The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on December 24, 1989 · Page 85
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 85

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Sunday, December 24, 1989
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Page 85
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f At home page h-6 The Indianapolis Star SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24, 1989 Wire, vines become art Hoosier shapes animals, decorations m OK learned taxidermy from library books when he was 14. Wire animals now fill his home. "As far as a long-term goal. I want to build a wire-animal park," says Arnold. "This would be something for the kids. It will be about 250 North American animals and birds in natural habitat, all tagged, marked and labeled with signs saying what they are. where they live and what they eat. just like a walkthrough field guide." hi in Mil it jpj r Jl"MI , . Wl l i nui.mil... ji. ..ww. ..- lif i ...., . . i , s :, X;"'.; -c- 11 ).. X' f .-- ' .. ; -. '- , - -. - , jjT t ' I - y f , , , 7 ' . L ...ta. - .....,.. ...i, -a ,, ' . . , n A "So I got a roll of fence wire and barbed wire and made a deer." . That original deer is "really crude compared to what I do now." he says. "I've done so many deer this year every Christmas I end up doing a lot of deer, but this Christmas I have three different styles. There's one style that's grapevine . . . and the grapevine is more lifelike. "And then the second one is sculpture, where I use the wire and make it as dense as I possibly can. "The third is topiary, and that's where I use the wire and make it really light so you can get your hand in and out. It doesn't weigh much and doesn't cost as much and these are the ones that are good for displays with pin lights on the lawn. Prices are $250 for a topiary deer, $1,000 for a sculpture deer and $500 for the grapevine one and that's for a buck deer, Arnold says. He also crafts Christmas trees. The barbed wire and fence wire trees are new this year. "You can use them as bird sanctuaries. Birds have a sense of security hanging around a roll of fence," he says. Grapevine trees sell for $15 a foot, as do wire ones. "I've got Christmas trees lined up for January and February for next year. They're really a popular item." His real love, though, is animals, especially eagles. As a boy, he shot animals with his BB gun. Wanting to keep the pieces, he By SALLY FALK STAR HOME FURNISHINGS EDITOR Five years ago, William E. Arnold of Wilkinson pulled up to a four-way stop and spied a roll of fence wire. That marked a new direction in his career. Arnold is the artist who created the wire sculpture bison in front of the INB Tower Downtown. He also made a herd of wire animals at the Indianapolis Zoo. This time of year Arnold is busy making reindeer out of wire and vine. Six years ago, the former "500" Festival Parade float sculptor started working with vines, making wreaths, hearts and baskets. "I started out with $20 worth of gas, a pickup truck and a lot of determination," remembers Arnold, who lived in Indianapolis until recently. He called flower shops, set up appointments and sold grapevine items at wholesale. "Within the first six weeks, I was swamped." He also made, grapevine Christmas trees, angels and rabbit baskets. He did the Christmas decorations for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, complete with a 14-foot grapevine tree and 125 feet of grapevine garland. "I got the idea to do the wire at a four-way stop. I was on the way to pull vines and I saw rolls of wire lying in the pastures and thought It was buffalo lying in the grass they're such big rolls. I looked again and they were rolls of wire. Fence wire. I was thinking it would be nice to use that because it would be so easy to collect. STAR STAFF PHOTOS SUSAN PLAGEMAN Arnold is busy sculpting deer William Arnold shapes the wing of a wire bird. During the holiday season, William E. like this one from wire. Sellers 30 Careful shoppers can avoid phony antiques SELLERS Hoosier cabinets sought for use in many kitchens mi mi iitn inn! M if Will' Sendfor 9 Sellers Blue Book FREE SELL THE BEST SERVANT embellished for example, with an extra fan carving so that it looks better or more expensive than the original piece. The outright fraud made specifically to deceive is the rarest, she says, because it takes too much time and money to produce it and rarely would the anticipated price justify this kind of effort. The best indication of authenticity is consistency, adds Kaye. To ascertain if a piece is consistent, look at each detail of construction separately. She opens and removes drawers, looking at the back and base of cabinets and chairs. She says that well-finished, unseen areas of furniture excite her suspicion because American cabinetmakers of the past rarely. If ever, finished parts that didn't show. Since there are no statistics, there is no way to quantify the number of fakes, according to Pennington. But