Settling on wood
He settled on wood after working throughout many mediums, including the culinary arts. While working as a cook at Riley's on Park Street he would intentionally bend and shape the Friday night battered fish fry, so that it would resemble a fish jumping out of the water onto your plate. Later, while working as a line cook (hot food production) in Armory Square's Pastabilities' Restaurant in the 90s, he whittled carrots into renaissance-type studies of the human figure. Each night a miniature sculpture would be created with a shelf life of a few days. Many were given to children, and adults too, who visited the restaurant over a six-year period. He averaged about three a week, which loosely translated into about 900 studies that had perhaps a two-week shelf life.
Now he carves wood. Faces, flowers, hummingbirds, bees, the stuff of trees, maidenheads from the old sailing ships, busts and butterflies, all carved into or out of wood. Handsome wood that is fashioned first for function, such as a fireplace mantle, a chair, a bed, a banister, cabinets or even thrones.
"Most people that want what I do, are into it," he said, "the first guy I met was building his own mantle, but wanted some carvings."
That was Brian St. Laurent of East Syracuse. He said the collaboration process with George was brilliant -- and everyday he looks at the work they accomplished together.
"Above all George is an artist, " St. Laurent said, "he came to our house and sat down and talked with us and then came back with sketches, they were all fantastic."
St. Laurent is even now working on a side table that he hopes Shattuck will embellish with a carving.
George also does restoration carving, and loves to see how others carved before him studying in books and from pieces people bring him.