VINTAGE FAMILY PHOTO RESTORATION
CARL AHRENS (1862-1936)
Here is a bit of his biography which you can find on the official Carl Ahrens website.
Carl Henry von Ahrens was born on February 15, 1862 in Winfield, Ontario. His parents soon separated and Carl was raised by his father in Berlin (now Kitchener). He contracted tuberculosis at around age five. The disease settled in his hip instead of his lungs, reportedly due to an injury to the joint. Some sources say he was kicked by another little boy and others say he constructed a pair of wings and attempted to fly off a roof. The most likely cause, however, was a combination of an injury and repeated exposure to tuberculosis. Several family members, including his father, died of the disease.
While out west, Carl met Francis Dickey (son of author Charles Dickens) who was Captain of the North West Mounted Police. He also met Calamity Jane in a saloon in Dakota Territory. He held every available job except driving a stagecoach and was friendly with the local native tribes – they called him Lone Pine. Once he was caught between two warring bands and spent a day in a buffalo hollow while arrows zinged over his head.
In 1899, Carl met Elbert Hubbard, the founder of the Roycroft community in East Aurora, New York. Hubbard admired Carl’s work, and when he learned Carl had experience in a potter shop as well, he asked Carl to join the Roycrofters and start a pottery there. Carl moved to East Aurora with his wife, three children (Carl, Robert and Pauline) and his cousin, fellow painter Eleanor Douglas, in May of 1900. Hubbard, a businessman, and Ahrens, a craftsman, soon butted heads over what constituted a finished piece. Hubbard insisted the pottery be sold unglazed and, thus, unable to hold water. People willingly bought, as the pottery bore the Roycroft mark, but the work was of no value and most has fallen apart over time.
To view his artwork please visit the official Carl Ahrens website.