AS A YOUNG BOY, Augustin Rodiles "would spend all my allowance money riding the carousel. To me, those horses were as real as a dream."
Now 35, Rodiles, a cabinet maker by trade and master carousel horse carver by avocation, is giving shape to his childhood dream. And, like many a dreamer, Rodiles wants to share his visions. He'll be teaching a class in miniature carousel horse carving at Pasadena's Victory Park in April. "It's great fun for me--the ones that appreciate the art of carousel horses are full-grown men and women," says Rodiles.
But if owning one, not making one, is your objective, Rodiles will be only too happy to accommodate. Rodiles makes full-size (60" tall, 60" long) horses for sale; hand-sculpted with carving tools--no hammers--they take two to three months to produce. The price: about $4,000 for unpainted ones, $5,000 for painted versions "because they take so much longer to do."
The horses are made from sugar pine, in the traditional way--hollow, to save weight on the carousel. "I make reproductions," says Rodiles, "but I always change the pattern a little bit. In the future, I'm going to make my own designs, following the traditional way."