Carol Owens Carol Owens Gallery
Carol Owens sculpting

Carol Owens' biography

6800 Schindler Road
Newcastle, CA 95658
(916)663-2607 phone/fax
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page last updated January 3, 2006

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The wood used as the bases for the sculptures...

Carol and her husband Jack cutting the black walnut from the historic Johnson Ranch, the first settlement the Donner Party came to after their ill-fated winter in the Sierras.

The premium black walnut used for the bases of Carol's bronzes came from the historic Johnson ranch, just outside Wheatland, California. The Johnson ranch is noted in the rich history of California as the settlement the first survivors of the ill-fated Donnor Party came to when looking for help to rescue the remaining survivors. Rescue efforts were staged out of a base camp set up at Camp Far West.

Carol, her husband Jack, Marilyn Waltz and her brother Will, cut the old trees in a draw behind the original ranch house. The sections were hauled to a mill in Auburn, California, where they were milled to the correct thickness for the bases, then stacked to cure for a year. Hauled home to the Owens ranch, the wood narrowly escaped the huge fire that completely burned down the mill only weeks later. Each piece of wood is carefully evaluated and matched to its bronze. The black walnut's deep grain and color makes it a wonderful partner for the bronze. The two substances, wood and bronze, have been used for centuries in combination to enhance each other and make truly wonderful art.

On Carol's early pieces, the original bases were also made of black walnut, and came from a tree that was on the Robinson Ranch in Penn Valley, California. This ceremonial tree had been used by the Indians to gather under for their yearly get-togethers. The Indians came from north, south, east, and west to trade their wares and looked forward to the festive gathering each year. Lightning hit the tree in the early 1900's, and the tree fell. The Shannon Ranch Mill milled the tree into different rough cut thicknesses. Dennis Jones acquired the wood for a debt he was owed, and stored it for many years in a barn on his ranch. It waited there until several years ago when Muriel Jones allowed Carol to have it for bases. Now its story can be told, and it can live always with the bronzes.


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