Studio tours begin with the area where original clay and stone designs are converted into rubber production molds, followed by a peek into George's stone carving studio area. We use the word "peek", because the area is much smaller than expected. George prefers a windowless room so that the lighting can be controlled. This controlled light brings out the shadows and highlights during the carving process.
Next comes the manufacturing area. Here, everyone will see how the cement and stone is mixed. The mix is then put into the molds that rest on vibrating tables. The vibration helps settle the mix into the mold and fill all of the tiny detailed areas within. At this stop, guests will see the inventory of rubber molds that separate Carruth Studio from other cast stone products. Attention to detail and a desire to use the best materials available is the reason Carruth sculptures have become so collectible.
In the un-molding area, the previous day's products are removed from their molds and set aside for the finishing process. Now everything is inspected, rough edges are filed by hand and minor blemishes are corrected. The product is now ready to be painted. This is usually a surprise to most guests since the designs don't appear to have a paint finish. We call this our "patina finish". The goal is to add a tiny amount of contrast, and make the fine detail more visible. This is not a finish that will wear off in time; instead, it enhances the detail allowing our work to remain special for years to come.
The final production area is the packaging room. Everything is inspected again, then safely put into a gift box, using all biodegradable packaging materials.
The last stop on the tour is Garden Smiles, the Carruth Studio retail store, featuring George's complete collection available for purchase.
The production tour lasts about an hour. The visit to Garden Smiles is a chance to see everything displayed with other artwork and has no time restrictions. Visitors leave with an appreciation of how much attention to detail and tender loving care goes into every Carruth design.
For more information about Garden Smiles
Store Hours & Directions
Signings & Events
- Available dates January through October - Monday to Friday 10-2 P.M.
- Reservations Required, minimum of 6 per group.
- We have ample parking and will gladly accommodate tour buses.
- Tours are 1 1/2 hours with trip ending at Garden Smiles.
- Tour Costs: Adults $3.00 - Seniors $2.00
- Tour location: 1178 Farnsworth Rd. Waterville, OH
Call Garden Smiles at 419-878-5412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org