Historic Carousel Comes Home to Cape Cod
Long-time Falmouth resident and artist Lance Shinkle is bringing his hand-carved, mixed-media carouselmasterpiece back to its birthplace on Cape Cod.
Editor’s Note: The Carousel of Light Inc. provided the following.
The carousel was meticulously created more than 20 years ago by Mr. Shinkle and operated at several locations on the upper Cape. When his father became ill in California, Mr. Shinkle and the carouselmoved to be with him until his father died in 2008.
Mr. Shinkle returned to Cape Cod in 2009 and decided to donate his creation to the Carousel of Light Inc., a non-profit, which is actively looking to find a suitable location to erect and operate the carousel. This week, Mr. Shinkle is packing and shipping the carousel back to Cape Cod. It will arrive in early March.
The mission of the Carousel of Light organization is to preserve and operate this one-of-a-kind “art in motion” while raising money to support other local non-profits.
"I am thrilled that through the unique talents and collected efforts of this outstanding organization my longtime dream is now becoming a reality” said Mr. Shinkle.
The carousel consists of 20 horses, two wheelchair-accessible chariots, three sculptures and 12 colorful panels. The carousel mechanism is a 1947 Allen Hershell.
Mr. Shinkle chose a nautical theme for the carousel in his design, including sea horses, mermaids and fishing nets in the same wind-blown style used for the horses and chariots. Much more than just a merry-go-round, the Carousel of Light is a romantic piece of art that appeals to adults and children of all ages. It is the only hand-carved carousel created on Cape Cod. Modern carousel horses are typically made of fiberglass from pre-fabricated molds and other composite materials.
The carousel’s horses and chariots were made from eastern white pine bought from the Cataumet Sawmill in Falmouth. The technique of carving was devised by Mr. Shinkle to achieve animated forms and greater strength.
Each horse begins as an original drawing and is transferred onto sets of wooden planks, each plank a cross-section of the horse. The planks are hollowed out in the center and then laminated together in a “butcher-block” fashion.
The hollow laminated block of wood is then roughed out in the shape of a horse with a chain saw. From the carved contour, detailing is done with hand chisels, wood files and sand paper. Once the sculpting is complete the horses are color-dyed and painted.
“Where others tend to go round and round in pursuit of purpose, the Carousel of Light Inc. is focused and headed in the right direction – bringing Lance Shinkle’s hand-carved carousel back to Falmouth,” said Jay Zavala, president and CEO of the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce. “They don’t need talent and they don’t need luck, they only need our collective help.”
A fund-raiser and other events are being planned for this spring to help bring the carousel to full functionality in time for Memorial Day weekend. A 501(c)(3) federal non-profit application has been submitted and is expected to be approved this year. Donations can be made payable to Carousel of Light, 894 Main Street, Falmouth 02540.
About the Carousel of Light Organization
The Carousel of Light Inc is a grassroots organization founded more than 20 years ago with the dream of bringing the Carousel of Light to the people of Cape Cod. The carousel’s board of directors includes: President James Bowen, long-time business owner and community advocate; clerk/treasurer is Richard Sherman, a certified financial planner best known for his 39 years as co-director of the Falmouth Road Race.
Corporate directors include Suzy Bergman, Troy Clarkson, Mary Pat Flynn, Lissie Hoffert, Kay Johnson, Michael Kasparian, Nicholas Kleimola, Chelsea Maffei, Donald McCarthy, Elizabeth Sherman, Lance Shinkle, Denise and Donald Terry.