awareness of the potential for faking old things is certainly increasing. "Museum-trained experts have educated the public to look at old things with more awareness. They have taught us that pieces without major restoration and in pristine condition are more valuable," he said. Furniture that is 200 years old would almost have to have some repairs, but if it has been rebuilt its claim to age might be debatable, he said. Pennington says the growing public appetite for the country antique look has led to many reproductions of decorative wares. These pieces are less expensive than the real thing. But if the new piece isn't Indelibly marked, eventually ft will probably make its way into the antiques trade. It's difficult to tell age, especially after an item has acquired the patina of age. ASSOCIATED PRESS There may not be more phony antiques than there used to be. but Americans are certainly more aware of them, says Samuel Pennington, editor of the Maine Antique Digest. Consumers need to keep an open mind and bring a bright light when they go shopping for antique furniture, says Myrna Kaye, author of Fake. Fraud or Genuine? Identifying Authentic American Antique Furniture. Kaye says that next to a questioning attitude, a strong light is the most useful aid in identifying furniture that may be posing as something it is not. She carries a 500-watt portable lamp and uses it whenever the light is not adequate for complete scrutiny of a piece. A good flashlight can achieve the same results. When antique hunting, Kaye also takes along a yardstick and calipers to measure shrinkage. Taking measurements in several places helps you spot shrinkage and, hence, confirm that a piece is old. Calipers can be used to take the dimensions of the round turned parts of wood furniture. She also carries tweezers and a needle. The needle is to probe what look like wormholes. A drill, rather than worms, made any hole that is deeper than one-eighth of an inch. The tweezers are useful in extracting splinters which are a common hazard when running your bare hands over a piece of wood furniture to see if it has the same degree of roughness all over. The most common types of fakes, she says, include: "Married" pieces, consisting of parts of different pieces that have been put together, Assembled sets in which one or more elements are new, Furniture that has been 77ir Saturday Evening Pott May 6, 1922 This ad from the Sellers Co. of Indiana is part of Philip D. Kennedy's collection of Hoosier cabinet advertisements. Seventy-five years ago, if you could have asked "the average American housewife" what she wanted to find under her Christmas tree, there's a good chance the answer would have been a "Hoosier Cabinet." She might have meant an honest-to-goodness Hoosier Cabinet made by the Hoosier Manufacturing Co. of New Castle, although she probably would have settled for a Hoosier cabinet made by any of a number of other excellent Indiana (and other Midwestern) firms. Some of the confusion, and much of the charm, of these nicely useful kitchen aids of the past is explained in a new book by Philip D. Kennedy of Indianapolis, Hoosier Cabinets (168 pages, $14.95, published by Kennedy). Kennedy, who used to restore these classic cabinets and now deals in parts and hardware for them, provides a useful service, too, in offering gritty, down-to-earth advice on how to refinish them. This is an important issue, because few Hoosier cabinets are found intact. Because of their current popularity, prices are high $500 and up for one in top condition but they are still affordable for those willing to do a little searching and a lot of work. Kennedy and his wife have made a collection of old advertisements for these cabinets, and they are invaluable tools from several points of view, not the least of which is that they are thoroughly delightful. More to the point, however, the old ads help in identifying and placing old cabinets, and show how they should look when restored. They also help track down a piece's history. Hoosier Antiques And Collectibles By LYNN HOPPER Kennedy cautions, however, that some pieces may always remain "unknowns." Besides the well-known cabinetmakers, there were many smaller firms that went out of business and disappeared without a trace. Even the relatively well-documented Hoosier firm of New Castle made nearly 4 million cabinets between 1900 and 1 940, although some firms held on a little longer, Kennedy explains. The cabinets were a refinement of a "baker's cabinet" that became popular in the late 1800s. The Hoosier Co. began in 1898, and advertised aggressively, so that the term was almost generically applied to a number of similar cabinets, which were also made in Indiana. Sellers was the second largest maker, located first in Kokomo, and then later in El-wood after a fire destroyed the Kokomo plant. Napanee Cabinets was introduced by an established firm, Coppes Brothers and Zook Inc., in Nappanee. Their "Dutch kit-chenets" were introduced in 