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Fiber Art Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY

r ai de F i t af Ins r t y C is lle nd L a sV a er ap t e M 1 P itor 2 20 hib Ex Early Fall 2021


Publisher & Editor

Amy Bridge publisher@milfordjournal.com

Creative Director

Jimmy Sheehan jimmy@milfordjournal.com

Associate Editor

B’Ann Bowman bann_bowman@yahoo.com

Advertising

Amy Bridge amy@milfordjournal.com Susan Mednick susanmed2@optonline.net Kimberly Hess Kimberlyhess212@gmail.com

Contributors

Julia Schmitt Healy, Claudia Caramiello, Daryl Lancaster, Bill Bathgate, Joe Guerriero, Joan Polishook, Eric Francis, Robert Bowman

Mission

The tri-state upper Delaware River highlands and valleys are a place of rare beauty…. Seeing the region and living in it almost aren’t enough. Such beauty should be captured on canvas or film so that one can truly appreciate it, glimpse it in the quiet of an art gallery or museum, or between the pages of a poetry book or literary sketch. The Journal Group’s mission is to capture these momentary snapshots of beauty graphically and through the written word. We celebrate our area and the uniqueness of the people who live and work in the tri-state region. From Pike to Wayne and Monroe to Lackawanna Counties in Pennsylvania, upriver to Sullivan County and on to Orange County in New York, and to the headwaters of the Wallkill River and along Sussex County’s rolling hills in New Jersey, with quaint, historic towns and hamlets at the center, the Journal Group opens its doors to our communities, businesses and organizations, to serve as a communicative journal of all that we have to offer for those who live here and for those who love to visit us, too.

Publication Information

The Journal Group publishes The Journal ten times a year and distributes it in eight counties in PA, NJ and NY. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts. Contents may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. We reserve the right to refuse to print advertisements that we deem inappropriate. All rights reserved.

Uniting PA, NJ & NY PO Box 1026 • Milford, PA 18337 • 908.578.3138 www.milfordjournal.com

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Contents

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• art •

Early Fall 2021

Daryl Lancaster

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• history •

28

• food •

32

• life •

38

• nature •

Channeling Water

Grandma Kraston’s Recipes

Outsider Art What’s the Story?

6 • journal entry 7 • poem 20 • market scope 23 • Peters Valley booth guide 45 • signs

Fiber Art Journal Entries of the Upper Delaware River Region • Serving PA, NJ & NY

ir Fa de ft si In Cra t ey Lis all nd sV a er ap Pet r M 21 ito 20 hib x E Early Fall 2021

Cover Line Butterfly Coat Daryl Lancaster’s handwoven four shaft inlay, Theo Moorman technique. Wool, acrylic, Pendleton Woolen Mill blanket edges. Trimmed in wool jersey. McCall’s pattern. Photo courtesy of Daryl Lancaster 5


Journal Entry

Welcome Back to the 2021 Craft Fair A

s many of you may know, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Peters Valley School of Craft. While we had planned for multiple celebrations to mark this important milestone, like so many other organizations, we instead faced a year of unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic. But with determination and focus, and great support from our community and donors, we turned those challenges into opportunities and progress, and Peters Valley survived—and even thrived—during such a challenging year. Our staff mobilized quickly to implement new virtual programs to ensure we could continue our mission while operating remotely. We turned our canceled in-person 50th Anniversary Craft Fair into a virtual event and expanded our online gallery. We even continued to make progress safely on some campus improvements, including building a new Noborigama kiln and doing intensive restoration work to one of our historic buildings. Now that we are emerging from the worst of the pandemic, we are so excited to welcome the public back for the 51st Annual Fall Craft Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on September 25th–26th, 2021. Over 125 artisans will be back

in their booths, selling beautiful handmade work during the two-day event. There will be food, live music, and demonstrations, and the event will follow all Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of attendees and exhibitors. Each year, the fair gives our local and regional community the opportunity to shop and learn from dozens of artisans of fine craft. This year, though, it also gives artists the opportunity to return to the marketplace, a vital step forward on their road to recovering from their own financial losses during the pandemic. By patronizing these artists, you are supporting the field of fine craft at large. We are grateful to our community of donors and supporters for their continued belief in our ability to make it through the pandemic. Whether you tuned into one of our virtual programs, donated to the appeal, or shopped in our virtual gallery, please know that you are a special and integral part of Peters Valley. Thanks to you, we are well positioned to continue to build on our success—and the momentum we established this year—for years to come. Together, we’ve made it through this difficult year. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Sussex County Fairgrounds for Peters Valley’s 51st Annual Fall Craft Fair!

