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Interview with Chris Effrem

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Born in 1924 in Athens, Greece, Chris Effrem came to the United States in the early 1950s. He was a millwork designer and wood carver in Minneapolis, completing over 100,000 carvings for churches. He worked at the University of Minnesota, Aaron Carlson Company, and several furniture and millwork companies before opening his own shop and school, teaching over 5000 students.

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1:09:28

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License Please contact American Swedish Institute staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

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L. HAMMERSTROM: This is Larry Hammerstrom of the world history project of the archives and library committee for the American Swiss Institute. Today is Thursday, July 21st, 1994, Thursday morning and I have with me Chris Efraim, a wood carver specialist and I'd like to say, Welcome Chris. We're in the Viking room here now. But first of all I'd like to get a little background about where you were born, when you were born.
C. EFFREM: I was born in Athens Greece back in the early 20s and Athens Greece. It was a beautiful scenic beautiful sky; add that sky at that time. But at the age of ten and a half -- my father actually was born in Athens, I mean he was also born also in a Greek parents. And he was working on the Acropolis at that time. And I was very excited about the carvings of -- all over from wood to marble to stone to architecture. Then at the age 10 and a half, I graduated from grade school. That year, they opened a new school was across the street from my grade school and was for the arts and crafts.
I was not much of a reader but I love to do things always with my hands. And as the result, I got in to the school as a first student and then I continue on for three years over there in that school. I graduated with honors. That was all day long. Every day, six days a week. Then after that, I started working during the day and the first year in the wood carving shop. And I was making design, for instance making the carve or for instance on and then I spent also another three years on an evening school which also learn everything about from the ceiling, the seed in the ground to produce trees. And all we have to do the finishing, the French finishes, polishes and so on although the furniture and anything interior in the house or exterior.
This is every important because the carvings can go anywhere, interior or exterior of wall of the houses or the buildings. Then we went to the species of wood. I work in my life 400 species of wood up to the time on. Always looked America because I only see the rich Americans over there and as I ignore the rich Americans coming to Greece and I said, “Well someday, I'll go in America. God Almighty. Open up and answer my prayer and I'll beat the America and I'll praise Him for it. And then, I'm here right now and doing the six [unintelligible - 00:03:06] impart, praising God for that answered prayer.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did you come by yourself over here, immigrate, what year was it did you came?
C. EFFREM: 1949, I left Greece and went around the world and then 19 -- then the following year, I arrived in America early 50s. I arrived in America. And --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Did your family come with you or --
C. EFFREM: No, I was all alone.
L. HAMMERSTROM: All alone.
C. EFFREM: I was all alone.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: Yes. But then I had the gift always my father used to say. When God gave you a gift, you use it, you to use it or lose it. And so right away, I found his shop in San Diego, California and I work in this shop who made this Church pews and Church carvings and that was the first year. And then I was asking God to give me a wife, so He sent me a wife from Minneapolis in Minnesota.
So she came down to San Diego and I said, “Oh, that was it, and she brought me back to Minneapolis. And then I was this -- what is Minneapolis. I said what is Minneapolis? Minneapolis is just half a Greek, half an Indian, Minnea-polis. And I said, all right and I was always getting along with the Indians, I said, what are those people are there. I've always seeing in a lot of streets. Well I can be a sweep grief too, I said.
So she got excited about that and there was not too long, it’s actually month and a half later we got married.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And what year was that?
C. EFFREM: 1951.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have children?
C. EFFREM: We have three sons, two daughter-in-laws and one granddaughter.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Are they in wood carving too?
C. EFFREM: One way or the other, yes they are.
L. HAMMERSTROM: All of them.
C. EFFREM: All of them, one way or the other.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay. We'll have a -- you have classes in what carving area.
C. EFFREM: [00:05:00] Well, I hope today, actually since I came here, I was working to those for different companies for the University of Michigan I worked and also I [unintelligible - 00:05:12]. And then I had two other companies, for instance companies in Millwork Companies that I worked for, sideways or direct, indirect. The iron [houses] who have worked in and a lot and as church work at that time and couple of companies in Iowa, Millwork companies. And then also gave me to work on the side.
So I'd opened up my shop and I worked full speed at that time. And until now, actually the 50s, early 50s until today, there had been 44 years, 43 years now. I have my own shop. And I've done all the 100,000 carvings for Churches for buildings, for one thing or another. I just got through a fire place meant after working them for year and a half.
All of the [unintelligible - 00:06:03] carvings is almost similar to what we have here in the city.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is there still a desire or demand for that kind of work?
C. EFFREM: The demand is very low. I mean to a town of the 2 million people at cities, doing at [unintelligible - 00:06:19] almost 2 million people. The demand is very low, very low. And, but we can be able to announce. They all have my school and I have people coming from all over the country here. I have more than 5,000 students came in from all over the world to come to the school, to my school. The wood carving school, as first called by late counsel.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You have that certain periods of time that you conduct these classes?
C. EFFREM: Yes, this school is usually now, I have -- I used to have it twice a year during this early summer and the fall, early fall. But this local school, that is for the local people once a week, there are certain week courses and three week courses and four week courses that are several types. Anybody is interested to ask the call, 927-7491 and right now, 927-7491 and that way, they all find out, you know, if you are interested to even find out about the school and everything else that this [unintelligible - 00:07:23].
L. HAMMERSTROM: But what do your classes cover, like the tools and the wood and different styles or things like that?
C. EFFREM: The school is exactly I teach what I have learned. You cannot give something you do not have. And I have it and I keep it and I share. And that's where I come after those gifts and I'm going to share that gift. Otherwise, I'll lose that gift. That's my dad used to say.
So as a result, I teach design. I teach wood, I teach molding, I teach the tools how they are made, why they are made that way and how to sharpen them. And also, I help the person those up to the finishing product.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Good. Well thank you. We're in the Viking room over the American-Swiss Institute here. It's been restored here some time ago.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This wood right by the fireplace here is the original one. The rest of them wood was destroyed long time ago I understand. What is this wood here that you're seeing here?
C. EFFREM: This oak, this is --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Wait a minute.
C. EFFREM: This wood is oak and its rift oak.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That is spelled R-I-F-T?
