Montag, 14. Dezember 2009

Interview with Chris Carlsson Part 1

My name is Christopher Carlsson.
I come from Upstate New York (specifically Rochester, New York - about 450 Km north and west of NYC (or as we say- across the lake from Toronto.)
The area is very nice - lots of hills and lakes over 200 wineries and a few distilleries in the area.
Pretty much the third world for antiques in terms of prices- very cheap compared to NYC area which is good for me.
As to were I work - I am a writer ( or as some say "unemployment with honor" ) or as my wife say "at leisure" ;-) also professional spirits judge, mixologist and consultant .
I run a couple websites and I also dabble in antiques, rare books and whatever else. (need a distillery, cheap? got a fixer upper).
My background was in social activism (had lots of ties to the Greens at one point) and mental health - but then I found a good martini (or other cocktail) and sympathetic ear probably did more for people a lot cheaper than mental heath ever did ( and a lot more fun too)

How did you get started collecting?

My parents ran a rare bookshop which also had antiques for sale and while we always had a tradition of drinking gin out of bone china teacups in the afternoon, when I decided to diversify our cocktail list I grabbed one of their old shakers. Since we lived in the middle of nowhere and antique shakers from sales and estates were the only ones available – no new stores in the area – I learned to love them.
Mass produced modern shakers for the most part are a huge disappointment – tinny, cheap construction, fit and finish, don't chill well, fit poorly, and leak. Not to mention a total lack of style.

How many shakers do you have and how do you store them?

I'm not sure exactly- and in any case It might not be the best thing for me to state in public, because like my whiskey collection, if my wife knew how many were really here it would cause more trouble. Lets just say more than 12 and less than 100 (or if you want a racier answer : Like my penis size , I don't measure it or talk about it, but it is an adequate number for both me and whoever I am entertaining or so I have always been told)

Which is the oldest and which did you buy last?

Actually quite possibly the same one – a early turn of the century silver plated shaker from the turn of the century- found it at a flea market for about 1.50 Euros. Lovely piece , simple lines to it

Which is your favourite shaker and why? And do you have one with a personal story?

Probably my Farberware shaker like a favourite pair of shoes or jacket, its comfortable to use, works well and seen me through a lot of times good and bad. As to personal stories , part of the joy of collecting is where most of them came from, this one from a brocante in Provence, this one Utrecht, etc., a sort of travelogue , plus of course the ones that were used at various events or times in my life for a party. Not to mention the one I intend to have used as my urn after I die- couldn't think of a more fitting container.