Wally and I were driving around Albany last week looking for Christmas items on our list... we happened to find a building that said Carousel on the outside. I had heard of a place where they restored old carousel's, but wasn't sure if this was the place.. they were open so of course we went inside..
What we found was amazing.....
This excerpt is from their web page...
Albany's Brass Ring carousel studio is a non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to building a traditional Victorian carousel in Albany's downtown historical district. This project is funded through donations, grants and fund-raising activities. All animals, carousel parts and various other items are available for "adoption", which is the main source of funding for the carousel.
This carousel project began in 2002. Carving officially started on June 7, 2003. This project is estimated to take 7 to 10 years to complete. All work is being done by hand with volunteers of all skill levels. No experience is necessary and all volunteers are welcomed. Volunteers are needed for all phases of the project, including carvers, painters, sanders, fundraising organizers and people willing to help with restoring the mechanism.
The carousel mechanism is a 1909 Dentzel machine, possibly the last made by Gustav Dentzel. The National Carousel Association and the William Dentzel family of Santa Barbara, California donated the mechanism to The Brass Ring in Albany, Oregon with the dream of seeing it restored to its glory. There will be a menagerie of animals, totaling more than 54, (check our photo gallery to see the progress of the bear, cat, salmon and others) all hand carved and hand painted in the traditional style of Dentzel and Muller. The animals and carousel decorative pieces are being carved from basswood.
The carving studio is located at 530 First Avenue W. in downtown Albany. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (And Wednesday nights until 9 PM) or by appointment.
From what I am told this finished carousel will be located on this same piece of land as it is being built. I am very excited to see this!!
They have people who will teach you how to carve, paint, and do what is needed to make these pieces look authentic..
Looking at this piece here,, you can see the detail work in the chest of this horse..
Below, you can see in his eyes, and even the feathers on his headpiece how precise the detail is..
This is a model of what this carousel will eventually look like.
Some of the finished pieces..
This bear is kind of fuzzy,, but so cute I had to put him in...
Another painting / drawing of what this will look like,,, beautiful! They have all the detail...
In the back room is more of the creation process.. here you see animals in various stages of carving and painting...
The Phoenix... possibly
What ever his name is or will be,, he sure is a beauty!
It is amazing where they get the inspiration for the faces on these animals!