Gypsy Vardo Caravan

As a child, I often dreamed of living in a gypsy vardo caravan and traveling the world. I imagined the crackling campfires along bramble thickened lanes, the frozen icicles clinging to the edge of the roof, and the coziness of having my own little home wherever my nomadic travels took me. Even at that young age, I harbored a deep appreciation for the myriad influences of the many cultures that comprise the world of gypsies. I love the vibrant use of color by these fascinating people, their love of music & dance, and perhaps most of all, their free-spirited approach to life.

Having always loved gypsy vardo caravans, I often dropped far less than subtle hints to my Dad that I would love to have a miniature version for my collection. He never did promise to make me one, but when I was celebrating Christmas with my family in 2009, I got a huge surprise . . . after we had opened what I THOUGHT was all of the gifts, my young nephew casually drove a newly received remote control car into the living room. At first, I didn’t pay much attention. All of a sudden, however, I realized the car was towing something – and that was a handcrafted miniature caravan! I was so excited I could barely breathe!

My Dad had spent countless hours making this little treasure for me, and he had included all of the details that make it truly authentic. While there are many styles of gypsy vardo caravans, this one is done in the classic “Brush Wagon” style. The first picture shows what it looked like, freshly built, with my Dad holding it. The second picture shows it after I did the finish work on it. There are several special features that I am particularly proud of . . . the little wheels were a real pain to make (according to my Dad) because he wanted authentic spokes, and nothing that was on the miniature market was correct. He did, therefore, have to craft those spokes one at a time. Also, the tiny windows open out so that Esme’ and her cats (the very lucky little residents) can get fresh air on warm, sunny days. The tiny working latch on the door was painstakingly milled by my Dad, and I know there was a considerable amount of time involved in that one part of the overall project. Finally, one entire side of the wagon lifts out of metal grooves so that I can open the wagon for viewing. It also greatly facilitates my ability to work inside, add things, and yes, . . . even “play” with it!

Last modified on: March 25th 2012.