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Carruth Studio Tours
A tour of Carruth Studio is a tour into the heart and mind of a gifted artist with the passion to follow his dreams. George and Deb Carruth started their company from the ground up. They turned a broken down apple orchard building in Waterville, Ohio, into a sculptor's studio, manufacturing facility and distribution center for their whimsical cast stone sculptures that are sold world wide.
The visit will begin with a short question and answer session, and a brief history of the studio. The tour will then enter the area where original clay and stone designs are converted into rubber production molds. Again, there will be time for questions and a brief discussion of the process. Next the group will have 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. A small gift card is also included. The product is now ready to be shipped.
Your last stop is Garden Smiles, our retail store, where the entire collection of more than 250 designs is displayed and available for purchase. Garden Smiles is the only location where you will see the complete collection and where you may purchase slightly blemished pieces at significantly reduced prices. The work of about 20 other artists that include ceramics, copper, steel, paintings, jewelry, and much more is also available. A helpful staff will assist choosing the right gifts for weddings, anniversaries, gardening, bird watching, or any other occasion that presents itself.
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.
- 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 or email for details and reservations