An experienced woodcarver in several styles, Larry Ridge began working with Bud Ellis, founder of Horsin’ Around Carving School in Soddy Daisy, thirty-four years ago. In 2013, Larry took over as owner and master carver of Horsin’ Around, which is the only full time school in the United States that teaches carousel animal carving. In addition to his exquisite carvings, Larry provides the maintenance, upkeep, and consulting for the Coolidge Park Carousel and the Chattanooga Zoo Carousel.
Larry will teach his son, Jason Ridge, and his grandson, Luke Ridge, all of the steps required to make a carousel animal in the same tradition that began in the 1800’s. Jason writes, “It is also our goal to continue the family legacy and appreciation of this skill that the master artist has started. We believe it is important to our area because someone has to be trained to carry on the maintenance, replacement, and restoration to the animals in our Chattanooga Carousels. Additionally, someone needs to be trained to create new animals.”
*This team is funded through a special partnership with the South Arts’ initiative In These Mountains: Central Appalachian Folk Art & Culture.