Sunday, December 15, 2013


Young friends asked if I would make a frame for their wedding certificate that they had done in artful calligraphy.  A nice project.  It is made as one would frame a window, a frame for a view of a life together. The sill, a small shelf, is a place for keepsakes, talismans, peace offerings, a few small things you find along the way that bring back a memory of when the two of you .....

Wishing you peace and happiness together.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project du Jour

In 2008, on a very lucky day, high winds took out the top of an aging pine tree near the house and dropped it in the only place where it wouldn't do any damage. It left a 35 foot sentinel standing just outside my shop door that has asked repeatedly over the years, in its silent way, whether I was going to trust lady luck again to guide its final fall or whether I was going to be a little more proactive and attempt to drop the big sucker myself.

Well, I knew it should be the latter but I procrastinated the task a long time because this shit scares me. I have taken down a fair number of trees in my day but been wrong in my judgement of their lean and fall just enough times to doubt myself. And I didn't have a proper length of chain. Last weekend I purchased a 30' length for another project so let's do this.

Here's the plan. Fasten a chain a good ways up the trunk using an extension ladder, then to a come-a-long fastened at the base of another tree in the direction of the desired fall. Cut the wedge in the trunk, begin the back cut, and add some tension with the come-a-long. Someone more experienced probably could have done this with just wedges to guide the fall but I was glad to have this set up. I cut the back cut within an inch of the wedge and still the tree stood. Back to the come-a-long and pull the tree down right where I wanted it.

Oh happy day. It worked.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ezra the Bookfinder

I received a gift from Ezra yesterday. It arrived in a small padded hand addressed envelope emblazoned with a bright orange FRAGILE HANDLE WITH CARE. Inside it is wrapped in bubble wrap and then in a taped layer of padding. It is a small old book, the Arlington Edition of Emersons Essays. A complete surprise, an unsolicited present from Ezra the Bookfinder. Every part of this gift's presentation feels intentional and done with care. A business card with just the word "Circles" written on the back marks the place he wishes to share.

Ezra, known to us as Artemus a half life ago, is a dear friend of Margy's from early1970's Cambridge days. A friendship that stands the test of time, one that picks up where it left off with nary a beat. He and his lovely wife visited us recently, more than a decade from his last visit.

I love the look and feel of this book. It's faded dark blue cloth cover is beautifully embossed. The pages are a faded amber and the typeset like an old typewriter. I love its old book smell. There is no copyright date or preface, just a contents page. The back two pages are an advertisement for Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup for Teething Children and a listing of other offerings in the Arlington Wonder Library, available for 20 cents each. This list has many check marks as though an owner long ago was checking them off.

I pour a small glass of whiskey, find my glasses, turn on the small incandescent lamp on my end of the couch, open to the recommended essay, and begin to read.

Alas, it is over my head. Every sentence feels like something important that is just of of reach. "Permanence is but a word of degrees." "Every ultimate fact is only the first of a new series." "Every several result is threatened and judged by that which follows." "Our moods do not believe in each other." Try as I might I can not get hold of these words in a way that makes real sense to me. Almost, but not quite.

I imagine Emerson at his desk in 1847 or so and the words flow on to the page like he is describing something that is solid, something that is clear and very real to him. But despite his eloquence and mastery of his craft I can not see what he sees. I feel slow witted.

This has never been a strength, the intellectual, informed critical thinking in the world of ideas.  I have relied on intuition and the physical.  I wonder if the former could be developed, if one could practice this ability. I suppose I could start with Philosophy for Dummies but not sure I'm up to it. 

And so Ezra, someone else, someone like yourself,  might benefit more from this book and the wisdom it holds, but I loved the gift just the same.

Thank you.

Ezra is the "driving force" behind Gertie the Bookmobile that cruises the Eugene, Oregon vicinity. Free Books to the People! Here is a nice article about Ezra and his work.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Landscape Simulation

One of the things I have found most appealing about riding a bike for exercise is the wide ranging but intimate view of the beautiful landscape that is my part of the world. Walking would give the closest view but biking covers more ground and still at a pace that can take in the details. Sometimes I feel like a dog with its head out the car window, soaking up the flow of sensations.