C. EFFREM: Yes and that means it's a cut from the tree itself in a certain ways so it can be able to produce this chrysalis. What this is called chrysalis and this produce by special method of cutting. Because if we have a really oak to show you exactly what is that meant, how is cut a tree and they can be able to explain more.
In many cases, this starts from a cortisone tree, that means you take a tree, you cut in fourth and you start from the edge going towards the center. And they're close to parallel to that will allow you on the side to see this chrysalis. Cortisone and rich saw is a rift saw cut of wood. It's almost about the same. White oak makes a little bit different and red oak and also the blood oak. Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This carving that’s in these figures. Are they part of the wood or they’ve been applied to it?
C. EFFREM: No, those are parts of the wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: They're part of the wood. Okay.
C. EFFREM: Yes, part of the wood and --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Part of it -- I see.
C. EFFREM: Yes. Very seldom we have done any work and especially to put on the applied what is applique or applied carving. [00:10:00] But then later on, this is, you can almost see that the only thing they have to do in order to find out there is original part of the same piece of the wood, then we have to put a nice one on one end and once it pops out, you know it’s applique or applied carving.
L. HAMMERSTROM: There’s no paneling that was created the same way as this old? Any?
C. EFFREM: Well this is what -- yeah, that's what I see.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So we examine this design patterns and they have been applied. They're not part of the original wood. Okay. You know anything about these figures at all, what they are represented?
C. EFFREM: Those are the griffins.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This is the griffin. Looks like a snake.
C. EFFREM: Yes the snake. Griffin is like a snake with an animal like a fish head or man's head. All kinds of you see in this --
L. HAMMERSTROM: You have a lot side. I think as the griffins as a combination of an eagle and a lion.
C. EFFREM: Correct.
L. HAMMERSTROM: But it’s more of like a dolphin right?
C. EFFREM: Dolphins, yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Dolphin, okay.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: A lot of these symbols are from the old Greeks aren't they?
C. EFFREM: Yes, that's one of the, when north [unintelligible - 00:11:16] you know, from the old Vikings as they came to Greece in Mediterranean. It went with them up North and they went to the Vatican land and Sweden and Norway and then they spread the carving. They got their wives down there and they also had a good carves of wood them too.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay. What is this wood in the floor here?
C. EFFREM: This is old oak.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This is old oak, I see.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: German cut oak.
C. EFFREM: Okay.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes. This, we're on the lower level here at the stairway going up to the first floor. Is this the same African mahogany here as up in the steps upstairs?
C. EFFREM: This, yes it is the same wood. You know, the only thing here is that this part, parts of it have been carve separately and then put together. Constructive is correct and the great ways is correct. Because actually if you do want to the make another one piece, the wood or strength in such a terrible way will be falling apart. So constructive here is a much better to be put this way because even this way is strange.
It brings a long [unintelligible - 00:12:33] grain, shrinks along with the grain. And as it shrinks along with the grain, then it can be able to stay pretty, even though they had it pretty dry. I mean they even -- the early 1900s as it was. They were the kilns available to be kill and dry the wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How did they make these spindles or what do you call those --
C. EFFREM: Balustrade, yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Balustrade, yeah.
C. EFFREM: Those are stairway of balustrades. This is the question about and those are -- at first you start from a square piece of wood and then you have the grooves in carved and then the grooves the vertical grooves we're talking about on the square piece. And there is much easier to do that way, to be put on the bench. And then put on the lathe and turn them individually and then fit them into each of this stair cases it goes up.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well I'm asking here, we have by the stairway going to down stair on they call them some ugly faces. They call them saddlers, I believe. Is that all one carving there, one piece of wood?
C. EFFREM: Yes. It is saddler’s satyrs. That’s it they called.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Satyr? Okay, satyr okay.
C. EFFREM: The guy is used to make funny faces or we call the clowns in Ancient Greece. And as a result, they put them in different places to make a person last or resemble somebody. And all carvers I heard in many stories and even I myself, I will go ahead and make and then make in funny faces out of them and put it as a carving over there so people will remember it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s almost quite heavy here because no one ever sees it here on this place right here.
C. EFFREM: Correct. In this case it’s about livelihood and appropriate and those people will be able to see that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I call attention to it too and I’m taking people too. Well we were in grand hall here and we have a magnificent example of African mahogany they say. African mahogany, is that from Africa? Is that it?
C. EFFREM: Yes. African mahogany is, it comes from Africa and then some seeds came into woods [unintelligible - 00:15:00] people when they brought this later back 200 years ago in this part of the world. [00:15:00] They brought it all over parts of the United States. And there are some grown in the lower parts of Florida in the keys over there.
But usually, they do not allow for commercial uses or is not sold or anything it was cut for that purpose. But it does for most of the steel brought from Africa.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Or there's -- where about in Africa do you think it come from?
C. EFFREM: Central Africa.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Central Africa, okay.
C. EFFREM: Yes, yes. That's where mostly. Of course in the Central or Central West Africa. I know [unintelligible - 00:15:38] and know he had a few fun days and times together in carving and --
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know him personally?
C. EFFREM: Yes, I did. Oh yes, yes. Many times so we had a good jobs in together and fun together.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that when you were working for there in Carlson Company?
C. EFFREM: Well, yes. I did part of it. He did the parts of it and so, just to get the jobs out to complete it because he is working also has a little as he could but he wanted. And then the rough work, I was doing it for other jobs and you know, a little rough work and he was doing that day. He find the work and you deal because that's what it is spending time on.
L. HAMMERSTROM: They say that the man who design and carve this was a man, Alvin [unintelligible - 00:16:20] from Czechoslovakia.
C. EFFREM: Yes. I met Alvin in 1951. He is living at the time yet. And he is living South Minneapolis. I was on 24th in Garfield at that time. That's where I had my shop.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, I thought he -- he went to Chicago, became an instructor and head of art institute down there and also on the arts and museums in Winter Park Florida where his work is widow as it down there.
C. EFFREM: Yeah, I heard that but I just met him because he heard about me. He came to see me and then he left. I mean like you saw, I didn't know exactly he says, he used to live in South Minneapolis so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Do you have any idea what have they talked about this carving?
