My husband is one of those impossible to buy for people. You know the kind, not only do they have everything they want, but they’re also picky about what they need. This is especially true in his case with his art supplies and equipment.
After a fall art show, he vented a bit about how so many of the different metal easels we had tried over the years had failed in one respect or another. Usually they failed in small and annoying ways, but the one at this particular show had failed in a truly catastrophic fashion and had taken out several of his framed photographs in the process. I knew we had to start doing something differently; the art show scene hadn’t been as kind to us recently as previous years had been.
With the holiday season approaching, I wanted to find him the perfect present. I thought of picking him an easel, but didn’t want to pick up yet another bad piece of equipment. I kept running across easels that had bad reviews for the same problems he’d always been dealing with. Then I ran across the Klopfenstein CE100 Collegiate Steel Easel, which had great reviews and seemed like an excellent choice with a great price and awesome features. With a bit of a knot in my stomach, I ordered the easel.
When it arrived, I set it up in his studio. He’s disabled, and because the cold in the studio bothers him, I knew it would be safe for the moment (a heater was the other present that was studio-related, so that he could keep working into the colder months of the year comfortably). It seemed like a sturdy piece, constructed out of strong steel, and was welded instead of just riveted or bolted together. It had a huge range of tilt, a strong lever for adjusting the tilt, mast and canvas height, and I could see that it would hold a huge range of canvas sizes, too. I stuck a bow on it and folded it up, tucking it behind a cabinet just in case he peeked in after something before the holidays
When we got ready to exchange gifts, I was really nervous. I’d snuck out earlier to set up the easel. I wanted this to be a success, so that my husband, who worked out some of his frustrations over his disability through his art, could use his studio for more of the year with quality equipment. He was having a difficult day as I bundled him up and out to the studio. When we got there and through the door, he came to a dead stop. He saw the easel and walked up to it slowly, studying it. I was actually holding my breath, waiting for his reaction. He was thrilled!
Over the winter and into spring, he made many trips to the studio and had a fabulous time working on sketches and paintings. And the next art show? Not a single picture was lost!