Guest Entry-Kristin Muller Executive Director, Peters Valley School of Craft

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Painting by Joan Polishook

Poem

Left Behind by Joan Polishook

The old road looms before me A steep trail Telling its own story Reminder of youth’s vigor Easily climbing the hill Hiking three miles beyond Today Driving past the old cemetery Tilted terrain Weathered stones Then the pond Where a duck once swam And a dog barked Rustic log cabin Belonging once To someone famous A former boarding house Shabby In its state of disrepair Next Sloping sun drenched field Autumn’s faded grass cut low Strangely unfamiliar Slowing down

Looking for a white clapboard house With the front porch Facing the road Where I often sat On an August afternoon Sipping lemonade with friends Gone Not a trace House shed apple tree mailbox Ghosts living in my inner sight Memories mine ’Round the next bend The pink house is painted grey There is no flower garden The years have not been kind to the old road Desolate dwellings Crying out for attention A forlorn landscape I opt not to go on … The tick of the clock Has tarnished the sheen Of fond memories For a hamlet in the mountains The old road Once familiar Left behind

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Peacock Fantasy


Art Parallel Threads That Parallel My Life

Chaos Yardage

Daryl Lancaster

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ost of my peers are now reaching retirement age, moving to warmer climates, and showing photos of life on the beach. I’m an artist. Artists never retire. They just keep reinventing themselves. I have a studio in my home, and it beckons me every day.

Photos courtesy of Daryl Lancaster

As I look back on my life as an artist or fine craftsman— though the words have different meanings, both terms are appropriate in my case—I have nothing but gratitude that life has allowed me to be curious and productive and proud of what I’ve accomplished. Life has blessed me with the ability to share what I know through teaching and now the use of digital platforms. I graduated from Montclair State University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, and a concentration in Textiles. Fine Arts, in academia, teaches you primarily to see the world in a way that’s different from most other disciplines. I had training in all of the traditional mediums, painting, drawing, etc., but I knew I was home when I discovered the weaving/textile program. That was a long time ago. I already spoke the language of threads; my mother was an expert with a sewing machine and had taught me early. When I graduated from school, I acquired a loom and started a career as a production weaver, creating garments

to sell at craft fairs. I traveled all over the East Coast selling my heart out, learning how to work with clients and run a business. Eventually, I discovered that teaching empowered students to create from their own hands, and I reinvented myself as an educator, instead of a production craftswoman. I spent 30 years traveling around North America, teaching at craft centers, guilds, and conferences, and I loved the moment when a student stood in front of the mirror with a garment they had just created and saw the pride in what they had accomplished. “No, I won’t make it for you, I will teach you how….” became my motto in life. The ability to create something with your hands is an incredible gift. Whether it is tangible, such as a pot or a garment or a painting, or whether it is in the form of words or sound as in music, that ability is one of the greatest experiences as a human being. To be able to stand back and look, listen, read, or experience the results of the perfect blending of mind and hands has kept me going through the darkest of times. And there have been dark times; no one gets through life without them. Twenty years ago, I had a mastectomy for breast cancer, and five years ago, I sat with my husband of Continued on page 11

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Art

Continued

nearly 40 years as he died from esophageal cancer. Through all of it, and even during the pandemic this past year, my hands stayed busy, and my mind stayed creative. There were days that just sorting buttons was all I was capable of, but the ability to look at life through a creative lens, training from college, was what kept me going. I did my best work under the worst circumstances. Though I use many different techniques within the Fiber Arts umbrella—felting, stitching, lacemaking, spinning, knitting, dyeing, surface design, basket techniques, and weaving—garment construction still is and has always been my area of focus. The garment is such an integral part of how we define ourselves each morning when we dress, and even when we don’t, as happened during the months of lockdown. There is something rich in metaphors about the garment. It can mask or celebrate or camouflage or protect who we are inside, and there is a front and back to the garment, which are never viewed at the same time. The garment becomes alive when worn and changes as we move and navigate the world around us. And if that weren’t enough, garments have a secret inside that no one sees unless we remove the garment. The lining or interior of the garment is for us to know, and I can’t think of a better metaphor for life.

Left to right: Wildfires, Vibration & Frosted Florals Dress

Garment-making is part creativity, part engineering, and part technical skill. Each garment I make is a challenge and a grand adventure. Making the materials work (and for me in most cases that would be handwoven cloth, often from hand-dyed yarns) is something that keeps me awake at night and passionately focused during my early morning walks. “How can I make this work?” is a constant thread running through my creative brain. About 20 years ago, I was asked to write for a publication that focused on the weaving community. I discovered that I could be just as creative and empowering through words as some of the work I was making. I’ve written more than 100 articles at this point in my life, both printed and in digital form. I’m grateful for all those early teachings of sentence structure and grammar, and I’m also grateful that I have a passionate skill that people are interested in reading about. I’ve been blogging for more than twelve years now and have amassed a content of more than 800 posts. Continued on next page 11


Continued

Left to right: Jacket with Felted Collar, Winter Landscape & Autumn Patchwork Tunic