C. EFFREM: No. I’m not kidding not do. He used to set into what we were doing and then what I was doing and so and then nothing more. I can't remember it beyond that. But this is a --
L. HAMMERSTROM: We have tube --
C. EFFREM: The detail.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Large figures here. I would like to know how they put this to -- I see there's different kinds of wood here.
C. EFFREM: Yeah, the different or --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Different colors rather.
C. EFFREM: Right. That known different colors but also there are some parts here that are lose. They are lose for their simple reason and because of the moisture in the room and then new conditions on any area that they are. Like today, we have a high committee or a hundred.
So, what actually we'll expand, the wood will expand and all fill the cracks and everything. But in the middle of a winter, about one of the January, February, you see those cracks open and then parts of it move, lose and is -- they are moving.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I understand it is not connected to the mantle here.
C. EFFREM: Correct.
L. HAMMERSTROM: There is a [unintelligible - 00:18:03].
C. EFFREM: That's the idea of it because this will move in an entirely different position at the other part.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The upper part. How do they put this together the woods that way?
C. EFFREM: They glue the pieces together.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What kind of a glue? That's so good, that holds like that.
C. EFFREM: Well, it’s -- actually they use a [unintelligible - 00:18:25] glue. It's a glue starts from a powder and you mix it your own shop and then you clamp into it. And you stay and let it keep them clamp. And then if it doesn't get into water at all, in a heavy moist way, it would never come apart. As you can -- the only thing, the only time you see those things because you see, we carve it -- for instance we always [unintelligible - 00:18:51] statue like this. I will rough it out after I glue it and then carve it out, carve it and leave it for a while. It stay as it is in order to see the movement of that wood, how well it move. And of course, there's a grain goes the same way as the tree itself, you see. Then the wood will move all together.
You cannot corporate across grain. I guess in clean wood. Difference with grain, across the grain and against the grain they are entirely three different ways. It’s just like you’re going their own way and one ways. You’re going with the one ways or you go in upwards on one which you see makes no sense at all.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this wood difficult to carve?
C. EFFREM: No mark, that is one of the nicest wood because it has enough oil in it to glide and hold the carvings to the details. And those are important parts on for a wood carve.
L. HAMMERSTROM: How do they get it to be such a smooth glistening surface?
C. EFFREM: I'd say it’s a thousands of hours detail past tracking sanding, the hand sanding job. I used to remember, my thing is still ache. [00:20:00] My thumb on the edge is still numb from rubbing and rubbing the sand paper in the very little tiny corners in many areas to see you cannot go by missing whatsoever.
See even adult have today, missions like that, still they cannot be able to produce, still has to go by hand and every detail as to what you're -- would do the work halfway. And you don't want to do that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What do you think these two figure represent? We heard any different, like barbarians and Vikings and --
C. EFFREM: Well.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Someone told me this one here with the wolf skin is a symbol of evil and the lamb skin over there would be a symbol of…
C. EFFREM: Good.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Good. Yeah.
C. EFFREM: Yes. This is a correct way as this is -- they took the history of what they have done in the past and of course, here's a killing the lamb and being the lamb of God and then that's where the lamb and the ram is here to presents and over years. And the evil was thriving his strive and everything else it could. And then there are those two things in life in the Ancient Greece, you say are the accommodating trusted you. The two faces, I mean on faces of people. And as a result you, in this life we have both of the hands.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This mantle is interesting too. What can you say about that? One piece?
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It is.
C. EFFREM: Yes, yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That's remarkable.
C. EFFREM: You see that it takes the logs to carve a piece like this, and maybe it took him two for years to get ordered that piece of wood, and after they get it just to complete and rough it out and then completely waiting to dry as they started the details carving and all their detail work is involved. And you can go on to corners and see and you can go in the circles and every joint to see it. And this is continuation of the same pattern and their pattern continues on all alone away from one into the other.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The eagle is carved in it too, then.
C. EFFREM: Yes. The eagle you have to carve on the top. I had a carving once it was done and there was, four inches deep and then four inches deep back and there were four different people and four different sections of people. And then back of the people were carve on not only the front but their back also. So we put a mirror on it to see how my detail of carvings of where on the back pieces of the eagle here. You can actually, you know, you're not allowed to do that but you -- as you hide your ways to see it and that's way you see.
I mean in this case it’s not carved anywhere, so.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Any idea why he faces left?
C. EFFREM: Yeah, that's the peace eagle, peace, peace. The other side is the war.
L. HAMMERSTROM: No, that's the other way. Left the sinister, right is [Dexter 00:23:01]. Yeah, I understand. I don't know why he did it that way. This applique of right here by their fireplace, is that applied to it or is that -- that didn't apply to --
C. EFFREM: Well and what to where, and that in this many cases, we either carve all the same piece and then in this case, the action is a panel behind us. And it’s put the whole carving is on the solid piece.
L. HAMMERSTROM: One solid piece.
C. EFFREM: One solid piece because you have to design it. That's how we would do it. We would design it on a piece of wood and we have to carve it all the way around. And if this was separate to be applied on, has to be cut. And the detail of the cutting alone would take so along might as well carve it right from the beginning. And go all the way down to the back on what you have done.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know anything about these other figures starting at the top? There's a big head there. It looks like he has a sort of a crown on it.
C. EFFREM: I have not study that. It’s very --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well, this is the hardest that I saw.
C. EFFREM: Yes. I have studied, I have not studied that head but most of them, it shows authority on the whole area.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
C. EFFREM: The whole atrium of the --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Second figure and it looks like a Viking.
C. EFFREM: Yes, that's Viking definitely.
L. HAMMERSTROM: We have something Swedish here, or --
C. EFFREM: Of course.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Or it's Canadian.
C. EFFREM: Then we have also the bouquet of flowers in the floor design and the vase. Which is again is significant to the old Grecian, its hospitality. You open up your fruits. You open up your baskets to the people who come in and of course as you are invited to this wonderful place to enjoy also. Then we have the Korean columns.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: That was the crowns out of the Korean columns and then both cases, the opera for columns are separate of course and then I turn in the late. [00:25:00] Then the carbon on top of it is hand carved.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I looked at it a few minutes ago and there's a crack, a very straight crack running all the way down.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: In both columns.
