by George Carruth
Handcrafted in Ohio
When asked what part of themselves they put into their work, most artists probably answer 'my heart and soul'. Indeed, sculptor George Carruth does. However, to that he also adds the 'smile' on his face when he first decided to become a stone carver. And today there's no doubt it's an enduring smile ' just like the medium in which George works.
'I'm very fortunate. I'm doing the work I love the most, and after so many years, it's still so exciting that I can't imagine doing anything more rewarding.'
George carves Indiana limestone with handmade chisels to create the prototypes for the cement and bronze hand-cast pieces that Carruth Studio, Inc. manufactures in a renovated century-old farmer's market in Waterville, Ohio.
'Both my family and surroundings inspire my work ' especially Deb, whose intuition, imagination, and savvy is responsible for the extraordinary growth of our casting business.'
Medieval sculpture and American folk art influence George's work. Once 'planted' in your garden or placed in your home his pieces bring feelings of whimsy and joy to their surroundings. That's why over 3500 fine shops, galleries and mail order catalogs feature Carruth Studio's creations.
'I demand a lot of myself. My pieces keep evolving. I seldom work with sketches. That way naïve images can emerge spontaneously. Each stone that I carve has a story to tell, and when it does, I feel myself becoming a part of it ' becoming one with nature.'
In 1983 George carved a niche for himself in the art world. His first significant exhibit was at Cleveland's renowned Garden Center. Since then, his original pieces in limestone, sandstone and alabaster have garnered major awards in juried shows. Moreover, until recently his carvings were the only ones by a living American stone carver to be displayed in the National Cathedral. In 1993, George accepted Hillary Rodham Clinton's invitation to create an angel for the nation's official Christmas tree.
'Every artist eventually meets a collector and admirer of their work that asks what inspired them to create this or that piece of art. Perhaps you have wondered this about some of my pieces or why something looks a certain way. What inspires me? 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.