Art

A side part of creative writing and journaling is coming up with creative names for the garments I produce, none of which I sell. They are all grand journeys of mine and are made to fit me. I no longer produce garments to fit others; I teach them to do it themselves. The names of my garments come from current events, such as Forest Fire or Wild Fires, or references to what surrounds me in nature, including Frosted Florals, Pacific Sunset, Winter Landscape, or Butterfly. And sometimes the titles just describe the technique that defined the joy in the piece, such as Felt Collared Jacket, not terribly original but accurate. One of the many venues where I taught over the years was Peters Valley School of Craft. As early as the mid-1980s, I was a fixture in the weaving program there, teaching, exhibiting, and even serving for a couple of years on the Board of Directors. Having a nationally known and

respected craft school within commuting distance of where I live is such a gift, and I’ve been a staunch supporter since I first discovered the Valley when I was still in college. It is not lost on me that as I move on from traveling to teaching to other creative outlets, my last in-person class was at the beginning of August in the newly renovated and refurbished weaving studio up at Thunder Mountain on the Peters Valley campus. I feel like an important part of my creative journey began as an exhibiting craftsman in their annual craft fair in the early 1980s and drew to a close with one final in-person class. I’ve won many many awards in my creative life, but those oddly enough don’t define me. It is always a surprise when I win a ribbon for my work, and it was really a surprise when I received a standing ovation for a keynote address I gave at a conference in the Midwest a few years ago. Awards are mostly one person’s preference on a specific day. Rather it Continued on page 14

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Goddess Caberet


Continued

Daryl Lancaster

Art

is the personal triumph of mind and hands over technique and materials that keeps me moving forward creatively, not the potential for a ribbon. And now, having made the decision to stop traveling and teaching on the road and, instead, to encourage students to come to me, I look inward at the time I have left in this world to keep exploring new ways to use my equipment and my skills. My daughter, an outstanding weaver in her own right, has helped me develop a YouTube channel, The Weaver Sews, where I can reach a more global community and share what I’ve learned about creating garments from handwoven fabric. And she helped me develop all of the garment patterns I use for my workshops into digital downloads that allow a global audience to create their own handwoven adventures. The pandemic, though a dark and unnerving time, gave me the gift of time away from a frantic travel schedule and 14

pointed me to what I really wanted to be doing—to take the materials at hand and see what kind of journey we can take together. I wish for everyone who reads this article to have some sort of passion that gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you curious and busy in thought throughout the day. There are all levels of classes in all mediums taught at Peters Valley, and with the pandemic there is now the ability to learn online through many many venues. I’ve heard lectures and taken workshops just in the last three months at four different online venues, without leaving my house. We are in a new and changing world, scary at times, but through all of that change, there is one constant, my ability to create with my hands. ......................................................................................... To learn more, see Daryl Lancaster’s blog at www.weaversew. com/wordblog or visit www.Daryllancaster.com.


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History

By Bill Bathgate

A Springhouse in Town When I was a young boy, I spent a lot of time listening to stories that my grandparents would tell of local history and the folks that made it. They also taught me the importance of sharing that history so that it lives on for generations. I would like to share some of that history with you.

I

Campbell Springhouse rendering by Bill Bathgate

n the earliest times of American history, most settlers were looking for fertile land on which to build a home and grow crops to provide fodder for their livestock. Forests supplied wood for fencing and for all phases of home construction. Settlers heated their homes with wood, as well. Plus, there was always a need for a perpetual source of fresh water, and there was no better source of water than a natural spring. In most cases, that would be the determining factor on whether and where to settle. Locating a spring felt like a gift from above for many of those settlers. In order to keep the spring clear from meandering livestock, leaves, and natural debris, a structure would be built over it. Mother Earth provided the water, and everything needed to build a springhouse. Settlers who made their way westward would find springhouses all across the land. Sussex County, New Jersey, was no exception, with these structures dotting much of the landscape. For the most part, oblong or square seemed to be the most common shape of springhouses, but due to topography, other configurations may have been required. One source of suitable construction material, readily available in Sussex County, was field stone. This, mixed with rubble stone and a mortar mix of lime, water, and screened gravel would serve as sufficient wall material to enclose the spring and keep it free of foreign matter. The roof, in most cases, was built with wooden shakes—cedar wood, when available, was used because it was so durable. After the water had been channeled to a depth of three feet, the walls lining the channel would be laid up with rock,

or rock and mortar, and would extend at least four inches above the floor. A channel at least two feet wide seemed to be the norm. A floor of sufficient material was carefully installed; in many cases the floor was well-tamped gravel or flat rock that was mortared into place. After the walls were built, an alcove or shelf would be made. Here, the communal old tin cup ladle would be kept so that all could enjoy a sip of the spring water—the ever-present elixir of life. The alcove also made an ideal spot to store firkin downed butter. What is firkin downed butter you may ask? Firkin downed butter was an expression I heard many times living with my grandparents during World War II, and it was shared by many people of their age. A firkin is a small crock that was used to store homemade churned butter, which would then be kept in a cool place, such as a root cellar or spring house, to keep it from going rancid. Thus, the butter was put into a firkin, and the firkin was placed down in a cold spot. All this, before electric refrigerators, of course. Spring water, on some of the hottest days of the summer, remained at a temperature of about 50 degrees or below. Since the rock walls would absorb the moisture and coldness, baskets of fruit, vegetables, and eggs could be stored in the springhouse, and meats would be hung. Thus, all stayed preserved. Continued on next page 17


History

Continued

On a day of sweltering heat and hard labor, I imagine that there was nothing like reaching into the spring water and pulling up a well corked jug of homemade hard cider or dandelion wine, sitting back, and enjoying a few pulls on that old jug. Springhouses not only serviced household needs, but also provided for the health and well-being of all livestock on the property. Settlers would direct water from the spillway of the springhouse to a small stream or a manmade watering hole for their animals to drink from.