This panoramic photograph is from Ridge Road just a mile or so from the intersection and cluster of homes that is Warriors Mark. It is a visual aid. It does a better job of conveying this scene than I could describe but it is still not the experience. Far from it, in fact.

On this ride I was thinking about an advertisement I had seen for an exercise cycle that simulates actual geographic terrain. The Tour de France training cycle offers a screen view of the race (or any other route for that matter) and varies the resistance and incline or decline of the bike according to topography and your progress along the route. To quote their add, "Get the experience of riding outside without leaving the comfort of your own home." Yeah, right. I scoff at the crude facsimile.

I think this might be a useful training tool. It would certainly be more interesting than just peddling away staring at a wall. Of course it is ludicrous to claim it is just like the Tour de France. But what if it was? What if the sensory input was so complete, so totally immersive that you could not tell the difference? You could no longer tell when the simulation ends and reality begins. I think this day is coming. They are working on it that's for sure. Gaming environments, movie special effects, robotics, artificial intelligence and the coming together of biology/physiology and computer science bring it closer every day.

Some time ago I imagined that I might very well live to see the day when I wouldn't know if the clerk at the counter was a fellow human or a machine. People will fall in love with these machines, a machine that is programmed to respond to your every mood and wish with what you want or think you need. Why would you want to hash it out with someone as demanding and fickle as yourself?

Let's face it, we're control freaks. 24/7 we try to create endless pleasure with no pain. What will happen when we can simulate this? I'm pretty sure something will be missing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Classy Table

This is my latest effort in woodworking, a recently completed coffee table. It was a challenging piece that has been a while in the making and required some techniques I had used little or not at all.  I am pleased with it. It is a nice blend of classic and contemporary styles. It gives a polished upscale impression with the dramatic pattern of inlaid holly in the top and is set upon legs and stretchers that are more organic with their rounded edges and carved shapes.

The inlay pattern for the top was the inspiration for the table. It was soon followed by the idea of mimicking this pattern in the shelf but in reverse, a negative of the top. Each curved piece of the shelf is made using a technique known as bent lamination. Two 1/16" thick  x 1" x 46" pieces are glued together while pressed into a curved form. When removed from the form they retain their curved shape. These 12 shaped pieces were then glued together at contact points, trimmed, and set into a frame. The resulting shelf is light weight, rigid, and quite strong. A perfect place for a "coffee table book".

The top is veneered with shop made 3/32" veneers, bookmatched from the same board. I usually prefer to work in solid wood so this was something new. But veneer was called for because the inlay would not accommodate the seasonal expansion and contraction of solid wood. I considered several veneering methods including a vaccum bag or ironing but chose a makeshift platen with convex cauls and lots of clamps that worked well.

I considered making my own holly stringing but  found someone online who has made a business of making banding and inlay stringing. This was money well spent as it was very uniform and fit precisely in the matched 1/16" router bit groove. Cutting the grooves involved following a carefully positioned template with a small router fitted with a shop made bearing base. This task got my full attention. Any drifting away from the template or slip in movement and hours of labor and costly materials would be lost.

High risk woodworking. A part of the process where you feel like you can not make a mistake. Often what separates craftsman made and machine made is wood selection. An exceptionally beautiful or large board. Boards chosen from the same log so that grain patterns or colors are matched. A couple of small boards from the tree grandfather planted. You can't just go get another piece. Or, as was my case, so much work has been invested to get to that point that a mistake might end the work. There just wouldn't be enough energy to begin again.

The last new wrinkle in making this project was the use of Photoshop to make the drawings. I'm usually pretty old school, making my drawings with pencils, rulers and graph paper. But PS allowed me to make precise curves that could be replicated, stretched, or contracted to fit the needed dimensions. And finally I could take them to the printer to get full scale drawings from which I could make the needed templates and forms.

I hope you like this work.  I try my best to make something beautiful hoping that somehow it makes a difference.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sun Pickles

With an overabundance of cucumbers increasing by the day we seek some new ways to eat them. We make a cucumber salad that we like (sliced cukes, sour cream, diced onion, horseradish, vinegar, dill) but twice a week is enough. How many of those little crustless sandwiches are you going to make? Diced with tomato and felafel in a pita is good. I've never been a big fan of cold soups but I suppose I should give that a try too.