C. EFFREM: Yeah, can we feel that on in a way. But in the sub cases differently here is they have some columns as a solid piece. Others are glued up pieces.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I found one.
C. EFFREM: And they glue it and then they came apart because of the dryness of the room. And then of course we have done below this through the square columns which again have a Corinthian crown which is effective on very many a ways.
L. HAMMERSTROM: That's the most elaborate of the column tops that they are either rhetoric and ionic.
C. EFFREM: Others see.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And the Corinthian.
C. EFFREM: Correct, the Corinthian is the most --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Most elaborate.
C. EFFREM: Most elaborate.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
C. EFFREM: Actually there are acanthus leaves actually grows out in Greece back there last year. And we went through the Corinthian, South Corinthian, to Olympia where the Olympics player are bigger all in their country and all over the world, of course. And I saw the acanthus growing all over the places. And having bind me, you know, as I with the side to reminded me of the area and then the design that have the ancient Corinthians in designers at the time put out.
L. HAMMERSTROM: These two figures around the clock now. Are they all one piece of wood, do you think?
C. EFFREM: I would say no. But I have not touched them but I know it does pay to take a four foot or five foot three to cut the figures out are the one to make them. So there are individual's statues.
L. HAMMERSTROM: They are.
C. EFFREM: The left and right statue and individuals. And the clock upper part of the arc and the clock itself that Reese is made of one piece or two pieces, mostly two pieces. And then the two dolphins down below are separate again.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And it looks like there is a different color of wood that had been glued together.
C. EFFREM: Well it could be. yes, either glue the piece or one solid piece still even today I have one board which is three foot wide, two and half inches thick, 20 feet long, one board. That are then being glued. So the tree still is useless. Big trees are in existence.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This panel seems to be match here.
C. EFFREM: Yeah, how the matching of the panels -- this is called a mirror image. That means you take a board, you know, a tree or anything of that sort and you kind of match in the middle. Once you have returned in the middle you open it up like a book. It's called book match also.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
C. EFFREM: And you open up the book and there you see on both sides the [unintelligible] [00:28:06] are the same. But the uppers do it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: One side is darker than the other side.
C. EFFREM: Yes, it is lighter, yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that because of the finish or the grain --
C. EFFREM: The grain, yes. So as it goes in the grain and the things is on receives like the finish here in a different way.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah, I was going to ask you also I noticed some of this decorative work around there. Some white showing there. Different places had been chipped and that does not look like its wood.
C. EFFREM: Well that is all the moldings all around. That molding --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: I have not checked it closely. But I know that's wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You think it is?
C. EFFREM: Yes, that's a -- the ironic thing about this --
L. HAMMERSTROM: It isn't a plank of – sort of plaster?
C. EFFREM: Plaster of Paris?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
C. EFFREM: Or the compel and maybe the idea --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Because you got several here.
C. EFFREM: Yeah. Yeah, that could be chipped off too. The thing is this and we have to remember when you make a carving in many cases you open a dark stains in it. You can be able to cover, you know, to make it as smooth as smooth as you want to be equipped. What you do you spray Gesso and if you spray Gesso and Gesso is white. And if you spray white Gesso on it then if the finish is chipped off then you see the white so unless I go a little bit further in to find out if this is an outside of the scar or inside is --
L. HAMMERSTROM: We an awful lot --
C. EFFREM: we do not know unless is out.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Gesso, what? G-E-S-S-O.
C. EFFREM: Oh, yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What is that?
C. EFFREM: Gesso is a powder form which you can mix with water and spray and it dries so much immediately. It's just like a Plaster of Paris but it’s not --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Sprayed unto to the wood?
C. EFFREM: Into the wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
C. EFFREM: That's what I've done. And most of the piece where our gold leaf or easy to carve and to finish carvings in an unnatural form on the means to painted called yielded or anything of that sort.
L. HAMMERSTROM: [00:30:00] We're in the drawing room here now. We have this very large mirror on the west wall. And it’s -- what is it composed of this frame?
C. EFFREM: Well this is what is called Compel. And it has first a wooden frame. And on top of that wooden frame they rolled the Compel. And as the Compel is rolled on then they put a Gesso. And on top of the Gesso put a gold leaf. And the steel frame, the metal frame is steel. And the upper part and we see this metal frame and on top of the metal frame on that cases is they put the Compel. And that Compel dries to solve piece. And they put Gesso on for a smooth finish. And then they put the gold leaf on.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What was the Compel? What is that?
C. EFFREM: The Compel is a mixture of different chemicals like we have plastic wood today or body potty that several items you really call it today differently. But it’s still it's the same thing. It’s not the plaster because plaster has not the strength even the plaster that we had on the walls were all over the room here is there a coco designs and everything and you now only here and Europe also. They used hair -- hair inside in order to hold the plaster together.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I'm wondering how they -- how are these designs were applied and --
C. EFFREM: They are applied with original ceiling in the wall or wall? What -- when they did put it on? Yes, I see.
L. HAMMERSTROM: They put it on -- they wet the wood and then they apply the plaster on and these -- this just do.
C. EFFREM: We're these original molds in wood?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes. Those are all --
C. EFFREM: Have you done that type of work?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Today -- yes I had to do it.
C. EFFREM: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Because as a mold maker still I'm doing mold today.
C. EFFREM: I see.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And when we making molds for a plastic companies all over the world -- all over the country. And they saw as a result to reproduce this and then reproduce them in different forms and different plastic type.
C. EFFREM: Well I'm amazed how it stays on here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, unless you have earthquake you don't actually cracks it all. But again you can imagine those things and we have to be careful not to have a chipped off and then it can be repaired.
C. EFFREM: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What about the floors here? What is this wood here?
C. EFFREM: Its maple.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Maple, okay. Different floors, different wood, I understand, yeah.
C. EFFREM: Well the floor in the wood I have learned in my lab and then knowing the knowledge of wood is completely in the past 60 years has given me the assurance of a narrower the piece of wood you put together and then put it one next to the other with no movement at all to go out then they wouldn't go in. And it'll tight forever. And so this is a perfect job for a flooring.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: And of course maple covered in maple and all the other maples we have there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: We're in the dining room here. And I understand that this is oak primarily.