The large barn on the Campbell Farm and the spring house built there were located approximately eight hundred feet from that little wisp of a village that sat to the west. That little wisp, one half mile square, would, in 1898, sprout the name of Branchville, after splitting from Frankford Township and becoming incorporated. The springhouse fell within Branchville’s limits, so the borough could brag of having its own springhouse! Today, all of the Ruggiero property and part of the old Culver and VanAuken garage properties are sitting on Mary Smith’s farm acreage. The specific location of her barn was on the property where Montague Tool Company is presently located. From there, walk across Broad Street (County Route 630), and go down the slope. The springhouse sat in the triangular area between Broad Street and Lloyd Avenue, just before the Dry Brook Bridge. Back at the farm—after the afternoon’s milking, cans of fresh milk would be lowered into the cold channeled spring water for safe keeping. The following morning, after milking time, all cans of milk would be delivered to Borden’s Creamery just a few hundred yards away. Brothers Percy and Wilber Campbell would be the last operators of the farm. Come along to the mid-forties or thereabouts, the Campbell brothers gave up farming. All property was to be sold, including the small triangular area on which the springhouse sat. There was a general concern about what lay in store for the ancient edifice that had quietly served so many generations. This concern was not taken lightly by resident Jessie Grant Roe, who made a good faith effort to do something about the preservation of the springhouse, especially since it was located about 800 feet from the center of town. Roe approached the town fathers with a request: Would the town be willing 18

Antique Firkin

Many townships in Sussex County had their fair share of springhouses. One that comes to mind was located on the Mary Smith Farm, which later would be known as the Campbell Farm, located in Branchville. This tract of land was quite large, with many acres of fields on both sides of Fox Hill Road and beyond. It was part of the 1801 property owned by a Mr. John Dalrymple, which originally contained 88.14 acres, many years before Branchville was incorporated.

to buy the small piece of property for the asking price of five hundred dollars? In so doing, the town could have the springhouse deemed a historical site, as it had served so many for so long. And the structure would take very little maintenance. Unfortunately, one council member who was employed in the same company as Mr. Roe was apparently jealous of him, and Roe’s request was swiftly and flatly denied. Eventually, the property was sold to a nearby neighbor, and the springhouse remained in utter disrepair. In the mid-1950s, at many times during dry spells, low water pressure from the town reservoir hampered the fire company in their efforts to put out fires in the community. After many discussions and meetings of the town council, the State Water Commission approved a “diversion of 200,000 gallons of water daily from a drilled well at the eastern corner of the town’s ballfield.” It was in January and February of 1958 that the well drilling got underway. It did not take long for the drill to hit the vein of water that had been feeding the springhouse for generations. The springhouse lay dormant for about two years and then was demolished and hauled away. Landscaping and seeding took place, and no piece of that history could be seen, ever again. The old generational communal tin cup ladle was not even saved! How I love to think of those days with my grandparents and the stories that were told across their big old oak pedestal table. .............................................................................................. William Bathgate III is the fourth generation of his family to live in Branchville, NJ, and has served as a town council member, as well as on the local school board. Bill considers himself to be a local historian.


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Market Scope

A

visitor to Shannon Cheevers’s shop, located at 252 Pine Island Turnpike in Warwick, NY, will be greeted by inspirational signs that seem to tell Shannon’s story. “She believed she could so she did,” “Bake the world a better place,” and “When you get there, remember where you came from,” were just a few that caught my eye. Shannon, a 1995 alumna of the Culinary Institute of America, has a story that serves as inspiration for many who shop there, as Shannon is a breast cancer survivor of eleven years. When I look around the shop, I notice pink and white pie boxes stacked on a back table. They have breast cancer survivor ribbons imprinted on them. My coffee cup says, “Thanks for supporting breast cancer research and awareness.” As I sat at a large farmhouse table, next to a couch, a customer shared that her girlfriend has cancer and that she loves receiving Shannon’s food. Shannon tells me, “I am in a position to help and inspire others with cancer,” and this is clearly something that is her passion. “Every October I donate a percentage of my profit to a different cancer organization,” she says. “I love what I do, the kitchen is my comfort zone,” Shannon

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Shannon’s Eyes on the Pies

shares with me. “I love making food and feeding people. Food is what brings people together.” Shannon bakes savory pies—chicken pot pie, skirt steak pot pie, mac-n-cheese pot pie, and shepherd’s pie. Her quiche choices include ham, scallion & Swiss or sausage, kale & red onion. Looking for a foot long hot dog wrapped in a flaky pastry? You can find that here—served with a side of red cabbage coleslaw in her signature pink color. Soups, such as the Black Dirt French Onion, using local onions, and fresh chili are also on the menu and then, there are the desserts. Glass display cases are filled with what Shannon calls, “homemade, decadent, and delicious pies,” available in three sizes, small, medium, and large. Today’s choices are apple, cherry, blueberry, peach, Key Lime, pecan, chocolate cream, and dark chocolate salted caramel. Need I say more? Stay tuned for Shannon’s next venture, which will be the addition of a location inside the Lake Street Market in Monroe, NY. I, for one, am going to keep my eyes on Shannon Cheevers, as this exuberant business woman, chef/baker, and cancer survivor continues to spread her passion throughout the community.