It's one of those things with gardening that when you have a crop of something that is doing great chances are good that the same is true for your neighbors. We can't give these away.

But a week ago our friend recommended this pickle recipe that she makes frequently and enjoys and we are trying it this week. It's not a canning recipe and so is not for long keeping. Our friend suggests refrigeration after a week. Other sources say pickles will keep indefinitely in a heavy brine solution reminiscent of the old wooden barrel of pickles in a deli.

Sun Pickles

6 c. water
3 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. salt
6-8 cloves garlic
1-2 bay leaf
1 T. pickling spice
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes

Boil water, vinegar, salt - cool. Add other ingredients.

Stuff a 1 gallon lidded jar with as many whole cukes as you can fit.  Pour in brine solution. Place in sun for 1 week.

Ours should be ready in a day.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Plague Upon the Earth

One of the not so nice things about living in the country is the annual proliferation of some kind of bug. It seems to vary year to year. Some years there are crickets everywhere. Or stinkbugs. Or June bugs. We have been spared the ladybug onslaught as some friends and family report. This year it is a small millipede. Larger ones in modest numbers are a regular occurrence but this year a smaller, 1 inch, variety has shown up en masse. Coming out mostly at night by morning they are all over the front door and stoop and lower walls of the house. Ugh.

For context I searched plagues online thinking I would find some biblical references to locust plagues. To my surprise I found this is happening now. Madagascar is currently experiencing a locust invasion that may wipe out 2/3 of the nations crops. Israel too is suffering the worst locust infestation in decades. Video of these plagues make life there look unbearable. It gives perspective to my insignificant annoyance.

On a gloomy note I imagine that from afar this is what earth looks like though we are the plague. Our little blue and green ball with homo sapiens swarming all over the surface, crawling all over each other, consuming all in their path. Sigh.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Black Raspberry Jam

It's my favorite. And we are lucky to have wild ones grow on our place. Not too many, some years don't produce enough to make the process worthwhile, but this was a good year. An evening stroll around the grounds would yield a small container, kept in the fridge until I had enough to continue the process.

Step 2 is removing the seeds. Raspberry seeds are too crunchy for most folk. I do this with a Squeezo Strainer, a tool I highly recommend. You place cooked fruit in the hopper, turn the crank and the good stuff flows down the chute and the seeds and stems are expelled out the end of the sieve.  Three sieves are available for different uses. Terrific for applesauce, no need to pare or core the apples.

I got mine from my mother. I'm just a little surprised she allowed herself to have a tool this fancy. Must have been after we'd left home and most the bills were paid. Or maybe Dad gave it to her for Christmas. I'll bet that was it.

Step 3 is adding the sugar and some gelling agent. I like using low methoxyl pectin because it doesn't require a lot of sugar to be activated.  It allows me to leave it a little tart.

Step 4 is canning - just 15 minutes in a hot water bath. Then you set them out on the counter and listen for the "pop" as they cool and the lids seal.

I made my favorite bread, James Beard's Oatmeal bread, to go with it and I am a happy camper.

The jam can also be used for making Peach Melba. This is an easy to make late summer peach season dessert that is fit for royalty. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

May I take your picture?

For some reason this is a difficult question for me to ask. I don't want to intrude upon another's personal space. I fear they will be suspicious of my motives or annoyed at the interruption of their thoughts or just embarrassed to pose for the camera in a public setting.

And so my photographic work to date has been primarily landscapes and still lifes and family pics and moments in time that don't need to be asked permission. But I am tiring of this work and am now making some effort to get over my reluctance to photograph some of the many interesting people I see.

This man is standing on Bleecker street in NYC just outside the Blind Tiger Ale House where I have sampled a few with friends. We were celebrating our completion of the Five Boro Tour. We are unlocking our bikes from a tree as a steady flow of pedestrians and cars go by on this simply gorgeous sunny Sunday. I look up from my task to see him quietly smoking and taking in the scene and for some reason do not hesitate this time.  I ask, showing him my camera and he nods with a small smile. I got a very "cool gentleman" vibe from this man.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Favorite Daughter

My beautiful sister serenading my beautiful father in the last hours of his life and singing together just months before.

