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.