In the workshop today: The joints on this Airstream have been re-sealed, prior to fitting a new interior. This way we can be sure that the English weather is kept out!
On Friday we had a visit from a TV company who are shooting a pilot episode for a TV series about Micro Design. They are interested in the application of design in small spaces – such as you might find in different types of caravan or small buildings. Kathy was interviewed talking about some of the projects in the Workshop at the moment – we will keep you posted on when the show is being aired and if it is made into a series you will be able to find out even more about how our caravans are restored.
Pictured above – Kathy and Darren, owners of American Retro Caravans. Today we meet Darren:
“My apprenticeship was in sheet metal work many years ago. Having completed my course and worked in this industry for a while I decided that I wanted to be more creative and work with wood instead. So I went to college to study carpentry and then worked in a joinery workshop for the next few years learning the skill of cabinetry and furniture making. I then went on to run my own business working for private clients and businesses for 25 years as well as running small to medium building projects.
Our Airstream business has given me the opportunity to combine all my skills I have learnt over the years into one. Renovating Airstreams is a time consuming and complicated business. Nothing is ever square or straight and the Airstream can change width constantly from one end to another! Fitting handmade kitchens into old cottages has been very good experience for this type of work!
My favourite part of my job here at Arc is sourcing and fitting new and exciting products to use in our airstreams and the variety of work I deal with. I am a workaholic so my day usually starts at about 4.30am and goes on till about 6pm. My days are always varied as I can be fitting a bathroom in the morning to making a leather clad cocktail cabinet in the evening and no day is ever the same! Every project is different and each has its own challenges but they are all really interesting to do.
My favourite colour is blue!”
Pictured above are Kathy and Darren, the owners of American Retro Caravans, in action. Darren’s blog piece coming soon – today we meet Kathy:
“From a very young age I have always been obsessed with Art and Design and have never wanted to do anything else. Having gained a first class BA in Textiles at Manchester University, I began my career in the fashion industry, designing prints for high street stores. Following this I went on to work as a freelance designer for an agent in the UK, selling my work to Benetton, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.
After having my three children I settled in Somerset, teaching art at a local private school and selling my botanical flower paintings.
I first became interested in Airstreams after seeing them in Cornwall whilst on holiday. After researching the Vintage Airstream I became fascinated in their history and style. This fascination quickly developed into a business idea. My life now is a mixture of juggling parenting, running the business and walking my dog and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
My favourite part of the business is meeting our clients and creating an interior personal to them. I spend much time sending clients mood boards, design ideas and samples of fabric etc and photographs of their project. Many of our clients collect the photos together to make an album of their project and make regular visits to the workshop.
My favourite colour is purple!”
Next up: Meet Darren
In the workshop today we return to the Airstream with the egg-shaped hole – this project is nearing completion and you can see how it has taken shape. These photos are taken looking out from behind the egg shaped hole showing the funky burnt orange laminate and ply edge.