Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Pops Tradition

Take that Mrs. Johnson. She was my 3rd grade English teacher. Remember my essay entitled “How to Light a Really Big Fire“? So boldly you placed that “D” on top of the page. Then you had the nerve to write “Don’t play with matches” in red at the bottom of the page. As I recall that didn’t fly too well back home. Well now Mrs. Johnson, the tables have turned. I have people waiting in anticipation of my next written word. Mrs. J must be rolling in her grave as I type these words. My poor teachers…



We’ve been very busy here creating a ton of new blog material so we will do our best to keep posting on a regular basis. We participated in our annual holiday tradition over the last weekend. The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra performs a Holiday Pops Concert every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. For the last five or six years we have supplied the WCO with restored sleighs for their concert displays.



Not that I have any ability to critique music (Mrs. Jones can attest to that) but I thought the concert this year was excellent. Some years are better than others. This one was very well done. Of course every year Director Andrew Sewell wraps up the show with a traditional rendition of “Sleigh Ride”. As you may recall the crack of the whip plays a big part in this piece of music. Mr. Sewell leads the audience to clap at just the right time. As usual every one of my claps was two seconds too late.



We just finished up a Door Cutter, sometimes referred to as a Comfort Cutter. This sleigh made it's debut at the Holiday Pops Concert this year. This one was built locally in Janesville by Wisconsin Carriage Company. I picked this sleigh up a few years back. It has been working it’s way through the restoration process a little here and there until we finally wrapped it up.



Here you can see the detail of the little door and handle. The top sill plate on the doors was typically natural finished wood which was a nice little touch on these sleighs. The originals were pretty well beat so Bob made up some new sill plates of cherry lumber.



The seat is what we would refer to as an “auto seat”. This particular one is made of wood but the style is reminiscent of the early automobile seats which basically followed the style of carriage seats. Kind of the chicken and egg dealio.



The upholstery was done in a green wool broadcloth. This fabric along with mohair was traditional to horse drawn sleighs. For a little cutter project these take some time. The doors and the springs on the chassis both add time to the restoration process. This beautiful sleigh is now available for purchase and is priced at $8,995.

Thank you for following my blog. It’s really nice to hear from people that miss it. Tomorrow we will touch on the Brewster Tub Cart project. We are also just beginning a Brewster Sleigh restoration so we might post a couple before shots of that as well. Brewster built really interesting and distinctive sleighs. This one is an early model with classic Brewster lines.

Have a great Thursday!

Best!
T

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