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Photo by Amy Bridge taken at Fresh Pickins


Food

By Claudia Caramiello

MoonShadows Farm

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andering into Fresh Pickins, the artisanal-style farmers’ market shop in Sandyston, NJ, on a Monday afternoon, I am greeted by three things—amiable smiles, Fred the resident cat, and an ample display of all-natural jams, jellies, marmalades, and fruit butters from MoonShadows Farm. With a wide array of tempting flavors, from the curiously named, such as Frog Jam, Toe Jam, and Alligator Jam, to the more familiar, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam or Cinnamon Pear Jam, it’s difficult to decide which to purchase. I choose the inky purple-hued Blackberry Jam. It is a wise choice. Luscious, sweet, yet never cloying is a hallmark of quality jam. MoonShadows Farm, a company located in East Stroudsburg, PA, in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, captures this by relying on tradition. A tradition that began 100 years ago. Antoinette and Edward Kraston, originally from Poland, immigrated to America in the mid-teens of the twentieth century and opened a general store in New Rochelle, NY, called White Way Dairy. The name was a nod to the section of Broadway nicknamed The Great White Way, which was one of the first electrically illuminated streets in the country. A customer favorite was Antoinette’s homemade jams and jellies, which she continued to make even as she grew older. Naturally, her grandchildren loved the sweet jams and

enjoyed visiting Grandma Kraston whenever she was preparing them. “Grandma was an excellent cook,” says grandson Jim Guinn. In the 1960s, the city of New Rochelle took the general store by eminent domain to build the New Rochelle Mall. Afterwards, Antoinette bought a house in New Rochelle and remained there for the rest of her years. One day in 1988, Jim Guinn and John Doyle, a family friend, were cleaning out the home, which was up for sale, and they unearthed a treasure. Tucked away in an old hat box in the dusty attic were Grandma Kraston’s hand-written recipes. Guinn and Doyle, who were both teachers in the South Bronx, began making a couple of cases of jam every week, which were sold at the old Marshall’s Creek Flea Market on Route 209 in PA. They were approached by someone asking if they would wholesale their jams. Until then, Guinn and Doyle had never considered making jamming their business. Over the years, the business, called MoonShadows Farm, grew. Working a full-time job in the Bronx became challenging for Guinn, so he left teaching and took a job driving a school bus in Stroudsburg to devote more time to the flourishing business. Ultimately, Guinn left the bus-driving job to run MoonShadows Farm full-time. Doyle devotes his weekends, summers, and after school to the business. They have gone from making a couple of dozen cases a week to making over 3,300. Continued on next page 29


Food

Continued

They still rely on hand making all products in small batches. Not wanting to run a commercial facility with employees, nor wanting to have a company process the products in what Guinn feels is an impersonal way, Guinn and Doyle got creative. They decided to search for a small existing artisan enterprise to help make the recipes. “We wanted to work with people who were already passionate about what they did and who would personally make our products by hand,” says Guinn. Creating a great tasting jam is a balance between art and science. According to Guinn, co-packers may know the science, but artisans know the science and the art. “When something is made in small batches, it involves more care than if made in huge vats,” he says. “You can’t get that great taste from machinery and computer programs. Have you ever doubled or tripled a recipe? It just never tastes the same. Small batches assure peak flavor since the product is being made all the time and is not stockpiled.” With 90 percent of the products being made off-site by dedicated artisans, MoonShadows Farm is truly a family enterprise. An enterprise that Guinn and Doyle find rewarding. “When someone tells us they love our products, and even better, when they tell us a product reminds them of what their mother or grandmother used to make, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Guinn remarks. Asked how the name MoonShadows Farm was born, Guinn recalls an enchanting August night back in 1995. Having purchased an eight-acre piece of land with a house that was originally built in 1840, they wanted to name the property but couldn’t decide what. Then fate intervened.

Offering a line of fine country foods that include fruit spreads, peanut butter, pickles, and salad dressings, as well as personal care items, MoonShadows Farm’s products are sold at tourist attractions, farmers markets, and dozens of country stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even Virginia. All products are natural, including their soaps, luxury lotions, and body washes, which have 100 percent pure plant-based ingredients. ............................................................................................. For more information, visit www.moonshadowsfarm.com. Note: This article appeared in the online-only version of The Journal in April 2020. 30

Photos courtesy of MoonShadows Farm

“One night there was a bright full moon in a clear sky. It cast beautiful dark shadows across our moonlit back field from the trees that lined it. Immediately, we decided that MoonShadows Farm was the name, and we used the name of the property for our business name.”


