Garden Smiles by Carruth Studio, Garden & Home Art, Waterville, Ohio

Garden Smiles by Carruth Studio

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Garden Smiles by Carruth Studio
211 Mechanic Street
Waterville, OH 43566
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Phone: 1.800.225.1178
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Carruth Studio

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A cat birdbath, frog rain gauge and dog thermometer are but a few of the outdoor garden statues and sculptures created at Carruth Studio. It all began over 25 years ago with one-of-a-kind garden statues and sculptures, hand carved from stones, cast off from local quarries. Turning rough quarry stones into garden sculptures became the passion of George Carruth over two decades ago.

After several years of working as a sculptor at American Greeting Cards in Cleveland, Ohio, George decided to apply his artistic skills to stone. It literally changed his life! Soon he was winning awards at art shows and exhibits, sculpting commissioned pieces for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and carving custom stone panels for a school, library and village clock tower. Even a custom tiny stone Christmas ornament was commissioned for the White House Christmas tree.

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.