Kingsport Carousel Project presents Bud Ellis of ‘Horsin Around Wood Carving Studio’ for a Free Lecture

April 18, 2011Carousel_News.JPG

KINGSPORT - On Friday, April 29, 6:00 PM Carousel expert Bud Ellis will present a free lecture to the public at the Kingsport Renaissance Theatre.  Bud is the founder of ‘Horsin’ Around Wood Carving Studio’ in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.  Ellis has been involved with the establishment of several carousels around the country and the two carousels currently operating in Chattanooga.

The Kingsport Carousel Project is a program of the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Kingsport.  Volunteers are working to establish a vintage working carousel in the downtown Kingsport area.  In November 2010, the carvers have established a working studio at the Lynn View Community Center.  Over the following months, 18 regional carvers have committed to the creation of a carousel animal.  Each carousel animal requires a minimum of 400 hours of work.  Reggie Martin, chairman of the Carousel Project, recently commented,” We’ve got a lot of momentum, but we hope to include more of our community in the work that we have ahead.”  This past February, the Kingsport Carousel Project received a gift of a carousel frame from the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Many parts of the frame will need to be repainted and the scenes of the Connecticut coastline will be replaced with art depicting local and regional scenes.  The Carousel Project is also recruiting additional carvers and painters for the animals and the carousel frame itself.  For more information call 423-392-8416.

Currently the Carousel Project and its sponsoring non-profit “Engage Kingsport”, are selling inscribed bricks for the Kingsport Press Memory Fountain.  This fountain will honor the heritage of the book-making industry in Kingsport, TN and will be located at the new Food City plaza near the farmers market and potential site for the finished Carousel.  Bricks are $100 -$125 each and proceeds benefit the Carousel Project.  More information is available on-line at or by calling 423-392-8417.

About Bud Ellis… Bud Ellis always loved carousels when he was young and dreamed of making one some day.  After he graduated high school he went into the Marines and served our country.  He entered Indiana University and received a degree in Art Education.  He later entered University of Tennessee and received his Masters Degree.  He then taught Art in University of Tennessee and Chattanooga Christian High School.  One of his students brought in an old Carousel horse which needed repair.  Bud took the horse apart and studied how it was put together years ago.  This was the beginning of his new career – building carousel horses and later on 2 carousels in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Bud is an excellent instructor as he teaches hands-on.  Everything that is constructed in his shop is sent out a work of art.  Every animal is constructed the way the old carousel horses were years ago.  He has been teaching for 20 years and has always managed to teach students whether or not they think they can learn.  Years ago he had a man come in and he told Bud that he couldn’t teach him to carve.  Recently Dave completed his 6th animal.  In addition to carving Bud is an excellent artist and teaches students the proper techniques for shading, gold leafing and making the animal look realistic.  Bud says that today’s carvers are making the antiques of the future.

About Kingsport Renaissance Center

Kingsport Renaissance Center is one of the city’s most prominent landmarks, serving as a center for the arts, senior citizens activities, and as a facility for meetings, weddings, receptions and seminars.

For directions and more information about the Renaissance Center call (423) 392-8416 or visit  or 

Kingsport Contact Info


1st Floor, City Hall


225 West Center St.
Kingsport, TN 37660



(423) 229-9400


(423) 229-9350