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Life

By Julia Schmitt Healy

Wayne Card’s Phantasmagoric World of Objects

T

he tradition of visionary environments is a rich one in the US—especially in the South. But the human desire to create is a force that knows no boundaries, and there are many examples of this genre all over. Our region is no exception. I recently visited such a fantasy-fueled environment in a rather unlikely place: on a small, back-country road in Beemerville, New Jersey—very much off the beaten track.

Photos at left and above by Shaina Card

The road is named Card Road, and Wayne Card grew up on it—“down aways” as he put it. He calls his place Wayne’s World, but Card’s aesthetic is clearly not even remotely close to that of the ’90s comedy of the same name. As you enter the driveway, you wonder where to look first. The man is a collector—some might say hoarder—and an assembler of objects. The objects might be finished, they might be in progress, or else they might just be stacks of raw materials. In the studio/workshop, or Man Cave as he calls it, there is no unadorned surface, including the ceiling. And clearly, no studio is ever complete without a lifesize suit of armor displayed in the corner. Card fits into the category the art world calls Outsider Artists. That’s a person who creates art—often environments in their yards—without having had any formal art training. Such an artist might start making a small project, a birdbath or bench or fence, and just get carried away. Often a hobby becomes almost an obsession of sorts.

Card’s output runs the gamut—painting, sculpture, functional items, architectural follies, walls, murals, and mixed media objects. The property features over forty pieces/areas/ structures to view. His energy seems boundless, and he will even take commissions. If you need a custom casket for your pet, he’s your guy. He’ll also make you a gate or an outhouse or…you name it. He works with any material that comes his way: trees, twigs, clay, stone, wood, and objects of all sorts. Currently, there are ten and a half tons of granite scraps stacked up that he got for the taking. Card is the oldest of eleven children, and his parents were dairy farmers. After a long apprenticeship, he became a line worker for the old New Jersey Power and Light Company. “I loved it. I was outdoors all the time, and I was able to work with my hands,” he said. He quit in 2000 because the ownership changed, and the new management was “brutal. The unfair policies concerning being on call made me decide to quit.” The house on his property was built in 1967, and the twoacre piece of land was quite bare when he moved in. It’s hard to imagine a plain white house under all the additions he has added and the yard’s quirky displays. I asked how it all came about, and he tells me, “I was a bit of a crafter. I started out making birdhouses and walking sticks. They sold my walking sticks at the Peters Valley Crafts Store. Who knows? They may still have some.” Continued on next page

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Life

Continued

Early on, Card made a large cement panda for his animal-loving daughter, Amanda. (Truth be told, it looks like a mouse or rat.) Amanda is now a veterinary surgeon, and the crumbling panda is in the process of being rehabbed…or reconfigured. Once moved in, Card worked with stones he found on the property, making the numerous walls that meander everywhere. He followed the rule that, “If you pick up the stone, use it. Don’t handle any stone twice.” His stonework is quite beautiful and rhythmic. Over the years, Card made friends with a man who, he says, has “an eye. He is a sort of a picker in that he can find great things at auctions and elsewhere. I have gotten lots of stuff from him.” (Including, it turns out, the tons of granite.) Much of what Card has gathered has become the fodder of his sculptural oddities. There is a Barn of Doors made out of doors found all over Sussex County and elsewhere. He mentions that the barn was constructed out of old utility cross arms and shipping crates. Looking around you see a boat embedded in a stone wall; an assemblage of wooden wagon wheels (The Swenson Hoops); a home-made two-seater outhouse; a large, living bamboo teepee; a mosaic stairway; and rusty tools and other surprising objects embedded in cement walkway pavers. What else? You see walls of all descriptions, sheds, sculptures that look like they belong in the Museum of Modern Art or the Dia Collection, and even a sanctuary in the back of the yard that is rarely, if ever, used. Standing tall above things is an 18-foot, hand-carved ancestor totem pole, carved by students and parents for an outdoor education class at the now-closed King’s School in Warwick.

With the local art world being small and friendly as it is up this way, it was only a matter of time before Card connected with Ricky Boscarino of Sandyston, NJ. Boscarino’s wild and fanciful Luna Parc is a prime example of a visionary environment created by an established artist, as opposed to an outsider. Continued on page 36 34

Photos by Amy Bridge

A favorite piece of mine is the Tree House, a fanciful abode in a large tree featuring an inviting circular staircase up to the top entrance. On the other side of the yard sits a large, double-sided abstract painting that Card had on display in an exhibit a year or two ago. It hangs from a large beam outside—he’d sell it for $250 he confides, and I say that’s not nearly enough.


