Carruth Studio History
It all began in 1980 when George Carruth accepted a job sculpting products for American Greeting Cards in Cleveland, Ohio. Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Ziggy, and other licensed characters were the starting point of a sculpting career that began when George was 28 years old. Before sculpting, his career had been in advertising. But now that he had found his niche in sculpting, other doors began to open. While still at American Greetings, George turned his attention to sculpting images on rough stones found on the shores of Lake Erie and local sandstone quarries. Initially, carving images on stones with basic hand tools was simply a way to practice and refine sculpting techniques while enjoying time outdoors in the process. But his wife Deborah immediately recognized the beauty and potential value these original designs had as garden sculptures. So, with Deb's encouragement and help, George began entering and winning awards in outdoor art shows, liturgical art shows and any other opportunity to exhibit one-of-a-kind garden stones.
In 1983, George officially turned his stone carving hobby into a full time career by leaving American Greetings and launching what has now become Carruth Studio, Inc. Deb also left her job as an Occupational Therapist, to promote and organize the business end of this new endeavor. Leaving good corporate careers with benefits and job security seemed risky, especially with two young children and Deb eight months pregnant. But with the blind confidence of youth, and a short track record of success from the previous art show season, George and Deb entered every show and exhibition available that first year, 32 shows in all.
While at a show in 1985, Deb was approached by the owner of a mail order gift and garden catalog. Another opportunity was presenting itself and Deb was up to the challenge. By convincing George to cast his designs in stone, multiple images of his designs could be produced and sold at more affordable prices. As a result, George's first cast piece, the cat birdbath, was featured on the cover of David Kay's Garden and Gift Catalog.
Since that time, George's designs have appeared on the covers of at least 13 other garden and gift catalogs. Commissions include designs for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., a custom stone ornament for the White House Christmas tree, corporate gifts for Home and Garden Television and a public television documentary titled "George Carruth: American Sculptor". Larger installation pieces are mounted in an elementary school, public library, city clock tower and many private homes.
With the opening of their retail studio outlet called "Garden Smiles" in Waterville, Ohio, collectors can see the Complete Collection of over 250 designs by George, and enjoy the "almost perfect" slightly blemished pieces sold at discounted prices. The art of more than 20 other artists is also represented at Garden Smiles. This includes glass, ceramics, steel, copper, paintings, jewelry and other media. While in Waterville, home to Carruth Studio, sign up for a Studio Tour and see "How It's Made" or learn about the popular Fundraiser Program, Licensed Products, Gift Ideas, and of course, the 3 Children's Books created by George and his daughter Libby Carruth Krock.
Read George's complete Biography and discover where his inspiration comes from and how George has become one of the most collected sculptors in America.
Item #: CARRUTH VIDEO
'George Carruth, an American Sculptor'' tells the story of how a passion for sculpting led to the creation of Carruth Studio and made George Carruth one of the most collected sculptors in America. Follow his career in advertising, illustration, and working at American Greeting Cards and discover how a successful adventure in sculpture evolved. With the help of his wife and business partner, Deborah, George's art is displayed in over 1000 galleries and garden centers from coast to coast. He has done commissions for the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., Home and Garden Television, an ornament for the White House Christmas tree and Architectural panels for a library, elementary school, and village clock tower. With hard work, and a passion to create, George's art continues to add charm and character to homes and gardens across the country.
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