C. EFFREM: Yes, its oak and again its drift oak or cross cut saw, cortisone and oak and the star from the ceiling we see the different pieces are put together in a different -- two different pieces of wood. And then also we see that in the wall. And we see the distinguish difference between Satin wood and oak. The Satin wood is a lightest piece of wood. But this is hard. And tars are nice but still provides the -- hundreds of years of beautiful and movement of the wood. This is a more stable wood. The oak is but still being local where you cut and how you cut it and how do you move it. It makes the difference and so on the carving satin wood is much better wood for carving.
L. HAMMERSTROM: What -- you mean satin?
C. EFFREM: Satin. Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: S-A-T-I-N.
C. EFFREM: S-A-T-I-N.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So it’s a type of wood?
C. EFFREM: Yes, it's a type of wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I was thinking it was some kind of like Philippine mahogany or something --
C. EFFREM: No, no, no. This satin
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.
C. EFFREM: And so if you see the ceiling that bequest the angel holds at the floor designs, develop and then the size. [00:35:00] The pears and the apples and oranges and the grapes coming in together in such a beautiful way as we see those pre dry pieces of wood but especially on this end on the north end. On the south end I think there is some crack.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes, there is.
C. EFFREM: That's just some cracks.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Right.
C. EFFREM: So that means it was closer to the warmer or dryer portion of the room. And then closer to the fireplace the wind blows over there. That's where it cracked. We see that very distinctive on the center pieces.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: You noticed the difference. That as you noticed the difference then you can be able to appreciate the pieces that are not cracked.
L. HAMMERSTROM: We now understand that Ulrich Steiner was instrumental in this work.
C. EFFREM: Yes, he was. In fact, he was also the gift. I’ve been in the school that he was -- he was one of the first -- I found his name on the first group in Switzerland on the school that he went to.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: In [unintelligible - 00:36:10].
L. HAMMERSTROM: There are different types of schools of carving?
C. EFFREM: Yes. But practically --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Greek school is a little different than Swiss and German?
C. EFFREM: Not very much actually because but the school that I went to my teacher was in Munich, in the School of Architecture and Design in Munich. And then, of course, he spent four years in the whole area which is actually 100 miles from Bavaria and then we would travel in here and there to see the old architecture and the carvings and the details of carvings. And that's where it was very significant for me to be involved in such a way.
L. HAMMERSTROM: These Della Robbia Wreaths here --
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Of fruits and nuts and is that one piece do you think?
C. EFFREM: As the rule we make these pieces out of a -- this surface make as thin as possible in order not to move separate and being separate. And so as a result is look in the grain now and then a round piece or an octagonal piece we'll make it octagonal so it can be able to fit the pieces. Now and we have tried -- I never have tried to find the joints. But usually sometimes the joints that we put in an angle form so that the person will not be able to face it. You see if you put this piece here I guess this joint on the wreath and then you carve it underneath it and whenever you will the find the joint. Do you see?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: And that is you can cut it in an angle in a 60 degree angle. So if you look at straight away from the top and then you always you see all around the grain moves all around. How come it moves all around? Because you cannot find the joint and the grain called the pieces of wood, right? The pieces are going all around. The ribbon cannot bend the wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This ribbon type is really --
C. EFFREM: Yeah, this is a ribbon that was carved after. It wasn't applied on.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see. And these are called Cariátides -- tids?
C. EFFREM: Yes, Cariátides.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Cariátides. I got the right pronunciations?
C. EFFREM: yes, yes, again you see that --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Cariátides.
C. EFFREM: Again you see that satin wood and the oak. You see the satin wood. The face is satin wood and the design on top of her face and the rest of it is oak. Now also we see satin pieces applied -- applique on the upper freeze. This is again that gives you the differentiation of coloration between the oak and the satin wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see that this is also there too then.
C. EFFREM: It’s all over the room are the pieces, the sections. Those are -- you have satin wood and oak, the white oak.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And the floors?
C. EFFREM: The floors of course are oak in this case because that will be more appropriate. This is what I call the oak room. And the buffet also is you see it in this.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Just wonderful, gorgeous marine side bar near.
C. EFFREM: Yes. It is also wonderful made and there were lots of detail work. If you see the -- the Griffins and their faces, you know, in the corners --
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah, I think they are on the dolphins.
C. EFFREM: Dolphins, also and they change from one to the other and then that's how you --
L. HAMMERSTROM: None are the same, huh?
C. EFFREM: That's right. Well not exactly the same because same carver carves it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: He likes to stay as close as possible to them. But he likes to also to get that freedom as they carved any churches and the architect design one thing and then I show him in the sample. He says go ahead. [00:40:00] you know how to do it better than I do. Go ahead and do it. So the same thing in this case the carver had the freedom do it. And that's the time you are enjoy the different type of wood when you see the details. That takes hours and hours of time and of course even the knowledge.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this -- this is the oak then there is satin --
C. EFFREM: This is satin.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The number of target dolphins
C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:40:30] parts --
L. HAMMERSTROM: The dolphins.
C. EFFREM: Yes, and the column and the mold. This molding is lighter than this -- this is oak and this is the mold. And this again is -- see oak and satin, right? They are between them.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well I --
C. EFFREM: So they put a grooves there and they put the satins.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I never noticed that.
C. EFFREM: That's quite a work. It was designed drawers. And they can be able to revised that and [unintelligible - 00:40:58] that. Those are not ducktails on it which actually was not very important part, the utilitarian shelves or drawers. But the front part they glue together in order to and then to blend the ply a little bit near on into the surface.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay. Yes. We do have cracks up by the chandelier there, yes. And you say that's because of the --
C. EFFREM: The humidity, low humidity in the early days got the cracks.
L. HAMMERSTROM: But that north side did not --
C. EFFREM: and this side had been right in the fireplace and the fireplace was used on those days then it came riding on, heat up the room and dry the wood. And of course, you know, this was a plywood it would never have been dry. But would have stay as south piece. And, you know, because you wouldn't carve a plywood. That's it. That's the multiplier.
