George Goings carves animal figures in wood and stone, using walnut, cherry, buckeye, holly, alabaster, red pipestone, and soapstone. He prefers to use black walnut more than other woods because its hardness enables him to carve with more detail. He exhibits his work and demonstrates wood and stone carving.
Born and raised on Owl Branch in the Yellow Hill community on the Qualla Boundary, George Goings attended elementary and high school in Cherokee. At Cherokee High School, he learned woodcarving from Amanda Crowe and has continued to carve for more than thirty years. He has lived all his life in Cherokee except for two years when he lived in Chillocco, Oklahoma, where he went to school to study heavy equipment transportation. Currently he works with the Cherokee Department of Transportation.
A member of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, George Goings sells his work there and at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh every fall. He has demonstrated carving at the Asheville Giduwah Festival, at Warren Wilson College, at the Cherokee Voices Festival, and at Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. With his wife Louise, a basketmaker, he attended President Clinton’s inaugural celebration honoring crafts people of the South. He was featured on an episode of the PBS series, The Woodwright’s Shop.
George Goings can demonstrate or teach woodcarving, and is willing to travel anywhere if compensated for expenses, and he will negotiate his presentation fee. He brings his own tools for demonstration but needs access to an electrical outlet for lighting his exhibit area.