Friday, October 8, 2010

Step Right Up and Feast Your Eyes

I want John Sindelar to come decorate my house.

I love this guy's style.

It's "19th-century gypsy" according to John, who has remarkable talent for creating Old World atmosphere.

As you step inside his trailer, it's like walking onto a theatrical set, or a turn-of-the-century carnival tent, or a Dungeons and Dragons game.

Visions of knights and castles, and medieval chambers transport you out of the real world and into John Sindelar's fantastic tool collection, only 1/10th of which was brought to the conference.

As you duck beneath the ornate and fringed tapestry to enter the museum, everything is cast in an amber and reddish glow.

Gilded frames house saws and braces. The 12'-long, floor-to-ceiling display cabinet (which he built in only 14 hours), is reminiscent of a Victorian train station.

Planes, axes (one, an enormous beheading axe), dividers—all ornately carved—are everywhere you look. Tools are suspended from the scrollwork pattern painted on the ceiling. An elaborate chair and tool chest, decorated with detailed marquetry, become display platforms for one-of-a-kind plumb bobs, trammels points, and measuring devices.

The lighting casts heavy shadows so that the wooden tools, with their rich, warm patina emerge from dark corners, like objects in a Caravaggio painting.

John is not only a high-end furniture maker, he's a carver, engraver, and painter. See the outside of his trailer? He and another man painted that.

Not only is his collection impressive, the man himself is worthy of praise.


Shannon said...

So when will we see some VC recreations of these works of art? These pictures look not so much like something wanting to share an experience, but more like someone looking to recreate the objects. Can I put in an order for that cool router plane, oh and that big breasted trammel point too!

j. de frank said...

I have been amazed by that router, beautyful place anyway.

Kari Hultman said...

Oh, you guys know me too well! Yes, that router plane is on my list, plus the dragon plane of Viking origin. I told John that it was my very favorite in his collection and he said that it's also his favorite.

Vic Hubbard said...

You create such lovely word paintings!

Gye Greene said...


Although (because I used to be in the packing and shipping biz), my immediate thought was: How long does it take to batten everything down (or, set it up again) before (after) hitting the road? Yikes.


Gye Greene said...

You need to build a "display" outbuilding in your back yard. (There's still a little room left between your back fence and your workshop - right?) ;)


Kari Hultman said...

Thanks, Vic. :o)

Gye, I thought the same thing about transporting all the tools. Someone asked him about that and he said that everything is packed in boxes. Must take him a long time to set it up.

What I'd really like to have in our backyard is a forge. ; )

Gye Greene said...

Backyard forge: Ahhh -- now **there's** another slippery slope.

I've thought about that -- but that's probably diversifying TOO much. Instead, I'm focusing on convincing my brother-in-law (lives next door; owns three types of welding setups) to take up smithing (free holdfasts!!!).


Anonymous said...

I know nothing about forges or forging, but I was wondering what kind of forge you were interested in. Did you want to temper metal only, or impact metal to form shapes, or melt metal for castings or all of the above? Did you want a coal fired forge, a gas fired forge or an electric forge? Just curious. I’ve also heard of cold forging but I know nothing about that either.


Kari Hultman said...

Dean, if I put anything out back, it will just be something simple for tempering metal. I don't want to get into the whole blacksmithing thing. I use Mapp and propane torches to temper metal right now, but that's hard to do if your blade is really wide.