L. HAMMERSTROM: About these chairs or something.
C. EFFREM: The dining room set that's -- I love to live with it because actually is a piece of work that I will see I haven't been in a castles in Europe all over from England to Denmark to Norway to Sweden to Germany to Austria to Greece to Italy to Rome, Paris, all them greatest museums in the world I have been through it. And I would say very few dining room sets are like this caliber or this museum. In this country I have been lost in many museums. The Baltimore -- build more in Carolinas and the three or four houses in Dutch house in Michigan and California and so on. But I have not seen the detail carving in the caliber of work that is done in this dining room set. So it is -- it is important then to see closely. Get a magnifying glass and appreciate the fine detail work.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The table is --
C. EFFREM: The table is oak.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And I -- there is a -- you can pull out on this end.
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And it’s rectangular. Have you noticed that?
C. EFFREM: No.
L. HAMMERSTROM: In the other end its semi-circular.
C. EFFREM: Is that right?
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
C. EFFREM: I never had a chance to of course to go because I usually when I go with a capture and see this and I see explain to the wood carvers, that’s my students as a part what they see. They cannot see the inside.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah.
C. EFFREM: Then of course this is a special privilege for me to go on and look on the inside.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well we can look underneath it.
C. EFFREM: Sure.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Interesting cabinet here right be their reception desk. I assume it looks like it might have been a wine cabinet. We have these three figures --
C. EFFREM: Three figures.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Of grapes and hops and Barley.
C. EFFREM: And the girls always provided that very nicely and that's what where we usually carve girls faces and those who are here are men. That's why you see their moustache on the lower part but the men on side next to the drawer. And of course in some cases drawers are made one single drawer. In other cases they are made three drawers. The whole thing is one drawer or single drawers. And then it was shown the -- the three drawers actually you were showing us as one.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
C. EFFREM: Or one as three and then we see the ducktails at this side of the drawers. [00:45:00] In cases like this always carve out of one piece, the front and the carving and the details on it and it was then of course they put the sides on together constructively is correct. In the keys also we see the escutcheon. Escutcheons, you know, over there. Escutcheon are those where you put the key around it. You put in on the center. You put the key.
And this is called the Escutcheon. And see this Escutcheon also due to small ribbon is carved here and a covering of the hole and the Escutcheon. And then of course some people try to fake it till they make it and then that's why in this case broken. The beautiful part of this is when you are appreciated is the upper part and where the birds are, the birds and the flowers. Now you see that's the part of this 16th of an inch on the wall. Now this carver wants a piece of wood. And there, you know, that is it takes more time again to take the piece of wood and cut it and glue it and re-carved it again which in many case when you –

C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:00:02] continue on to the upper face is the face of it on the upper part I’m talking about the details the thick pieces of course that may miss that’s where we started from the height or the thickness of the wood was the height or the highest point and then the rest of his carve behind. The first thing we do is just rough it out the background to that bottom part. And then start roughing around the floors to the level that they may go to and then we finish the background. It’s a great carve, it’s a great finish.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yeah I get that it looks like the original piece that way.
C. EFFREM: Well yes but still original piece is [unintelligible - 00:00:45] but if you see on this side of the light, you can be able to see here is higher here is lower all along the way.
L. HAMMERSTROM: This is a secret compartment.
C. EFFREM: Yes I do know.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You know that [unintelligible - 00:00:58] back there.
C. EFFREM: Okay, we made many pieces like that matter of fact I made mirrors. Mirrors with eagles when we left out the eagle and then you have the secret compartments.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well let’s go to the music room another gorgeous room and this they say is Honduran mahogany, is that from Central America?
C. EFFREM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Honduran mahogany?
C. EFFREM: Honduran mahogany.
C. EFFREM: Are there – in the upper part golden roses that’s where most of the work has been on this case and as you see the – again the [unintelligible - 00:01:41] are looking at each other having candle and roses all over the room.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that the same word do you think?
C. EFFREM: Oh yes, yes. The [unintelligible - 00:01:52] on the grain because closer to the outside or closer to the back which is called semi-sap in different pieces of wood with the sap goes all the way to the edge and then has quite a variation. The smaller the tree the more sap on the wood, the larger the tree the less sap. Many cases because of where the tree goes can be lighter or darker.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Mr. Ulrich Steiner carve these chairs there are supposed to be fifty two here. Was there a certain pattern he used? Are they all different or?
C. EFFREM: They’re all different because again you give the carver liberty to do the work, it’s just like you go to a doctor you trust him to do the best work he knows how and has done it before and as a result you get the best result, in this case the same. If you tie my hands as a wood carver I won’t be able to pull wide to do the best work that I didn’t know how and I’ll be trained and I have experience of.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this what -- how’s this as far as difficulty in?
C. EFFREM: This is a little bit easier than African.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that right?
C. EFFREM: Yes. It’s a little lighter in color and a little bit lighter in weight and so that means it’s not as heavy and is not as hard…
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s imported, it was imported.
C. EFFREM: Yes of course from Central America…
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this they all going out today do you think?
C. EFFREM: Yes it is.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh it is? How about African mahogany?
C. EFFREM: African also but you see again the harder they get because certain countries to countries being split and now completely controlled by one company like one country like England or France that you can be able to go through it and purchase it, today you have to go to chiefs of the small countries and to go and to find…
L. HAMMERSTROM : Do we grow mahogany in United States…?
C. EFFREM: Yes we do.
C. EFFREM: In a -- and that is a part of the commercial uses but again South Florida has mahogany.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Before here, what is this wood? Very beautiful.
C. EFFREM: This Yellow Birch.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes this is Yellow Birch?
C. EFFREM: Yellow Birch.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see okay.
C. EFFREM: And yellow birch is almost as hard as maple but is not as hard but is more movable and that’s why you see the spaces between the birch and the floor [unintelligible - 00:04:23] just as beautiful wood colorings.
C. EFFREM: I know between the designer and the wood carvers I know many cases I’ve been in England many cases have had these foyers, foyer. I mean columns on the outside columns on the inside and there’s this high foyers in this case is not too bad the foyer is less than 12 feet high. When you see at this side all the detail carving you’ll not see anything in at all because that lighting is so high and I’ve seen some foyers they’re 20 feet [00:05:00] high in this 20 feet detail carving that may take five carves, a whole year to curve and they’re hidden up there.
