Nonna and Jeff’s. Durham.
I have been musing lately on the construction of home and what it says about the person doing the building of the interior of a house. I see the deliberate (and haphazard) placing of objects as a way to interrupt the inner life of the decorator. I’ve been thinking a lot about asking questions around this idea, as I see a habit of the collection of objects, their arrangement and the decoration of a house in the women in my life as being particular pervasive. My close friends, my aunts, my mother, my grandmothers, my cousins all are fantastic decorators with taste that ranges with age as well as upbringing and socioeconomic class. Regardless of the monetary resources available or not available to them, they all take a house and make it very much into a home.
I want to ask questions with these images, rather than find answers. What does certain stuff mean? Handmade or mass-produced? New or used? How does juxtaposition of objects lend its self to further interpretation? What does it mean to hold onto objects and place them in our homes? Finding the questions to ask is always part of the process. There are ideas brewing to turn this new obsession of mine into something lucrative, for real this time.
Katie’s ability to create a home that looks and feels exactly like her personal aesthetic. Muted color palate on the warm side, organic forms, odd details, worn edges, old objects with a silent history. Her house is exactly as I pictured it would be.
I’ve been thinking about this, perhaps, because of the distinct lack of my own space to construct. Sure, my room is well constructed but it is not the same as being able to make a home for yourself. I long for the time in my when I again will be able to create a place for myself, a place to come home to.
The Gift Haus, the large Amish couple and the Miniature Village are remnants of road culture when the only road from Allentown to Harrisburg was Route 22, a two lane highway with a max speed of probably about 45 miles per hour.
The endless expanse of the interstate can take those engines and wheels fueled by fossil fuel that same distance in about 2 hours and such places are blips on drivers’ windshields. They beckon now out of curiosity, not necessity. Because they have always intrigued me, always baffled me, I decided to do some exploring. Vacation gives my curiosity about the world time and energy to stop and look around for awhile.
I didn’t have the time nor the energy to wander into the Miniature Village but stepping into the Gift Haus was stepping back in time. While I have been a casual collector of such kitsch, I realized that there is a small but profitable cottage industry based around the aesthetics, design and stereotypes of the Pennsylvania Dutch. Offered up for my consumption was shoofly pie, hex signs, cast iron trinkets and tea towels. I decided to bring my hosts some shoofly pie and a hex sign, as I couldn’t really think of anything else that would be considered more Pennsylvania than that.
The landscape around the Gift Haus is strange. There is the Riverboat Saloon with it’s spray painted sign and the store, Antique Treasures, beckoning with promises of old, beautiful things, holding an overwhelming expanse of old treasures of bizarre and obsessive proportions. As always, I found myself crouched in front of the jewelry case, intensely surveying an extensive collection of Native American beaded jewelry. I picked out a 4 strand, multicolor necklace with a lovely tassel on the end and headed on my way.
The asphalt pushed me westward, southbound. I had some place to be and that place was Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the home of a dear and beloved friend.