description of the moon. According to four-year-old Megan Vollmar, “the moon is so full it must have eaten all the stars.” Megan’s comment and her perspective sparked my imagination. I was entranced with her view of the moon.
Last weekend we hosted an artist signing at Garden Smiles, our gallery and retail shop in Waterville, Ohio. Megan and her family came to Garden Smiles and I had a chance to meet her and to sign a piece especially for her. We both enjoyed that. Megan’s mom has since emailed to say that she is also signing her moon and has offered to sign others.
I’ll be talking about my work with Cynthia and Jack Ford on “Coffee with the Fords” this Sunday. The show airs at 12:30 PM on WTVG.
We’ll be hosting one more artist signing at Garden Smiles this Sunday, December 12th from 12 Noon – 5PM if you are within driving distance of Waterville, Ohio. If you aren’t able to join us, you can still find a limited number of signed pieces on our Carruth Studio website.
And now for one more piece of shameless promotion: if you enjoyed this post, please “like” it and share it with your friends and family. We can use all the help we can get to spread the word about this blog and about Carruth Studio. Thanks!
Tags: American Artisan, American made, art, artist signing, Carruth Studio, children, Christmas, Coffee with the Fords, Cynthia Ford, Garden Smiles, George Carruth, gifts, hand cast stone, holidays, Jack Ford, Moon, sculpture, Waterville Ohio, WTVG
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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
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