Yesterday my friend and I went off searching for more found objects. Specifically I was wanting more round objects but wouldn't pass up the chance for other baubles if they presented themselves. We were up for just a quick loop, not even wanting to spend an hour since I wanted to get back and work. I naturally look for scrap every single time I go anywhere so I had a couple of places in mind. The first stop was a house with a crumbling barrel in front of the porch. We stopped and asked about it and sure enough if we wanted the rings on it the barrel was mine. It was too good to be true! I got five rings off of that one barrel!
Onward and seeing barrels everywhere we went, in the back of my mind I knew what I really wanted; I had imagined large rings similar to the ones I found last year at the dump but they needed to be lighter. I also know there are plenty of round rusty steel rings out there of sizes and thickness yet to be discovered...maybe today was the day?
The second stop was a farm that I always see on my drive out of town to get food. There is a two legged dog there, he has a little cart attached to his body, his useless back legs withered and shrunken ~ I always drive by and look for him as he pokes along. Well yesterday we got to see him up close and that little dog was incredible! He and his normal sidekick were chasing tennis balls and insisting we throw them, that little cart was not even an issue and he could back up, turn around and was just as fast if not faster as the other dog. If that's all I saw yesterday it would have been a days worth of entertainment but fortunately 'art' (so his shirt says) the farmer directed us to 'the girls'.
The 'girls' are three sisters that live up on a hill. They are anywhere from 70-80 yrs old. 'Art' said they were into the arts and lived on a farm and would have or know of where I could find some good scrap. Go up the hill, take the first left at the fork in the road ~ take the next left at the fork in the road ~ take a right, just past the yellow house all about 3 miles away and you are there. Exactly 3 miles later we arrived.
Its creepy and exciting to stop at old farms. Vermont really is unique in that people are relatively friendly and trusting but they also have a healthy dose of mistrust and an invisible deflector coating their beings. It isn't always easy to get 'in' with someone especially when that someone is five generations of New Englander. And truth be told if I had a farm and two strangers in holey plaid coats showed up asking if I had any scrap they could poke around in, I'm not so sure I would be all smiles. I've yet to feel sure in myself when it comes to approaching folks. Some people hold onto their scrap like diamonds while others let you roam freely and don't want a penny for anything.
Fortunately 'the girls' really were in to art and had no problem with us poking through scrap leftovers that someone else had already poked through awhile back. I kept asking if they had round pieces and she had no idea; 'you can go look, that last feller came and took a lot off the top pile but you can go look and see.'
Off we went down the road and to the left of big hay bails. At first it looked dismal, nothing but farm equipment, flashing, wood and unusable pipes and rusted steel. But after digging around a bit more we started finding chunks of this and that and things got interesting. Next to an old tree I spotted a ring. A BIG ring. And under neath it, buried in the ground were more. A total of eight rings, the biggest and lightest ones I could have ever hoped for! It took a bit of digging and pulling to get those suckers out. We had to leave one there after fitful attempts because the tree roots had grown onto both sides of the steel and we couldn't free it. (we are going back with tools and getting that sucker if its the last thing we do).
As if that weren't enough, underneath more crap were buckets that were filled with nuts and washers....it was like finding gold. The more we looked the more we found. The wind blowing so hard at times I couldn't think. My eyes were watering, my hat blowing off - it made the whole experience surreal and instantaneous feeling.
After we selected our goods we walked back up to the house and asked if they wanted to see our pickings, still ready to offer some money if need be. Truth be told these rings were invaluable to me and yet I'm really broke. Its a strange thing going to farms and asking either to take pictures or get scrap...something that I will hopefully profit from but in the meantime I am basically penniless. I look at the farms and they appear to be poor but I know they own acres of land and probably are rich in comparison to me. What to offer or how to repay someone is also something I'm unsure of. Fortunately yesterday was a freebie. They wanted nothing for the scrap ~ those rusty rings had to have been there for at least fifty years? If that tree was as old as I think, with that old root grown all over the scrap I can't imagine they had any use for any of it. It was a good days work, physically exhausting but well worth the effort for sure.
When I finally get around to finding the perfect photograph to have blown up and get laminated for those rings, I will never forget where I got them from. In the meantime, I have lots of scrap to wash and organize, I feel like its Christmas and I can't wait to play with my stuff!