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Life For years, Boscarino has been building architectural follies with blue glass bottles, and he supplied some for Card’s piece titled “Blue Bottle Works.” Indeed, as an anniversary gift to his wife a couple of years ago, Card purchased one of Boscarino’s wind-driven sculptures, which sits proudly to the right as you drive in from the road. Since knowing Boscarino, Card has been inspired to try his hand at stained glass and other construction techniques that were used in the Luna Parc complex. Card has also “learned as he goes along,” picking up skills and exploring new ideas wherever and whenever he finds them. Recently, Card lost his wife, Lorraine, and the transition has been difficult. I ask him about the future. What will happen to all this? Some friends call what he makes “tchotchkes,” he admits. But that does not deter him. He’s thinking about it, he tells me. He could donate the place to a non-profit or see if someone could take it over. But for the moment, he mostly wants to finish some of the things that are in progress and make new ones that are in his head. Right now, he muses, “Every day is a gift.” ................................................................................................... To visit Wayne’s Creative Works individually or as a group, call to make an appointment at 973.875.5489. Julia Schmitt Healy is an artist, teacher, and writer, living and working in Port Jervis, New York.

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Continued GLOSSARY Outsider Art/Art Brut • Art made by untrained, selftaught people who make art with minimal or no artistic references or influences. Often the art is made with materials at hand—cardboard, string, soot, thread, stones, objects, rather than regular art materials. James Castle is one such example. Naive Art • Art created by people with no formal training. Sometimes naive artists have a slight knowledge of, or awareness of, art, such as Henri Rousseau. Often there is a “child-like” quality to the work. Folk Art • Traditional arts and crafts such as whittling and quilting, often handed down from popular culture. Primitivist/Faux Naive/Pseudo Naive • Art by trained artists working in a somewhat naive way consciously. Visionary Art • Imaginative, over-the-top work that emphasizes personal, mystical, or spiritual visions. Environmental Art • Outdoor pieces, usually made by professional artists, that often have an ecological bent. Andy Goldsworthy would be an example of this.


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Photos by Amy Bridge


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Nature

By Joe Guerriero

The Photo Story

I

Photos at left and above by Joe Guerriero

n my more than thirty years of living, photographing, and teaching in Sussex County, NJ, I have discovered countless stories to tell on so many levels. Rich with landscapes, history, culture, and art, the area offers the opportunity for discovery and exploration into many fascinating photographic subjects. Recent projects from my photography students at Peters Valley School of Craft have taken diverse and sometimes unexpected paths—from the autobiographical and lyrical visions of Kerrie Bellisario, whose work takes one on a journey into her past, using local scenes and poetic vision, to Emily Ginder, who uses the Old Mine Road to tell a story of history and change in the area. In some cases, the physical settings make for telling a story that has actually been created by the artist. Norma Bernstock saw a yellow house on the Old Mine Road and cre-

ated a story about who she imagines might have lived there and how the house might look inside. Susan Chval tells the story of a multigenerational family-run business called Well-Sweep Herb Farm. While she attended an open house at the farm, she managed not only to create stunning photos, but also to help us learn about the farm’s history, which goes all the way back to the American Revolution. My love of photo storytelling has led me to Peters Valley and its inspiring location in an area of New Jersey that would surprise many who think of the state as merely a land of highways, beaches, urbanization, and ports. Any time of year will bring opportunities for making photographs and just enjoying this unique and beautiful region. “The Photo Story: Digging Deeper into the Visual Subject” is a workshop that I love to teach because I learn so much. Continued on next page

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Nature

Emily Ginder, The Old Mine Road, Sussex County, NJ

The constant clashes between mankind and nature almost always end up in chaos. Warring nations destroy both human and natural habitats. A seething hurricane or a ferocious tornado also destroys both. However, indifference, unconcern, plus a lack of money and willpower can lead to a victorious rout by nature. A void will never remain empty; a vacuum will be filled. This is obvious when traveling on the Old Mine Road in Sussex County. Only occasionally will you see a rigorous effort made to preserve the past and protect the future. 40


Continued

Susan Summerbell Chval , Well-Sweep Herb Farm

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Nature

Continued

Norma Bernstock, The Yellow House

I will tell you about the lone house near the river’s edge, warm with yellow light, how wisps of smoke like windblown kite tails danced above a slanted roof, how a memory of one day can change a life.

Kerrie Bellisario, Ghost House

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I see the intricate cranberry wallpaper as I kneel in the corner for some unknown offense. From the shelter of the cornfield I look up at my bedroom window and I swear I remember the night the angel came to visit me. The farmhouse of my youth, fresh only in my memory.

More Than

I sat there crying, wishing for the pretty barrettes and ribbons that never materialized. My mother would brush my hair, yanking and pulling knots out without mercy.. Out the window I see Spring blossoms..


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Signs

Planet Waves by Eric Francis

Aries

(March 20-April 19)

Among the many things you can do to nurture your health and wellbeing is to be more open. Most people keep quite a few secrets, and do not often reveal what matters the most to them. Your astrology is leaning in the other direction, emphasizing the benefits of living openly and with a clear conscience. There are many, including your physical health, which is directly connected to how you feel about yourself. There is also a spiritual benefit, which is about making the personality structure (what some call the ego) more transparent.

