Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Gypsy vardo : the painting

I had to make a choice for the colour and the exterior decoration of my waggon. First,  the colour : it's not so easy.

Obviously, the green "arsenic"is a real poison. I hate it ! I decided to stick to the yellow for the wheels and I changed the main colour to a bright pink.

My final decision goes to a mix between traditional overdecorated English vardo, and a more contemporary French style, overdecorated, with bright and vibrant colours and delightfully kitch interior. Overdecoration is the key to a good gypsy vardo !
A comment by Sanschichis made me see that she had already built and painted a wonderful vardo inspired by this type of waggon-fitting.
The pictures on the blog of Sanschichis HERE "Ma roulotte".
The french builder of new or renovated vardo with a personal gypsy deco HERE.

I definitively prefer PINK. I have fit the gypsy vanner horse in. This is the top of the front door.

Here is the lid of the back trunk.

Some blooming flowers for the front door.
And the design on the unfinished wheels.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

The gypsy vardo : taking apart


I have made my homework, looking for clues about gypsy vans everywhere. I came to the conclusion that this traditional gypsy home pulled by horse is not so old.  They have been used by gypsies for only 150 years. They developed first in France and then were used in the 1820 s' in England by showmen travelling with fairs and circuses.
The name for the gypsies'waggon is VARDO. And if they are gypsy home, they are traditionaly made by non-gypsy coach-builders. We can find 6 main types of vardoes : Brush, Reading, Ledge, Bowtop, Openlot and Burton.

My Vardo is a Ledge, no doubt. A van with side and back windows, sloping walls, portable steps, front door wich opens separately at the top and the bottom, rack at the back and a raised roof called a mollicroft. The floor is narrow and both side walls widen out at knee-level via a ledge over the wheels.

The maker of this Ledge has done a pretty good work : everything is true to a life size Ledge.
www.gerryvardoes.co.uk : Gerry builds a very complete range of vardoes you can choose of.

And now it's time to take all the pieces apart. I want to make some changes before I begin the painting. I have prepared a new door, the one I had was too thick. Same for the door of the cratch at the back. I have also changed the hay rack, to have a lighter one.

They are many informations and pictures at http://gypsywaggons.co.uk  and http://gypsyvans.com  : builders, collectors and painters of gypsy vardoes.