Dad often called my only sister "Favorite Daughter". They loved to sing together and when she came to visit she would bring along a notebook of the songs he knew. His repertoire and harmonizing prowess were from his college days of barber shop quartets and glee clubs. Hers began with the Peter, Paul, and Mary folk scene of the sixties and grew along those lines.

I remember the early days of the family driving home at night and the car was full of song. And every family gathering for the last decades has been graced by music led by Dad and favorite daughter.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Coffee Table II

This is the second making of a coffee table that I designed last year. The beautiful ceramic vessel in this version is made by Bauman Stoneware of Warsaw, IN.

The idea behind the design was to bring focus to the inside of a vessel. The 3/8" circular glass insert is a portal to the bottom of the bowl, a window to the well. The insert can be removed and replaced with the vessel, possibly serving its functional role. The bowl's low profile makes it integral to the table top.

I love how a change in wood, and the wood's color, changes the feel of this design. In the one done in quarter-sawn white oak I got a mission style southwestern vibe and chose the vessel with that in mind. The first version done in walnut seemed somewhat Asian and more formal.

This bowl is made by Kerry Brooks of Dock6Pottery, Minneapolis, MN.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mom to Me

Bob Frysinger, my wife's brother, spoke eloquently at his father's memorial. Some of what he said comes to mind in these first days after my mother's death.
"I thought I knew him. He was one of two people that I had the most intimate of relationships with as I was growing up. But when you look at the arc of a life, especially one that spans nearly a century, I realized that my memories start at perhaps 5 and by the time I was 16 I was going off to Westtown to board, then I went to college, then I got married and moved away. There was perhaps 10 years of really paying attention and knowing him and that constitutes perhaps a little bit more than 10% of his life."

1983 - with crossword puzzle
Born Carol Elizabeth in 1918, my mother was the daughter of David Richie, a Quaker from New Jersey, and Edith Russell, a Quaker from Ohio. What was it like to be the daughter of these two loving but fairly stern parents? A childhood in the midst of the Great Depression, frugality was hammered into a guiding principle.  I'm certain there was joy in this childhood but I heard more about what one didn't do, didn't say, couldn't afford.

She was a younger sister to a brother and a sister. How was it to follow in the footsteps of two attractive, bright, successful siblings? She loved them dearly but I think she always felt she didn't do as well.

She was a student at Westtown Boarding School, most likely a conscientious but average student. There she formed friendships that lasted her lifetime. She maintained a "round robin" letter chain with these friends for decades, for as long as they were able. I know she was a valued friend to some.

In 1945 she married Russell Tuttle. He was fatherless from the age of nine, raised by his widowed mother, prep school and college educated, a conscientious objector to the war. They met at a Civilian Public Service camp where he served his country during the war. I think they were genuinely happily married for 67 years. I never saw them fight, almost never heard them raise their voices to each other. I always thought he held a few more cards, that she was somewhat subservient, but such were the times. I will never know just how it felt to be his wife.

In 1947 she had her first of four children and became a parent. I know she did the best she could to raise us "right" using the primary model she was given, the way she was raised. She took the role of disciplinarian, scolding and spanking us when she thought needed,  all the while hearing her mother's voice saying she was far too lenient.

She worked for the American Friends Service Committee in her twenties and later in life. I think she was a competent, reliable employee and a convivial workmate. She enjoyed her work life but I just know about small fragments.

And so to others she was a daughter, a sister, a student, a wife, a friend, an employee, a workmate and combinations of these things. But she was Mom to me.

I was a stay-at-home dad and tried my best to nurture despite roles cast by our culture. But when my children were hurt, when they were sick, when they needed comfort I understood it was Mom they wanted. It was Mom they needed. I understood because there is something about moms.

I remember being carried into a doctor's office or sitting together in a waiting room. I remember being held in a lap and hugs and kisses to make it all better. I remember a cool wash cloth wiped across a fevered brow; light fingers rubbing my back; a lullaby singing me to sleep. I remember hot soup brought on a tray to my bed, stories read aloud, and soothing words in the middle of the night. I remember the softness of Mom.

This is the loss I feel; a loving soul who cared for me. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Inner Voice Extraction Kit

Inner Voice Extraction Kit $89.99
Before I get into my business plan let's first talk about the problem I'm trying to address with this product. Being a typical fellow I'll use myself as a case study. And it is my own search for relief that brought forth the idea; that necessity/mother of invention thing.

