Did I mention that Week 4 was a busy one??  It marked the midway point for the residency, and included two looonnnnggg and amazing field trip days as well as the Open House at Nextfab that Saturday.  We were all busy!  And since then we’ve been rolling along on our projects in the shop – the next week we had to have our artwork lists handed in to Alex Felix at the Center so that she could start planning our exhibition.  All of that to say, my apologies for not writing sooner.  It has been a busy summer, but we’ve all gotten to see a ton, learn a ton, meet and work beside wonderful artists and spend a little time wondering if the potholes of Philadelphia are actually an alien species with no known predators on Earth whose diets consist of car parts and soda cans.

Back to Week 4: the fine folk at the Center for Art in Wood booked us tours at Fonthill (the tiny, 44 room, concrete castle of Henry Mercer in Doylestown, PA), and tickets for the Mercer Museum which is just down the road.  Less than an hour from downtown Philly, both are well worth a visit next time you have a chance! If you do the Fonthill tour, see if Marcy is working that day and ask for her specifically – she was wonderful.

Walking up to Fonthill Castle!

Admiring the tiles.

Hanging out with Mr. Mercer! Tall fellow…

So many tiles, so much concrete!

Mr. Mercer’s bedroom – the rooms in this building are a strange mix of too dark and beautifully lit.

And then we moved on to the Mercer Museum!  This place is jaw-dropping.  Maybe not incredibly organized, but totally worth a visit if you’re interested in old tools!!

The Mercer Museum is full of the tools that Henry Mercer collected from all over Pennsylvania (mostly locally, I think?). Visual Overload is an understatement!

Seriously.

Seriously seriously

There are several floors surrounding the big open space you walk into, and each has tiny rooms branching off of it full of different kinds of tools. Hat-makers tools, bakers, coopers, tailors, etc…

I loved them all, but my favorites were for woodworkers and clockmakers.

Ok, we were so excited, and so visually overwhelmed, and so tired by the end of this day.

Open House Lunch Time!!!

Kailee Bosch gives her presentation!

Janice Smith giving her presentation!

Chris Storb explains some of his tools!

We were delighted to share our work and process with all of the folks during Open House, but we were equally excited that Janice and her husband Reuben invited us back to their lovely rooftop garden for a delicious dinner!  It was lovely spending time with the whole crew for a little bit, and the view was fabulous!

The stairs up to the roof deck!