Saturday, November 14, 2009
Announcing the Cosmic Caravan
The European Gypsies (Roma) often traveled in colorful horse-drawn wagons. Brightly painted and ornate, these wagons, known as caravans or vardos, could be seen traveling the rural roads of England and Europe from the 1850’s onward. There were several styles of wagons but two styles stand out - the Bowtop and the Ledge.
I plan to build a gypsy caravan in the Bowtop style but, instead of being a horse-drawn wagon, it will be built on a flatbed trailer so we can haul it at highway speeds with a pickup truck. The Cosmic Caravan will be larger than the traditional ones and will include some modern RV conveniences inside. The old-style caravans were built of wood. Since steel is my medium, I plan to build the frame out of steel. Inside, however, will be trimmed in wood. Wood siding will be on the outside and wood paneling on the inside. We plan to decorate it profusely with paint and found objects, inside and out. It will be a sight to behold (we hope)
I bought the trailer last week. It's a tandem-axle made by Diamond T Trailers. The bed is a little over 16 feet long and a little over 6 feet wide. That ought to be big enough. With any luck I hope to have it marginally functional by March of 2010. Here are a few pictures of traditional style vardos.