John R. Garton picked up a carving tool in September 1987 to make his son a hobby horse. Nearly two decades and hundreds of wooden animals later he still enjoys watching his creations emerge from the wood. Dr. Garton, a graduate of Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine, puts his knowledge of anatomy to use making his carvings look realistic.
Garton carves his original creations from West Virginia basswood, pine, and walnut. Two inch thick boards are sawed into shapes and glued together to form a block. Then the carving begins. Dr. Garton has no artistic or woodworking training, just a natural talent that guides his electrical carving tools through the wood. In addition, his ready sense of humor is evident in many of his pieces.
Garton Originals produces creative and functional pieces with the practical experience and wildlife observation of Joe D. Adkins. The main art critic is John's son Handley who is now helping with the painting. Inspired by the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding the shop, Handley, Joe and John are in their "wildlife period." Bears, elk, deer and skunks are literally coming out of the woodwork!