Monday, December 14, 2009

In Albany

Good thing we'd thought ahead. I went to get new tires last week in Albany and the wait was going to be at least two hours! Gramma C had offered to meet us over there and join us for an adventure or two.

She and Calder had already been to the carousel museum a couple of times, but I had yet to go and was curious. And so we ventured to the home and workshop of the Albany Brass Ring Historical Carousel and Museum. It's in an unassuming location, but inside is such a surprise of art and craft and history and volunteer-ism.

The large, bright space is a giant studio where a number of volunteer craft-persons come to carve, paint, design, and construct a full size, fully operational carousel. It smells like paint, is filled with tools and work stations, and was truly inspiring.

The fabulous, to-scale model of the finished carousel.

A carver working on a bear head.

Lots of models to work off of, check muscle and structure, dimension.

And even small hand-carved models to check positioning and function before moving on to the real deal.

This is Taffy the Alpaca. I had heard a lot about her from Calder and Gramma C's previous visits.

And here's the roses on Taffy's rump. Some of the volunteer carvers had never used a chisel before working on this project. It's so neat to see what a few lessons and some dedication can turn into.

I liked this cat too with the mouse in its mouth.

And Calder got so much joy out of his ride on the frog that's rigged up in the lobby with a real carousel mechanism. It's the practice ride before the real thing.

There's going to be lots of horses in this carousel, but there will also be a salmon, an alpaca, a fox, a rooster, a lion, a bulldog, a giraffe, a gryphon, a dragon, and other wild and beautiful creatures. It was such a treat to have full access to this workshop. We'll definitely check back in to see how things are progressing, and for anyone in the area, I highly recommend a visit.

1 comment:

Annotated Margins said...

My wife and I haven't been to Albany, yet, and we thought about going today but got waylaid with other ideas. We love carousel art. We won't get waylaid next week.