Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ron Myhre's Vardo

Back over Thanksgiving I spent a weekend with my family at Port Townsend, center of wood boat building and vardos, among other things, here in the Northwest. This is where Jim Tolpin lives. After visiting the wooden boat center we went for a browse around the town and stumbled upon the eclectic Curator's Eye, a tiny store down in the basement of the Bishop Hotel. Here I met  Ron Myhre, a very warm and outgoing person. He had some beautiful ornate wood carving in progress that caught my eye which, he explained, was to eventually go over the doorway of the vardo that he was building. Wow! An energetic conversation quickly erupted culminating in an invitation to his workshop.

The next day he called, right on time, and we followed him over to his shop. When he opened the door there stood the truly most spectacular piece of craftsmanship I have ever come across. The attention to detail and the care of its execution will stay with me always. Every angle and corner, every piece of hardware, the stained glass, the  mollycroft roof with its ceiling mural, the copper and iron work, and the carvings, were done, either by him, or his artist friends, to the highest standard of craftsmanship. Many of the details and doo-dads were chosen to reflect his Nordic origins (dragons and the like).

We spent two hours at his shop discussing all things wagon, tools, sharpening, and even Primus stoves, of which I'm a huge fan. We finished the morning following him to the Blue Moose restaurant, a local favorite down on the wharf.

Ron Myhre

Putting a blog of the construction and details together is on Ron's to-do list. I felt reluctant to take too many pictures (don't want to steal any thunder here, that's for sure). What a great trip. Thanks Ron.


  1. Did Mr. Myhre ever put details of his vardo build on the internet? Yours is a beauty, but I have my heart set on a mollycroft.

  2. Bill. Thanks for your comment. I haven't been in touch with Ron since I met him that one time. Sorry, I have no further information, but I have a feeling he's someone who takes his time. Good luck on your build!