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Root spent time in China with famous designer

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:07 PM

Thomas Root said America lost a great designer when Cleveland artist Viktor Schrechengost died last week.

Root and Schrechengost traveled to China in 1980 as part of a delegation from the American Ceramics Society.

"He was so remarkable," Root said of Schrechengost. The group spent 17 days traveling across China in a time when visitors from Western countries were limited.

Root said Chinese officials would hustle the Americans away if too many visitors congregated to talk to them.

"They dispersed any groups that gathered," he said.

Root said Schrechengost was an experienced and organized traveler.

"He had the first passport I've seen that was stamped absolutely full," Root said.

"He traveled with a tiny little suitcase," Root said. "He laundered everything every night and always looked great."

He said traveling with the Cleveland artist was an adventure.

"We got into Xian at 2 a.m.," Root said. "It was absolutely pitch dark. I had the only flashlight to I had to find everyone's room for them."

At Xion, Root said, the group got to see the famous terra cotta soldiers buried centuries ago.

Schrechengost displayed his talents in many arenas sculptures, ceramics, pedal cars, bicycles, fans, lighting fixtures,dinnerware, watercolors and set and costume designs. Root said Schrechengost also designed the first truck that featured the cab over the engine.

Root said Schrechengost also designed his own Christmas cards every year and Root has kept many because of their artistry.

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