Heartwood Rocking Horses

Heartwood Rocking Horses in 2020

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I have not posted in quite a while. I have been up to quite a few things lately besides rocking horse carvings. This is both exciting and sad at the same time. Here is a quick summary of what has been happening with Heartwood, and what my goals are for the future.

I have spent the past three years on a new career path, and am now a full-time medical laboratory technician at our local hospital in the blood bank. This means I no longer build rocking horses full time. It was a tough decision, but after speaking with other artists and business people, I realized I was not in the place financially to continue carving as my only source of income. I have heard of so many other artists with the same story, and I thought if I learned enough and became skilled enough I could be one of the few artists that can do what they love for a living.

What I learned, however, is that it takes more than willingness and skill to be a profitable artist. What it seems to take is a large amount of space, for one. Space to store tons of wood that needs to dry for years before use. Space for tools that allow me to build quickly so that things are affordable for people. Space to glue up huge pieces of wood for large carvings. Space to store so many beautiful rocking horses as they wait to be displayed. Space for all the things it takes to create those displays and transport the horses to various venues. Space to photograph the process and the finished product. And space for innumerable tiny bits of supplies and materials that are saved for future carvings and projects.

Space is one thing I do not have, and when I thought about the financial and emotional cost of creating more space and taking up more space in my life and in my environment, I just didn’t have the desire to expand. Rather, I have more of a desire to downsize and create fewer, smaller treasures that take up less physical space and less time out of the day. In the end, I think this means I would like to keep creating as a hobby rather than a career. I am sad to let the journey go, but also feel more free and able to enjoy all the other parts of life outside of the 450-square-foot garage which was my workshop.

So looking ahead, I do hope to update this site with any new creations that come along. I probably won’t be building any large rocking horses for a while. I do still enjoy creating small horse carvings, and am open to custom orders for special projects if there is not a tight timeline. I will see how this goes for the near future, and decide if I can do more or less carving as time goes on. I do have a few horses still available and posted on the Currently Available page, so if you are interested, this may be your last chance to find a Heartwood Rocking Horse for a while!

I create and maintain this website myself, so I also hope to chip away at it to reflect more of what I’m doing. Feel free to contact me with any projects you are interested in. Who knows, I may have some time and energy ready to create!

Author: Alicia

I live and work in Asheville, NC. I've been learning to carve since 2012, and started my own rocking horse business in 2013. I've always loved drawing horses, and find those skills practiced as a teenager now come in handy as I carve each horse to life from chunks of wood. I love creating things that children can enjoy, move with, and learn from. I also love hiking through the hills of the Asheville area, swimming in the icy waterfalls, and hanging out with my husband and my dog.

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