1914. The McDougall company began after the Civil War, making kitchen tables and pie safes in Indianapolis. They were making "baker's cabinets," when a fire destroyed the Indianapolis plant. (There is a definite pattern here.) The Hoosier Co. it- self moved to New Castle after a fire destroyed its plant at nearby Albany. The McDougall plant was moved to Frankfort, where the Hoosier-style cabinets were made. Boone cabinets were made by the Campbell-Smlth-Ritchle Co. in Lebanon. Their plant, too, was destroyed by fire, but they rebuilt near Lebanon. Kennedy's research has unearthed a wealth of material that cabinet owners will love. The Hoosier Co.. for instance, let housewives buy cabinets for $1 a week through a "club plan." Hoosier was the most aggressive advertiser and retail marketer, which undoubtedly built the reputation for all such cabinets. Kennedy found through the advertisements that a number of New Castle street addresses, were given for the Hoosier sales office. Thinking they must have moved around a lot, he set out to find them all and discovered that there was always only one office. The different streets were a ploy to learn which advertisements were getting responses, arid in what areas. Kennedy may be reached, by cabinet enthusiasts, at 9256 Holyoke Court, Indianapolis, Ind. 46268. Hoosier Cabinet fanciers will also find information through the Henry County Historical Society at New Castle, and the New Castle Public Library. In fact, the libraries in each of those towns might also provide information, if asked nice- You may send a photo or letter about antiques or collectibles for possible use in the column to Lynn Hopper, in care of The Indianapolis Star, P.O. Box 145, Indianapolis, Ind. 46206-0145. Lynn regrets she can not reply personally by mail or phone or return photos. sT" ll Save on Remnants & Short Bolts! Poinsettias may last weeks or longer Come save 50 to 75 on these designer fabrics for your home. The yardage may be limited, but the possibilities are not! iwr tv jr. r e ".-! (a k-w y r-l M ri (. a ju Ti . W lie -vi -.. se ;i W : ,ri In mi en In ir.- nj ar i!.:. .al :., jwi I7M Ai j.iv th ; th inn. Ot foi sa (S, cl m; , , re tt-O' bu itvp j ca AX, hi, R (.- So Gardening PRINTS $1 95 to W yd. VlllVv II ber, begin the re-blooming process by allowing the plant to be exposed only to natural daylight. Keep the plant In a light-free box or closet at nights. Exposing the plant to only a few minutes of artificial light during the dark period can interrupt its color-changing process. After a month, bring the plant into a cool, bright room with filtered light. Keep out of direct sun. Gradually acclimate the plant to warmer temperatures and more light as it begins to show color. It may seem like an odd winter activity, but cold weather Is a good time to prune young shade trees because they are dormant then, says the National Arbor Day Foundation. "How a tree Is pruned in Its first few years of life will affects its shape, its strength and even its life span," the foundation says. For a free copy of How To Prune, write the National Arbor Day Foundation, Nebraska City. Neb. 68410. A favorite plant this time of year is the poinsettia, a beautiful holiday brighten-er that can be grown as an annual, house-plant or tender perennial. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) comes from the wilds of Mexico. Its red. white or pink "flowers" aren't blossoms at all. The colored part of the plant are leaflike bracts. The actual flowers are yellow, small and insignificant and can be found in the center of the top cluster of colored bracts. They are not fragrant and will bleed a milky substance when bracts or stems are broken. Poinsettias usually are grown as annuals. They keep their color for several weeks and are discarded when the upper bracts turn green. However, they can be grown from year to year with special care. The plants easily will last a month if they are kept slightly moist (do not allow to dry out completely water when slightly droopy) in bright light, but not direct sun. They feill last longef if kept at 60- to 65-degrees in a humid environment. (TLICO By JO ELLEN MEYERS SHARP For the most dramatic effect, group several plants together. They are attractive especially the red ones dotted among green houseplants or displayed around the base of a Christmas tree. The also can be used as centerpieces and table decorations. When they are grown as seasonal annuals, they usually are not susceptible to diseases or pests. To keep the plants year round, fertilize monthly and keep in a bright area. When weather permits, move the plants Into a protected area outside, gradually moving them to full or partial sun. Cut the plant back to about 4 to 6 inches. Bring the plant in before a freeze. Remember, it is a tender perennial. In Novem 165 West Sycamore Zionsville (317) 873-3347 Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon. & Thurs. Eves. Til 8:30

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