Raymond Coins


circa 1980-1990
Soapstone Pig Family
Mother: 12″l x 5″w x 8″h
Piglets: 3″-5″

Raymond Coins

Raymond Coins was born in Stuart, Virginia. He is well known for his large wooden figures and small “doll babies.” Born on a small farm in southern Virginia, Coins was the descendent of a long line of poor white subsistence mountain farmers. When he was ten years old, his father bought a farm in the Winston-Salem area and moved the family there. He did farm work for others until 1950, when he and his wife, Ruby, were able to purchase a small farm of their own and the frame house where they live today. Coins grew tobacco, corn, oats, wheat and rye in summer and held a second job during the winter as a “floor man” at tobacco warehouses in the Winston-Salem area.

After Coins retired, he began to feel restless. He picked up a stone, started carving and thus began his second career. He imitated Indian arrowheads and tomahawks at first but before long he was working on his “doll babies” and bringing forth the animals and people that only he could see in the raw materials of local wood and stone. He also carves stone bas-reliefs of religious themes, crucifixions and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In addition, he has made a number of animal figures in both wood and stone. He uses chisels and knives to carve white, speckled and blue rock and cedar wood.