Richard Castrina is a retired racehorse trainer and driver (he raced trotters) who, at one time, considered himself a hobbyist “wood butcher” and blacksmith. Several years ago his love of things equine and his hobbies came together when he decided to investigate restoring old sleighs. As he researched sleighs, he encountered a one-third scale Albany sleigh and was so taken with it he decided to build one for himself.
The hobby became habit forming. Castrina continues to make the miniatures, no more than about 12 each year because of the research demanded for creating designs and the patience required for his precision workmanship. When he’s not working on miniatures, he also restores full-size sleighs.
Castrina has been commissioned by both museums and collectors to create his miniatures. His work has been repeatedly chosen for the Directory of Traditional American Crafts for the past several years.
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