As I turned 70, I thought about my deep desire to build a gypsy wagon or to restore one for my own pleasure. My first real exposure to gypsy wagons was when I visited a friend of mine in Ireland, where they dotted the roadsides throughout the country. I loved how they are homes on wheels and reflect their owner’s personalities and a culture with a love for enchantment. As we drove by one after another, I became convinced that I had to have one in my life. Yet, time went by, and that gypsy wagon never appeared.
I purchased my home in 1976 with an understanding that it was a blank palate that would adapt to whatever my visions might be as time went on. It’s now 43 years later, and I have decided that the blank canvas was ready for the ultimate transformation. I remembered Ireland and my love for the gypsy wagons. I realized that in my lifetime, I realistically wasn’t going to build an actual gypsy wagon. The realization then emerged that the exterior of the house was the next major art installation that I would call the gypsy wagon.
I have what I call the ‘toy chest’ that lives over my shop. It holds the materials I’ve collected throughout my lifetime, still waiting for an event or vision that will allow them to come to life in a new and purposeful way. As a collector of architectural materials, I’ve always been drawn to Victorian and the Arts and Crafts style. How to merge the two of them together is very difficult because they are such distinct styles yet I’m more than willing to try!
I must admit I’m in love with the house. I know that may sound strange, yet I have very deep-rooted connections that have allowed me to nurture this piece of land and home into what it’s become. I’ve learned that if you have a vision, and you’re willing to put forth the time and the commitment to make it a reality, you’ll get to experience great pleasure and reward.
I decided now was the time for my home to become the gypsy wagon!