Ortel, New York City born and raised, retired from the New York Fire
Department after serving for 21 years as a Firefighter and started carving
in 1990. After a lifetime as New Yorkers, Peter and his wife Madelyn
are now residents of South Carolina.
He was elected into the Caricature Carvers of America in 1992 and served as president
of the CCA from 1996 to 1998. He is the co founder of the Mid Hudson Woodcarvers
Guild and a member of several woodcarving groups including the National Woodcarvers
Association and the Affiliated Woodcarvers.
He always had a fondness for cartooning and love for wood but when he combined
the two by carving caricatures, it became his passion. The excitement and diversity
of the environment he knows are his inspiration and his imagination and humor
are reflected in his carvings of the everyday people we see around us, if we
Peter’s work has been featured on local Television, several newspapers
and national and international magazines. He has won many awards and has taught
carving classes around the country. His biggest success to date was to win the
Best of Show award and People’s Choice award at the 2000 International
Woodcarvers Congress in Davenport, Iowa for his carving he calls “Love”.
Because a caricature has never done this before, it is considered a major
breakthrough for caricature carving.
He is presently teaching seminars and speaking at woodcarving clubs, wood carving
shows and events throughout the country and is available for commissions. His
enthusiasm, animation and shared knowledge inspire his students to discover their
creativity and individuality in a fun atmosphere. As an instructor, he stresses
originality and he helps to cultivate the artist within each of us by encouraging
students to stretch their ability and imagination. He teaches his students the
theories behind the woodcuts so students not only learn how to carve in the classroom
but they also can take and use that knowledge on their own.
Peter J. Ortel Studio
116 Mesa Raven Drive
Longs, SC 29568