George SerVance, Jr.

Thomasville, NC | In Memoriam

Mr. SerVance was one of North Carolina’s most accomplished woodcarvers, creating works that ranged from walking sticks to dancing dolls, from animal carvings to biblical figures. “It’s a gift,” he said, “something that comes like second nature. Nobody ever showed me how to carve. The Lord just gave it to me.” He began carving during the Depression as a child, making his own toys from discarded packing crates. He worked with fine hardwood scraps gleaned from the Thomasville furniture industry. Although he was best know for the dancing dolls he sold for decades, he was also recognized for his lifelike carvings of animals, bible figures, and for his bound slave figures, based on the chain-gang members he remembered seeing as a child in Henderson. In 1993 he received a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award from the North Carolina Arts Council.

George became an Exhibiting Member of Piedmont Craftsmen in 1966.