Wanderings of a Wayward Woodcarver
Stories from a Life in Wood
Charming, humorous, sometimes tragic, and always fascinating vignettes from a life spent in craftmanship.
They say life is a merry-go-round—for Gerry Holzman, this has been literally and figuratively true. A master figure carver who has restored over 100 pieces of antique carousel art, created 250 pieces of original carousel carving, and was the head carver and executive director of New York's landmark Empire State Carousel Project, Holzman has devoted the past 50 years to woodcarving, and his skill has taken him around the world as a student, teacher, craftsman, and artist. Throughout this giddy merry-go-round of a career, he has encountered many intriguing ways to use our brief time on earth and invites us to accompany him as he strives to understand and appreciate them all.
Wanderings of a Wayward Woodcarver is Holzman’s record of a lifetime spent in the craft and the many lessons it has taught him about what it means to be a carver and what it means to be a human being, plus a recounting of the many memorable characters he has met along the way.
From master carver Gino Masero, who taught Holzman much about carving, life, creativity, and decency, to Holzman’s students who touched his life deeply, to a sign carver who could not read, a witch who invited Holzman to visit her coven, and the mafioso who showed Holzman how to prevent his carvings from being stolen, Wanderings of a Wayward Woodcarver shows how a life in craft is the perfect viewpoint to see the whole of the human condition.