Saturday, January 18, 2014

Second Act by the Oedels- Artisans of Antiquity

One of the most challenging parts of getting the Cabinet of Curiosities course off the ground was the decade of searching for the right people to work with.  The people had to CARE about the subject as much as I did and be willing to put in the extra mile for historic integrity.  I want to introduce to you the couple who were the keystones in this venture, Richard and Marie Oedel.

Our meeting was entirely chance.  Marie had heard about the Plimoth Jacket from a friend and was studying embroidered bindings of the 17th century as an interest and wanted to talk.  I had suspicions that bookbinding was very important in the caskets and so instead of just answering her email, I did some web searching and found a phone number.  The rest became history!

Marie and Richard both had highly successful careers in different fields before they decided to make a radical change and become craftsmen, going back to school to do so.  We all share this career history and apply our knowledge to our new fields.

Marie has figured out how to cover the boxes and guided me through all the complications of glues, papers, and suppliers as well as investigated historic caskets with me.  Richard is our cabinet maker.  That seems such as simple statement but it isn't -- co-researcher is more like it.  The things I have learned about cabinet making (today and yesterday) informs the interpretation of what we see on the historic objects.  It has been great fun working with these consummate professionals!

I have been asked by many of the students in the class to profile the artisans and so I have started with the Oedels.  I think that the best way to profile them is to point you to a wonderful article on them and their 'second act' by their alma matter University of New Hampshire.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Tricia. The article is wonderful, and the thought that there are people out there like the Oedels somehow restores my faith in humanity. It's heartening to know that greed doesn't rule everyone.