Kathy Peace striping the wheels of the kiddy carousel
"I love the variety of vehicles I get
to work on," reports Kathy Peace "and I have
met so many nice and interesting people as I do my decorative
work. The many different types of vehicles that I work
on are fascinating. It's a joy to see how much better
they look when when I'm finished. Just a little accent
striping is sometimes all it takes to emphasize the beautiful
work done by those craftsmen who are restoring these classic
Kathy continues to learn her art and says that's it's
"...really exciting as I develop my own style of
lining elegant carriages
with a refined fine stripe and small scrollwork. I first
learned from Isaac Reiff in Mifflenburg, PA who paints
and stripes carriages. He also drives his buggy whenever
he needs to travel."
Earl Lloyd taught Kathy lots
about style, proportion and proper use of color. Earl
has his own carriage shop near Charlottesville, Va, and
he does beautiful upholstery work for carriage seats.
West is Heraldic Artist by Appointment to Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth. Kathy and Erik spent hours together in
his studio on her recent trip to England. It was hard
to tell who enjoyed it more: Erik, an artist of worldwide
renown, or the attentive Kathy with the rare opportunity
to learn from a master. Erik recently restored the Queen's
Irish State Coach, a truly awesome project that took several
"Ted Hughes is a good
businessman." says Kathy "He always gets his
work out as promised, and he is a really good woodworker.
Plus, he gets some neat vehicles that are fun to decorate.
Here, Kathy is driving PUMPKIN to a Kentucky Breaking
Cart, which she striped.
"The Bundoran collection is really special. Fred
uses the large, highly decorated, commercial
vehicles that are appropriate for his heavy horses
and they are really fun to decorate because they were
originally used as advertising pieces in the days before
slick magazines and television. They should have bright,
flashy striping and highly ornate lettering.
"The carousels are
an artist's dream. They don't come along every day. Each
little pony is different, and the carousel itself is highly
- maybe gaudily - decorated. It's fun to be just a little
over the top! We try for a theme, but the horse-drawn
kiddy carousel is really eclectic. It's combination of
fantasies with a castle, mountain scenes, a fairy reading
to a dog, angels, cherubs, and the wonderful hucksters'
faces around the base. It sounds weird, but there is a
continuity throughout the carriage.
"No one can look at either carousel without smiling!"
she adds. "For me, that's payment enough."
Recently, Kathy has done some beautiful heraldic work for
several Virginia families who wanted their Coats of Arms
properly displayed. She works with a tiny brush to get the
fine details just right, and the Arms are magnificent.
We know she would love to decorate your vehicles, too.
September 2007: Kathy Peace Bland died much too young in the Fall of 2007, finally leaving her loving husband and her stepchildren after their long and courageous battle with brest cancer. Her lovely decorative work on our carriages will always be a pleasant reminder of a wonderful person.