Taurus

(April 19-May 20)

The radical nature of your astrology has a way of making you nervous. There are times when you feel pressure to change in ways you never imagined. This is not like a reasoning process; there are times you may be seized by panic. Yet you can relax; what is within you and trying to emerge is something you've always been. It's not emerging or becoming that sends the shockwaves through your psyche. Rather, it is your attempt to hold down your inner truth, your creativity and your need to dare.

Gemini

(May 20-June 21)

Whatever you think is irritating you, consider that it may be something else. There is some incident or sensation lingering from the past, and you may be latching onto this thinking that it's the source of your annoyance or insecurity. If you take a circumspect approach, you will see that there are many other possibilities. You are free to hold as true anything you want. You do not need to accept what others try to impose on you, whether it be beliefs, mental restrictions or a view of what this world is about.

Cancer

(June 21-July 22)

You can trust your aspiration and your drive for success. Ambition is rarely trustworthy, and can often lead to the goal justifying how someone gets there. For you, your aspiration and motivation are all about the journey for its own sake. One important element of this is the ongoing discovery of who you are. There have been moments lately when you feel the magnificent benefits of what you have learned, and are learning. Let the light shine on your gratitude for who you are, and the happy truth that you don't have to be anyone else.

Leo

(July 22-Aug. 23)

The more real you are about who you are and what you want, the more you will experience the people around you as enlightened beings. You may not feel like you're in a position to reveal much, as you seem to be struggling with what feels like a profound insecurity. That is known as your soul. Any sense that something is 'off' or 'imperfect' is evidence that you are human. You won't have validation if you hide your fears and your deepest questions in the dark. Let them out into the light, into the environment of your most intimate relationships.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)

I suggest you work with the power of habituation and get into a routine. Virgo is designed for success based on steady, intentional, incremental progress. You don’t need to push the river. I would suggest this, however: be cautious of people who have negative opinions about what you're doing. There are sure to be some; one of them might be close to you, but is it really what you want that's doing so, or is it about the opinions and past history of another person that have nothing to do with you?

Libra

(Sep. 22-Oct. 23)

You seem to be in one of those moments when you are living an inner life and an outer life in quite different fashions. Note carefully how you respond to any statement made by another, whether you think it has substance or not. I know how annoying the theory that "relationships are a mirror" can be. There is, however, important feedback coming from what seems to be your outer environment, which will help

you figure out what you're experiencing inwardly. Take it slowly; take nothing for granted. Slowly, a complete picture will emerge.

Scorpio

(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)

You may feel like you have too many unresolved personal concerns to be out in the open too much. I would propose that you're ready to explain where you're coming from, particularly to your friends. You seem to be driven by an opinion, or point of view, that you must express. Here's the thing: when you say what you think or believe, you are going to be challenged. You then have two choices. One is to rebuff the person challenging you without listening to his or her ideas. The other is to listen carefully and critique your position. One clue is that if your viewpoint is fixed and not moving, it's probably not valid.

Sagittarius

(Nov. 22-Dec. 22)

One of the many contradictions of Sagittarius is that it's about the big picture, don't bother me with the details — until Virgo is invoked in your chart. Then suddenly you want total creative control, and you're not happy until everything is micromanaged to sheer perfection. This is where you've been for a while, as Mercury and Mars in Virgo have been powering up the ambition/aspiration angle of your chart. I suggest a change of strategy: ease off on the burn and coast a little. Keep working, of course, but enlist others to help. And then focus on being seen and noticed, mostly in oneon-one situations with people who may support your cause or your enterprise.

Capricorn

(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

Events of the past 18 months are likely to have kept you focused on major personal changes, and taking care of business. You are one of the people more adaptable to the call of duty. I am here to inform you that you can slowly let go of that. By all indications, you have stabilized your situation and can allocate more energy to your personal desires and priorities. You might experiment with something outside any prior interest, talent, career or vocation. You will know you're in the zone when you feel a bit insecure and uncertain about what you're doing. This is about finding the confidence to actually be who you are, without any need to live up to the expectations of others.

Aquarius

(Jan. 20-Feb. 19)

Personal transparency is the only way to spiritual and psychological growth. To emerge into yourself, there can be no secrets. This will seem terrifying to many people who are currently getting along by keeping mum about what they are observing and know to be true. It will shake to the core those who fear their own power, and the profound influence that sincerity bestows. You are emerging into a new state of being, and that calls for being more open about who you are, including that which you would never consider revealing voluntarily. The reason this is so potent is because concealing yourself consumes tremendous energy and resources, and at the same time blocks the flow of your creativity.

Pisces

(Feb. 19-March 20)

Emphasis is placed, now, on relationships and partnerships of all kinds. You can be as bold as you wish when it comes to interpersonal contacts. If someone is interested, you will figure it out pretty quickly, and if they are not, politely withdraw your energy and move onto where someone wants to engage your many interesting personal gifts. Your encounters can have special purposes, so when you're with someone or considering being with them, know what you have in mind. Then test the waters to see whether there is a point of contact. Just remember: your options are open, and any sense of isolation is an illusion. .......................................................................................... Read Eric Francis daily at PlanetWaves.net. 45


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Profile for publisher-milfordjournal

Early Fall 2021  

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