A Window with Ice Shanties

I slid across the ice. Accidentally at first, and then as my comfort grew, I evolved my technique from a means of avoiding a broken tailbone to a proper, Risky Business-esque maneuver. Building a head of steam, I scurried across the frozen lake aiming squarely at a wind-swept portion of ice. A few feet before the snow stopped, exposing the glassy surface, I hopped, landing squarely with the toe of my right foot touching the back of my left Danner Mountain Lights. For twenty feet, I slid. Across the lake, in a protected cove, a group of colorful ice shanties broke up the green and white horizon. Marching across the frozen landscape one slide at a time, I made my way towards them, camera in hand.

Months ago, I searched through flea markets and antique malls looking for windows. My interest in old windows as picture frames and not economic replacements was bewildering to most Mainers at local flea markets. After turning over many rocks, I eventually found some windows that were both aesthetically pleasing and practical as frames. Working with Tucker, we stripped the excess paint and applied a few coats of sealant to protect the frames.

Looking through my Picasa page for groups of photos, I quickly settled on my images of ice shanties. Drawn to the bright colors contrasting the bleak landscapes and the idea of being in a place you shouldn't, protected from cold and wind, I selected my 12 favorite and ordered them in 9"x7" archive-quality prints

Throughout the summer as I transitioned into my new life in New York, Tucker put the finishing touches on the window frame.

Red and White.

Outside of Skowhegan, Maine, one of my favorite shots.

Near US Route 1 on the mid Maine Coast.

Anchored to the ice near Canaan, Maine

Built on the concept that each frame and group of images will be unique, the finished window tells a story more complex and evolved that a singular image mounted on the wall.

The finished window is 40" high by 25" wide and has 12 9" by 7" color prints.

A lonely shanty Down East.

Frozen footsteps captured by thaws and freezes.

The Ice Shanty Window is the first of a series of my favorite images partnered with antique windows.

The shanties complement each other and providing context through repetition.

Offering a view to a distant world, my window with its twelve images hangs over my living room for the time being. If you are interested in owning the Ice Shanty window, or one of the following ones, please send me an email at foster.huntington(at)gmail.com.

Here are some more links,
Windows (ART),
Ice Fishing (ART).

Telling Stories Through Barn Windows

New England's barns inspire me. Despite having similar basic designs, each one tells a story about what happens inside of it, the animals and people it houses and the seasons it endures. Some are the pride of yuppie families from big cities, others are functional parts of a farm passed down through generations of rugged farmers. Regardless of their condition or creed, old barns capture the story of their surroundings.

Like a young boy unable to take the entire beach with him, settling only on a lone sand dollar, I collect barn windows. Better than a picture, these windows act as a tangible homage to the buildings they once belonged to. Rummaging at flea markets, hunting at dusty antique malls and asking retired farmers if I could pick apart their collapsed barns, I am on the lookout for unique windows that remind me of New England.

A barn tells a story about the land it rests on. A photo depicts a similar narrative about a unique setting.

Feeling like Samuel W. Francis, the genius that combined the spoon and the fork into the spork, I sat on my bed taping pictures to an old window. Organizing the photos as I would a blog post, the window framed a story, more coherent and insightful than a standard print.

Scrapers and sandpaper remove flakes and loose paint from the windows.

Coats of water-based lacquer protect the old paint and keep it in place, ensuring that the window will keep its story intact.

Tucker working on a window.

The glass is scraped to remove years of paint, lacquer and dirt.

Epoxy anchors the glass panes to the frame.

No two windows are alike and each narrative of photos is printed once. The windows add context to the collection of photos, conveying a coherent story. I envision a window filled with images of food overlooking the kitchen and another window hung in the den acting as a portal to the Maine coast. I will share these windows on my blog and they will be available for purchase.

Here are some more links,
Telling Stories with Barn Windows (Picasa),
Windows (ART).