L. HAMMERSTROM: You call this area…?
C. EFFREM: Foyer, from one room to another space between.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And this is a foyer also, here we have the same thing in here so [unintelligible - 00:05:25].
C. EFFREM: Over there? That allowed for the spotlights here [unintelligible - 00:05:29] also this side come and look at it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that what you are referring too?
C. EFFREM: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is that what you would call those recesses up there on the sides?
C. EFFREM: Correct.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh yeah so I see the ceiling is much lower.
C. EFFREM: Not only that if you look from this side over here you also see the details of the others.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Nobody can see this.
C. EFFREM: Nobody can see there so and that’s is there something?
L. HAMMERSTROM: And the other side is all the same.
C. EFFREM: Yeah they call it foyer.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: F-O-Y-E-R I would…
C. EFFREM: Correct. So with all this beautiful work and they heed that.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Nobody sees it.
C. EFFREM: Yes they did not spare any time, I mean time was no essence they wanted the most beautiful room they can be able to do and the most beautiful way to do it all the veneers are matching beautifully and you see the book match again on the lower parts and of course they stay in a little bit on warmer side but that is okay. You can put – they done a good job by finishing the whole area some years ago [unintelligible - 00:06:43].
L. HAMMERSTROM: This is quite a mirror here too.
C. EFFREM: Yes the fire place…
L. HAMMERSTROM: That old chimney piece in England it is called the chimney piece.
C. EFFREM: chimney piece.
C. EFFREM: It means that area that is covered and we usually worked the fire place the fire place cause what wood and brings the heat into the building. Those individual pieces are made in such a way that could be able to hold again as you have here have veneer on top.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Top of the fire place mantle [unintelligible - 00:07:23].
C. EFFREM: The mantle because the general public will not be able to come to the corner though you see that corner there is 45 degrees in the top and another piece aboard is placed inside. That way there’s a crack because of this style wants to shrink this way and that became a part of the [unintelligible - 00:07:45] going one way street and against the grain and across the grain and with the grain, with the grain is this way but again is against the grain here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:08:05] here at this [unintelligible - 00:08:08] we hear his from Sweden about 1600’s.
C. EFFREM: Yes [unintelligible - 00:08:15] made all by him because that’s all they had tools at that time to do and of course the wood…
L. HAMMERSTROM: What is this wood?
C. EFFREM: Looks like woman to me I can be butter nut of course that was damaged and covered.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh I see.
C. EFFREM: And this is close to olive wood the background of the panels are olive wood I work with olive wood and for many years, it’s olive wood and then you have combinations about this source of have rosewood Brazilian rosewood veneer. The surface which is very easy to get those days have done because they were so expensive at the time and today Brazilian Rosewood is $20 a pound, a pound as a weight is the same as [unintelligible - 00:09:12] a very hard species to get to this country in a few years we have to pay for it so and of course the price is nothing and if you want some you buy this is gold or silver.
L. HAMMERSTROM: So why [unintelligible - 00:09:26]?
C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:09:29] I will take the carvings out of the inside of the foyers, the right and the left, take him out and put him on a wall the space not where other people can see even on top of the columns or the design because you see had the spaces over here you can come and appreciate to see that little closer all the designs and the carvings under those [unintelligible - 00:09:57]. [00:10:00]
L. HAMMERSTROM: And you see this is all oak here in the stair.
C. EFFREM: The hallway and the back stairway.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The back stairway. This seems to be a little -- the texture feels different than what original here. Like this -- they did replace this elevator here years ago.
C. EFFREM: Well it’s the same to me, it’s a different oak.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s the same different oak?
C. EFFREM: Maybe not finished as good as the other side. And the finished material they put on it was not sprayed or maybe was brushed off.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: You the crack panels.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I was going to [unintelligible - 00:10:38] on the gallery side looking at this fireplace and this is a very straight crack in that column there. The other one has two there. Is this turned on the laze is it hollow inside?
C. EFFREM: Yeah, it’s hollow inside.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: And the column carve turn from here to there and then there is a bottom piece of base and then the column, they’re actually [unintelligible - 00:11:15] the three pieces and then they are put together [unintelligible - 00:11:25].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Some balusters here on the balcony.
C. EFFREM: Yeah there were a little different than this stairway one.
C. EFFREM: Those are balusters, each one has one week of a hand work of a master carver you know, to reproduce.
L. HAMMERSTROM: One week, one baluster.
C. EFFREM: For one baluster yes. Besides the [unintelligible - 00:11:49] usually the wood carver at those days didn’t do any wood turn. The turned piece comes to the wood carver and the carver curves only, and nothing else. Even today if it was produced, the only thing you can produce by machine again is that square piece of wood, turn that square piece and then from there on its all hand curved.
L. HAMMERSTROM: All these lines, these vertical…
C. EFFREM: These vertical lines you see over there, those can be produced on the lathe as it is in the lathe machine.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh it can, okay.
C. EFFREM: But the rest of it cannot.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: Today with the computer age and computer lathe you can be able to do that, but not the floors, the beads can but they would not be the same, this work in one piece 100 years old, actually two frames that they had a continuous molding and be able to put it on and make that a continuous molding by machine but not on the round piece albeit without beads.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Those are the beads?
C. EFFREM: Yeah.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And the library here first of all is this flooring wood? This wood in this floor is…
C. EFFREM: Yeah this is a yellow birch the flooring is yellow birch and this again is the same way as the downstairs we saw on the reception room and the only thing was [unintelligible - 00:13:46] but that’s why you see a little bit more yellowish, which is fine, it’s a wonderful piece of wood [unintelligible - 00:13:52] and the walls are and the wall up here.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this…
C. EFFREM: It’s an American walnut.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Where is that grown?
C. EFFREM: Grown in Minnesota.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Minnesota.
C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:14:02] in Iowa, Wisconsin.
