•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Upon Brume


PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: So why do I keep returning to old barns? I suppose the most honest answer is, because they're there. I believe in shooting close to home. Or better yet, because they're still there, and I sense about them, husks that they are, deep and venerable roots. Spirits inhabit these yet, and sometimes they can be caught lurking.

This is the blacksmith's shop at Skarf Mt. I've described it before. As it turns out, smithing was a specialty of the great grandfather of the current generation. This was his shop first, and his children learned forging from him. I'm struck by how the arc of a life continues to shape the present and how it may be transformed over time.

There's that, but there's also the purely visual, the look of old wood as the paint wears and the wood ages, how it catches light or hums softly when there's little light. In photographs it can appear especially painterly. In all likelihood, some of this is wood cut around these fields and hewn on these grounds. The patterns on it's surface tell the story of seasons, of drought and flood, before there was a farm or a blacksmith.

On this particular afternoon there was also the steady patter of the rain gutters. If only I could, I'd paint all that.