My Story

Tentmaker at work
Greetings,My name is Gene Eisele, or, within the Society for Creative Anachronism, Master Friedrich Wilhelm. I began building pavilions in 2006 after a particularly miserable Estrella War in a leaky modern tent. As I was a starving college student at the time, I decided to make my own pavilion. As I am a bit “particular”, I decided to do it right. After spending months researching, planning, and sewing I had a new home away from home.The first time I set it up a little gasp escaped my lips. It was beautiful. As I was to discover, it was also easy to pack, easy to set up, very comfortable, warm and dry, and just plain wonderful to live in.

Soon after, my household began looking for a new kitchen tent as our current tarp and pole arrangement was too small for the number of people for whom we were cooking. Also, it was a pain to carry and set up. Why not a bigger version of the round pavilion I had? Why not indeed! So a tent eighteen feet in diameter was made and has housed our kitchen ever since. This tent has seen as many as thirty people crowded inside (along with all the food and stoves and pots and pans and wet clothing drying in the rafters) during especially rainy events. Of course, it is a well known fact that the kitchen will inevitably become the center of the party.

A few years later a friend came by and asked if I could make her a tent like mine. “How about one a little bit better”, I asked, having learned a few things by then. The deal was struck and the tent built. Bit by bit, word got out and it seamed :~) that I had become… a Tentbuilder.

Since then, I have continued to hone the design of the hub-and-spoke round pavilion, my personal favorite, as well as adding new styles of tent to my repertoire. I have researched existing period tents and conducted experiments to grow my understanding of how tents work and how they were made and used at the time. I love what I’m doing and I thank you, my gracious patrons, for making it possible.

Gene “Fritz” Eisele