L. HAMMERSTROM: And is it always finished with this color?
C. EFFREM: No, this…
L. HAMMERSTROM: This looks a lot of color.
C. EFFREM: Yes, this is actually they are stained to be lighter than they are supposed to be just give you a little life into the library, usually libraries are so dark you can’t see anything out of it, but in this case they thought it would be nicer to give a little bit extra life into the library to keep this color. Now this color is produced by bleaching the wood itself and then stain back into the color you want. So apparently that’s what they have done.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It’s very strange having windows up here above the book case I assume it must be the -- help light the stairway that’s behind it there, it looks like it’s incomplete.
C. EFFREM: Well yes, they thought first to make it panels in order to close this area and cover this area but then they thought well, it would be nice to have that light coming in shared from both sides. The windows.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The windows?
C. EFFREM: Yes, certainly you don’t see any windows carved or molded the same way as this and of course the point is the Gothic design, the designer put that as a part of the windows and because always windows bring light and the light brings life and the life continues on in us, the same way as a person says, well here I am looking towards the heavens to the point of the Gothic where the second one part is the shield which is this shield, this is the protection from any enemies and then of course you see almost as a decorative bird holding the floral wreaths on both sides of the floor deigns and the these flowers.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I never noticed that. I am learning a lot today Oh, this window has the same isn’t?
C. EFFREM: Yes, all the windows are the same and the doorways they are also the same.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Gothic cover. I was going to ask you on this Chris there is some letters on the column here “LA” I have been trying to figure out what they could represent. It’s something Latin or foreign language of some kind. Have you ever come across it at all?
C. EFFREM: No I have not though as I was in Denmark and Norway I see Ludwig the Fourth on many, on hundreds, on hundreds actually hundreds of carvings in the churches even, I saw Ludwig’s name the Fourth and it was you know so this could be also a person that they want the carver has no choice in that case, either has to put his name and in this case all of them you see they have LA on it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I thought it was something to do with the library here.
C. EFFREM: Yeah it could be the library yes, library and then of course it’s on the book it’s carved right on the open book. Now it’s got nothing to do with the Bible itself as far as I can see there, so it’s a book is again is Biblio in Greek, which is Biblio and Biblio is that it starts with the second letter Greek alphabet Beta and then goes B-I-B-L-I-O, Biblio or Biblio or Bible that’s where the word Bible comes from but nevertheless in this case we have this open book and then…
L. HAMMERSTROM: There is something L-I-B-R-I-O or something like that, Librio.
C. EFFREM: Librio, Librio is part of life you know you live with life and leave it [unintelligible - 00:18:19] the same thing but now here we see [unintelligible - 00:18:33] and I see a curvature.
L. HAMMERSTROM: The curve, yes.
C. EFFREM: The curvature…
L. HAMMERSTROM: [Unintelligible - 00:18:39].
C. EFFREM: Yes, there are [unintelligible - 00:18:40].
L. HAMMERSTROM: The occult here.
C. EFFREM: They follow the occult and this is where the beautiful part of it is you design something and you make it, and you make it taller in the curvature.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Oh that is something.
C. EFFREM: They could have made it straight, it would have been hundreds of hours of work less than they already have spent, so making a curve because they spend the time in order to do excellent work and not to cut anything off of it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: We have a couple of [unintelligible - 00:19:15] that are from the [unintelligible - 00:19:17] family. This has the dolphins on it, has the initials SJT 1895 and show kind of a marine motive in a way.
C. EFFREM: Yeah because we have the dolphins, the dolphins touch each other and then the upper fin of the dolphin stay on top as the part of the resting of the hand or resting within, and the shell right in the middle.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Is this…
C. EFFREM: [Unintelligible - 00:19:48] yes again is glued up with several pieces so wood which is they’ve done a good job again. It joined on the edges by 45 degrees [00:20:00] as you notice this is one of the vertical curve. Now if I was doing that today and with all my experience with a thousand pieces of furniture that I have built and repaired and made I would have follow in this scale of the joint.
L. HAMMERSTROM: I see.
C. EFFREM: When I join two pieces together you won’t be able to see it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Right, okay. Now this one over here has Griffins and it looks like it’s made of marble or something.
C. EFFREM: Well this is made out of wood and its used in the same motive is you want to change the colors of the grains and you don’t want all of wood grain because it becomes monotonous and the most beautiful thing that they had one king in all Greece to tell them what he wants as a prisoner to eat. And so they suffer him to death by the best food that he wanted to eat, constantly every day. So you see this is why even though we have such a beautiful wood all over the place oaks, and walnuts and mahoganies and so on, still we have some whom are painted for the same way. So we don’t want it to get overwhelmed in such a way to hate it. I always love the wood.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Have you ever seen with the glass in that way?
C. EFFREM: Oh yes.
L. HAMMERSTROM: It is not uncommon.
C. EFFREM: Not too common but you know is I would say never in a million pieces of furniture you may find…
L. HAMMERSTROM: This has a heart there and this guys’ initials T95.
C. EFFREM: Yes, I think it is special made; he had a special gift to enjoy something nobody else has and that is actually a gift to the person who was in his caliber.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well can you think of anything else you would like to comment on before you go?
C. EFFREM: Well I would say as in overall the building is one of the excellent buildings around the United States and it should stay as best possible on that caliber and be advertised around the world and on this country people do not know that this building is in existence and its value has an architectural pieces or also woodworking pieces too.
L. HAMMERSTROM: One of the purposes of our Institute is to preserve this mansion for generations to come we hope.
C. EFFREM: Well that’s why I am still a member although I am Greek, you can call me Swede Greek I am still a member of the Swedish Institute.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Well we appreciate Chris very much of you coming here, you’ve been every informative and educational and I hope we can transfer a lot of this to some of our other tour guides and volunteers.
C. EFFREM: Yes, many times maybe in the future maybe we’ll even make a video to present it to other museums, colleges and universities and traveling museum, so that way people can be able to see and they come to me every time they come to see it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Would you be willing to give a talk? We have meetings of our volunteers, guards and receptionists and tour guides once a year.
C. EFFREM: I would be glad to do it.
L. HAMMERSTROM: Don’t mention me, we…
C. EFFREM: Not too often but because I am very busy person and I think [unintelligible - 00:23:19].
L. HAMMERSTROM: Okay.