Carousel Horses
Artist Ira Chaffin also makes wonderful Carousel Horses which are enjoyed as stand-alone Sculptures or they can be installed into a Carousel Horse ride. He follows the long tradition of hand-carving them in bass wood. The process involves cutting two inch thick timbers of basswood in appropriate lengths according to the horse size being sculpted. He glues the timbers together to form enough volume to carve the desired figure out of the wood and roughs out the desired form. The desired horse pose is shaped from the initial rectangular wood shape into a curvilinear form. Significant expertise is required in the sizing and sculpting of the horse figure to bring the bare wood into the artistic form.

Running Horses
Completed Carousel Menagerie
Display in Artist Studio

Menagerie Lion
Carving in Progress

Inside Row
Horse is complete

Outside Row “Stander”
Carving Done,
Awaiting Paint

Over-Sized Outside Row
Horse is complete

Detail of Head
Horse is complete

Menagerie Giraffes
Carving in Progress

Horse Sizes

Ira’s Carousel Horses, like traditional Carousel Horses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, come in three sizes: Inside Row, Middle row, and Outside Row.

Inside Row horses are the smallest since there is less space towards towards the center of the Carousel horse ride which is basically a circular floor as you come inward on the circle platform towards the middle of the ride. Inside Row horses are 32 inches from their farthest measurement from chest to their rear.

Middle Row horses located in the mid portion of the circular Carousel Horse ride, are 36 inches from chest to rear.

Outside Row horses are the largest at 48 inches from chest to rear, and sometimes are up to 60 inches in very large traditional Horse Carousels. Carved horses in the photos of this Web-site are various sizes.

Carousel Brass Pole

Carousel Horses, once sculpted and painted, are mounted on Brass Poles which follow the traditional precedent of being one of two pole types. The client can specify if they prefer the smooth brass pole or the embossed brass pole with swirl pattern. Both brass pole types come with a decorative fennel at top and are delightful to behold.

Carousel Horse Base

The Artist completes the client’s Carousel Horse with its preferred brass pole by mounting it onto a specially created base he crafts from wood. The client chooses which type of wood base they prefer, which typically is in mahogany, cherry, oak, or walnut wood and finishes. As an additional feature, casters can be installed by the Artist prior to the delivery if the client anticipates moving their carousel horse around from time to time with ease.

Horse Painting, Colors, and Finishing

The commissioned Carousel Horses are painted by the Artist in one of the following standard horse body paint themes: Black, Brown, White, Yellow (Palomino), Appaloosa (Dominant Color Gray or White, with Spots in Gray or White) or Pinto also known as a “Paint” (Dominant Color White with either Black or Brown areas)

Horse eyes are brown, painted by the Artist in a realistic manner, except that Appaloosa Horses in real life typically have blue eyes, which the Artist is happy to create for the client. Ira’s horse tales and manes are carved in wood by the Artist in an active pose suggesting motion, though actual horse hair tales are available.

The Artist can create Zebras for a client, upon request, but there is an additional charge for the painting since it takes longer than regular Carousel Horses, but the finished effect is very beautiful and all the more rare.

Carousel Horse Saddles

Prices below include a presumed standard saddle, in the client’s selected color. More complicated saddles and saddles with special figures and carvings are available, upon request, and are priced accordingly.


Prices are as follows according to horse size. Shipping and Handling will be added to the fee. Please allow 6 weeks from ordering to delivery of your custom Carousel Horse.

Inside Row Horse (Typical Commission)-- Size 32” chest to rear

        $3,000 for the completed horse including a standard wood base
        Add $100 for Casters on the Base
        Add $200 for Plain Brass Pole
        Add $300 for Fluted Curvilinear Pole
        Add $500 for Zebras (involves extra painting time)

Middle Row Horse -- Size 36” chest to rear

        $4,000 for the completed horse including astandard wood base
        Add $100 for Casters on Base
        Add $200 for Plain Brass Pole
        Add $300 for Fluted Curvilinear Pole
        Add $600 for Zebras (involves extra painting time)

Outside Row Horse -- Size 48” chest to rear

        $5,000 for completed horse including a standard wood base
        Add $150 for Casters on Base
        Add $200 for Plain Brass Pole
        Add $300 for Fluted Curvilinear Pole
        Add $700 for Zebras (involves extra painting time)

Over-Size Outside Row Horse -- Sized 60” chest to rear

        $6,500 for completed horse including a standard wood base
        Add $200 for Casters on Base
        Add $300 for Plain Brass Pole (will be larger than normal)
        Add $400 for Fluted Curvilinear Pole (will be larger than normal)
        Add $900 for Zebras (involves extra painting time)


        The Client will be asked to sign a Contract with the Artist at the time of Engagement. Typically, the Client will make payments in this arrangement: 10% of fee at time of engagement, 50% of fee when Carousel Horse is completed and approved based upon photos submitted to client, 40% of fee due at receipt and approval of the final Carousel Horse.

        Clients will receive a 5% discount on the cost of the Carousel Horse if they wish to pre-pay 100% of the fee at time of Engagement. Clients ordering more than one horse will receive a special 10% discount on their subsequent orders.

        Full satisfaction of the final Carousel Horse is guaranteed or else it may be returned in good condition for a full refund within 10 days of its receipt.

Ira Chaffin Sculpture 1309 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Chaffin Carousel Carving School  Phone: 205.789.7925
Web Site: