|I Miss John Every Day|
Every year around this time I make an effort to do something special for Kristen, who has a birthday in April. Spring is the best time of the year to get out and enjoy the outdoors, so we usually end up at a nice hotel with gardens, ocean, lakes or mountains. This year I thought I would put them all together.
I made a promise to spend her birthday at the Du Pont Hotel in Wilmington, where they have one of the most famous Sunday brunches on the East Coast. I started planning the trip last November, and carefully plotted the activities, using maps and the web so that the trip would run like clockwork.
Just before we left I completed and delivered Clock #6 (photos to follow in another post) and an Art Deco cabinet for a special client in Bel Air. That provided the funds and a good excuse to take a trip. My partner, Patrice, ran the business in our absence and spent his time building a large Renaissance Library Table for another client.
Kristen is a dedicated gardner and I am somewhat of a woodworker. Here is our home in San Diego with the Craftsman house we built using a 1926 design, and her front garden. The back garden is much larger and more spectacular.
|Home is Where the Heart Is.|
|Leaving San Diego|
|Back Country Transportation in Mexico|
|Beautiful Mexican Coast|
|Wonderful Town in Mexico|
|Jungle in Costa Rica|
|First Time on Panama Canal|
|Impressive Doors in Columbia|
|Time to Rest|
|Ancient Trees in Savannah|
|Bert's First Woodworking Project|
|Tree Grows Through Tractor|
|I Love This Man!|
Roy and I went to his School for a visit and I had to spend some time (and money) in Ed Lebetkin's store above the school. Ed is a great tool dealer and collector and I always find something "necessary" when I visit.
|Must Have Tools!!!|
In Asheville, Kristen and I spent the day visiting Biltmore, the largest residence ever built in this country.
|"Just a Modest Summer Home"|
|Sharing The View With Jefferson|
|They Use Old Brown Glue To Repair Furniture Here|
My host was Josh English, who has taken some classes at the American School of French Marquetry, and was kind enough to take me on a tour of the cabinet, finishing, upholstery and drapery workshops, as well as other interesting stops on the House side. It is important to note that there is an invisible line down the center of the Capitol where the House and Senate population never cross.
|Josh English, House Cabinetmaker|
|Italian Pietre Dure Table Leaf|
When she sold Mar a Lago she kept only one piece of furniture, which she had transported to her Hillwood House in Washington. This was a Dining Table, with leaves, which weighs over 6 tons. One of the leaves is shown here, and it takes 4 strong men to put it in place. The table was made for her in Italy and took several years to manufacture.
|One of a Thousand Flower Photos I Took On the Trip|
For me it was a chance to reflect on the summer of 1978, when I lived for 3 months in a camper on the North edge of the parking lot. I was attending the Summer Institute, and fondly remember Frank Sommer, who gave me full access to the library and its collection of rare books.
I had a chance to meet and talk with Charlie Hummel during this conference. He still works there and seems to defy aging. Remember, he first came as a student to Winterthur in 1952! His book, "With Hammer in Hand" and the purchase and installation of the Dominy workshop at Winterthur was one of the first inspirations I had to encourage my career in woodworking.
|Charles Hummel in the Rotunda|
|Dominy Workshop at Winterthur|
We spent two beautiful days at Winterthur and the gardens were in full bloom.
|Not Photo Shopped!|
|Springtime at Winterthur|
|Bring Money Take Books|
|Looking Better Every Year|
|My Favorite Tree|
|More Tulips Than You Can Count|
|One Small Area of Longwood Gardens|
|I Love This Man Too!|
|Very Clean and Sharp|
|Perhaps the Best Museum in America|
|The American Wing|
|Standing in the 15th Century|
|Hancock Shaker Village|
|It's A Gift To Be Simple|
|Tourists Stop Here|
|Interesting Floor under 18th Century Room Group|