12 July 2009


We took the Badapple out into the wild.

I promised you more pictures of the smokehouses.
The Monkey and I spent the morning tramping the countryside with the camera.

I tramped.
He rode shoulder-style.

There's a little grove of the buildings at the edge of the field by our house.
These are some of my favorites.
The soybeans growing beside them.
The rusted rooftops.
Barn-tin and wide-plank construction.
Warm and worn.

They are reminders of the southern heritage here.
Of what economically sustained us once, and what still does to some extent.

Some think they are eyesores,
and I suppose I can understand that point of view.

But I cannot imagine the fields without this extra wash of color.
Green is lovely, but lonely if it is the only color around.

Built by hand, they've somehow managed to withstand the decades.

This particular cluster was built in the late 1920's.

Here they've stood.
Still and silent.
Overlooking our corner of the land through nearly two world wars.
Through another depression.
Through generations of farmers, their sons and daughters.

Through births and deaths, and loved ones moving away to further parts of the world.
Here they still stand.
While all of nature and mankind grows and changes,
Here they stay.

And little by little, the land is reclaiming them.

Inspiration brews from my love for them.
I don't even remember when it was I fell for them in the first place.
But they are a landmark of home.
Of symbol of things warm and welcoming.
Of hard work.

I have found for these structures a stone equivalent.
Red Creek and Picasso Jaspers.
Also warm.
Infused with color and layer and enough strength to withstand the decades.

I'm working hard to make them wearable for you.
I hope that within their shattered patterns and rustic hues,
you find something worth loving.


  1. Lovely photos RR, and I too love the way the earth reclaims structures that are abandoned, gently and powerfully. I can see how these stones could remind one of these scenes. A morning spent well- artistically and lovingly! Enjoy what remains of this sunday!

  2. the photos are beautiful. but your words bring them to life.

  3. It's so nice to see (clearly and beautifully!) where certain inspirations come from. It makes wearing a piece of jewelry an act of remembrance, honoring the history of the artist and the artist's inspiration. Perhaps I will be lucky enough to scoop up a piece and, when I wear it, think of hot summers in the south while trudging through snowdrifts during my long Canadian winters.

  4. I love to see illustrations in the book of someone else's life. I have soybeans growing in my back yard right now along with the corn (I'm not growing it, the farmer behind us is, but its lovely just the same). Tom and I are city mice learning to embrace the rural. Lovely photos and words.
    PS. Those stones are absolutely yummy.

  5. So pretty...I love old barns...there is something interesting, calming and just wonderful about them.

  6. That looks so much like our farm in Easter NC.