I have a voice in my head that talks constantly. If I'm awake, he's talking. Round-the-clock, twenty-four seven, incessant, never ending blathering. Wake in the morning and he starts before my feet hit the ground. Can't even get my coffee first. Step out on a fine summer's eve and he says "Wow! Beautiful sunset!". Well, yeah, duh. Doesn't he know I'm standing right here looking at it? As a matter of fact I saw it first. So there it is, I have my very own play-by-play announcer. Walking about the world is like I'm in kindergarten where the teacher has written labels on things to help me learn to read. "Big bus." "Pink shoes." "Cold wind." We do this because it makes us feel safer. Labeling things allows us to place what we perceive into all the little compartments we have created, validating our personal reality, reassuring us.  But it means we experience our lives through the play by play guy, missing out on all he chooses to ignore, the things he thinks don't fit. I'm tired of this.

My guy thinks he's a real problem solver. Yes, sir, he is all over the "Problem du Jour" even though his batting average is so bad he'd be warming the bench in Double A. Worse yet, if he doesn't have a good problem to work on, he dreams one up and makes it mine. Thanks. I need that.

He is incessant and redundant. Did I already say that? He thinks if he says something enough times, no matter if it's true or not, I'll believe him. I hate to admit he's probably right on that one.

He is so judgmental he carries a gavel with him at all times. Good. Bad. Smart. Dumb. Like. Don't like. I've tried to tell him this is very uncool but he thinks it's his job. I don't think it is unreasonable in a relationship as intimate as ours for me to expect a little encouragement, a little praise now and then, you know, a little love. But there is no pleasing this guy. I can't start something without him tearing into it from the get go.  Can't I at least get a rough sketch on paper first?

And he's so insecure if he was on his own he'd be committed. "Did I say the right thing? Oh no! I did the wrong thing! They might not like me! They might think I'm incompetent! Quick, do something! Fix it!" Holy cow, buddy, calm down, give it a rest. I don't get it. Was this guy's childhood so much worse than mine?

I do have to say his saving grace is he's funny sometimes. I might miss that.

But anyway you get the idea. This guy is bad company and it's time for him to leave. Sometimes intimate relationships don't work out. Shit happens.

Well, it turns out ending this relationship, getting this voice to be quiet, is quite difficult. My research shows there are some very old school methods available but they are arduous to say the least, results vary widely, and there is certainly no guarantee. I was hoping for something quick and dirty.

I looked in the Yellow Pages. Zip. I did find Voice Training but I'm sure that was for the regular voice. If it was for the inner voice I would have pursued it. My Mom could do this job. Don't interrupt. If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. A few basics would help a lot.

I checked YouTube and got nada. Unbelievable. Not even on YouTube. So that's when the wheels started turning…. I can't be the only one who wants to know how to do this.

We have over 7 billion people on the planet and almost everyone of them has this incessant, nagging, irritating voice talking to them. It's costing them a pretty penny in sleep, anxiety, and depression meds. I bet some people have more than one voice, maybe they have that good cop/bad cop thing going, and would pay dearly to get rid of the bad one. And, as far as I know, no one is offering this service.

We'll have to make it clear in the sales pitch that we're talking about the mind voice not the heart one. I wouldn't mess with the heart one. And we'll have to do some reassuring to those people who think they might be signing up for euthanasia. Some before and after videos like those late night weight loss ones might help.

Now I have to admit I don't actually have a working product to offer yet. But while R & D works on that little snag in the plan I thought it would be wise to do some market testing with a do-it-yourself kit. This 16 piece ensemble comes complete with undecipherable Chinese instructions for an introductory price of $89.99. This should give a measurable indication of people's desperation and some good data to take to the venture capitalists.

Meanwhile, my personal solution to this problem is to stop listening. That Stephen guy, or whatever his name is, can say whatever he wants, talk until he's blue in the face, yammer till the cows come home. I'm not listening.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Path

drawn to openings
     an open door, a window in the wall
           a garden gate, some entry to beyond
                the tunnel, the bridge, the winding road
                      this woodland path, this barefoot path
                             this mossy path, the middle path

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Old World Bread

 I have been wanting to try this for a long time. It must have been a year ago, I  attended a fellowship weekend at a home near Towanda, Pa. There was a pot luck feast on the patio around a large smoking fire and the host served this great crusty bread he had made earlier in the day. I left with the recipe and an eye out for an old cast iron dutch oven.

So every now and then I would stop at antique shops for a look but it turned out to be something that was not an easy find as I had thought it would be. And so months go by with the recipe and technique untried.

My son knew I was looking and so one day, a little before my birthday, he and his lady friend, went looking in antique places near her home but to no avail. Back to her Grandmother's house for a meal and they mention the search. Her mother says, "I think there is one in the basement that hasn't been used in 30 years".

And so I was gifted with this perfect kettle. A little wire brushing and seasoning and the show is on. This is a "no knead, slow rise" method using just a 1/4 t. of yeast. I'm pleased with the result. A good crust. I substituted 1/2 c. of whole wheat flour. With this size pan I think I will double the recipe next time as this smallish loaf will be gone in no time.


The recipe I was given:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Breakfast in Philipsburg

Over the years, around the time of my birthday, I have taken a day off from my routine, whatever that might be, to do something different. Maybe something I have never done before. I'd never had breakfast in Philipsburg. So the plan was to walk around this small town that is 20 miles from home, a place I have just driven through on the way to somewhere else, take pictures and look for a local diner serving breakfast.

It's 9:00 AM Friday morning and I walk down the main street, Front Street, and nothing is happening. No traffic, no pedestrians. I step into the middle of the street to take a picture of nothing happening. Almost all of the storefronts are Closed, For Sale, For Rent or Lease, their windows papered over or displaying junk and debris. A few of the once grand old buildings show signs of previous renovation but are now abandoned once again. Fayes Place, a diner I thought had potential, is closed, for sale. The Rowland Theater, built in 1917, one of those ornate theaters with red velvet seats, now owned by the town and operated by volunteers, has been reduced to nightly showings of "Escape from Planet Earth".

I think this is the tale of so many a small town these days. If there is commerce it is happening beyond main street, at the mall, the big box stores, the Wal Marts. In Philipsburg even this is not happening. The inhabitants work and shop else where.

But an inquiry does lead me to what I was looking for a few blocks away on Pine Street, a place called the Retro Eatery established just a year ago by two sisters. With good funding they created a pleasant space in retro style black and white and red with a menu offering the expected mac 'n cheese local fare but stretching into salmon florentine salad. I order eggs benedict, drink coffee, and observe a table of ten men enjoying each others company over a late breakfast. I hear one say, "I won't be here next Friday, I'll be driving" , and wonder if this gathering is a regular thing.

I leave with my feelings for local businesses re-enforced. Here is a bright spot amidst the ruins. A place offering a service to neighbors and much needed employment to a few. The exchange of goods and services for monies stays within the community and supports it.

Notes: I met a "newfie" walking her man to the post office and a 350 year old "heritage oak" standing in a graveyard where 13 civil war veterans are buried.

A few more images. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Westtown Plates

Click images to enlarge. 

Westtown School, founded in 1799,  is a Quaker coeducational boarding school located 25 miles west of Philadelphia. Westtown plates, made by the Josiah Wedgewood and Sons Pottery Co. of England, were sold by Westtown School's Alumni Association beginning in 1935. The plates were designed by George G. Whitney, Westtown's Director of Fine Arts from 1920 - 1956. The first editions were available in four colors(rose, green, mulberry, and blue) in twelve scenes of the school campus. The 7th edition in 1956 was only offered in blue and the 1976 8th edition reduced the number of scenes to six. The 10th and last edition was made in 1990.

This set of twelve plates is from the 7th edition. I have never seen the green or mulberry colored plates but am told they are on display in the Westtown School dining room.

A side note: the Wedgewood company story is coming to a sad ending. Founded in 1759 and family owned for much of its lifespan, it struggled, merged with Waterford Crystal in 1987, and then was bought by an American firm, KPS Capital in 2009. It has now filed for bankruptcy. In a worst case scenario it is possible that the Wedgewood Museum artifacts, considered by many to be a very significant historical collection, will be sold to cover the firm's £134m pension debt.