Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Silver Twin's ...Place... In New England Decorative Art - Part Five - "Drilled"

The Silver Twin's ...Place...

In New England Decorative Art

Part Five


            Nothing is ever just left alone... unless it being left alone is an action
            Once ‘left alone’
            It is that.
            Until an action changes that

            At the Silver Twin’s Place, “up hill” was an action that took place... at their place.  IT; the place, was the end of the “up hill” action.  Following an ‘up hill’ action were actions like “used” and
            “Left alone”.
            Other actions included ‘lost’, ‘broken’, ‘put away’ and... “given”... “away”.
            And more.
            Although my antiquarian itch respects the action ‘put away’ I secretly study ‘left alone’ as the “best choice” for scratching an antiquarian itch.  So if a something came up hill and was, it was told, “used” and then... ‘put away’ and/or “left alone”... that ‘works for me’.

            What goes up hill; up The Silver Hill Road, to the Silver Hill Place, just below the top of Silver Hill:  What?  A well water bucket?  No... they “made that there”.  A cast iron kettle?  Yes.  It (that first kettle) was probably “carried” up the hill tied to ...the “a cow”.  Maybe tied on an ox?  No... the ox load going up hill was already “full”.  The kettle “got there”; to the Silver Twins homestead...
Four or five generations before the Twins were born.  Maybe it was five or six generations.
            “Who cares?”
            I didn’t.  I bought the old kettle and, after putting it in the back of my truck and turning that truck around, I took that kettle... “down hill”.  That’s an action I took.  Before doing that the kettle appeared to my eye to have been
            “Left alone”
            A very long time.

            “Today”; these days... I always have an old kettle around from ‘some old place’.  They “don’t sell”... I am told... over and over.  No one even asks?  Pretty much.  Sometimes someone will sort of suggest to ask about a that they call ‘those’ and  “IF IT HAD A HOLE IN IT I CAN USE IT FOR MY PLANTS.  IT HAS TO DRAIN.”
            Ok so there needs to be a hole in the kettle that was originally used to “COOK” “WITH”... and was intended to be used to ‘do that’... so some... call ‘em whatever you like... it doesn’t change anything... can
            “PUT IT OUT”
            “IN THE YARD”
            “WITH A (potted) PLANT IN IT”.

            Really:  They look great.  “Crafty”; I am so... that I know it is easier to “SELL” a “DRILLED” kettle (with a drain hole in it) than it is to sell a “working” “antique” “kettle”.  The craft is that I actually keep my eye out for ‘drilled ones’ because they are... actually... rarer than ‘not drilled’ AND ‘do sell’.... AND... by pointing out the “HOLE IN IT” I can, too, suggest it is of “LITTLE” value when I am buying it (“doesn’t work”) AND of “greater” value when I am selling it because it “ALREADY HAS A DRAIN HOLE IN IT”.
            “Jesus” and can we get more stupid?  Even the God damn Silver Twins knew better that to “DRILL” a “HOLE” in an “OLD KETTLE” even though they “KNOW NOTHING” about “ANTIQUES” and ... “HAVE A LOT OF CATS” too.

            Stepping on the (cast iron) kettle old New England design form, I enhance the “function”, “form” and “decorative value” of “OLD” (New England homestead) “KETTLES”... for one to “KEEP” your

            The ugliest (Old New England cast iron)  kettle... being used as decoration in the household yards of New England these days and... for the past one hundred years (starting at World War One)... is a large cast iron ‘shell’ kettle.  Quite large; five, ten, fifteen even twenty gallons with thin cast iron sides and, usually, a flared lip at the top so as to ‘catch’... what?
            To catch the top of the “brick work” (often just ‘field stone’) built (dry or mortared) fire case that held (enclosed) this cast iron pot AND had a ‘fire hole’ beneath it so the whole furnace could “HEAT” ...”WATER” to provide a steady (and luxurious) supply of “HOT” ... “WATER”.  It was (is?) the old New England Homestead ...hot water heater.
            “Yep” and one does not see them in this old usage setting anymore for most have been... “ripped out”
            With the iron ‘pot’... “chucked”.  They usually just roll them off.  It is “too hard” to break them “UP”.  These days, in an old house where there once ‘was one’... you’d never know it.
            You don’t need to know.  It will be ok for one to know that... a ‘that’... “IS ONE” should one happen to... ah.... be before one... in an old homestead...
            But these days it is so “that way” that... you don’t need to ‘know that’ either.  That includes the people who have one in their yard as decoration and don’t know what it is... too.

            To get one of those up Silver Hill to the Silver Hill Place... (most probably) didn’t happen.  Hot water has always been a luxury... is the short reason for that.  Other reasons should be obvious ...if you have no money.  If there had been one there; at the ‘place’, I’d have found it and acquired it.  Also... I saw no ‘fire case’ for such a ‘pot’ in the homestead... anyway.  IF... they’d had a “THAT” the fire case would have still been there with the ‘pot’ in place ready to use.  The Silver Twin’s Place never had ‘running water’, ‘indoor plumbing’ or “POWER” (electricity).  For the record.
            “YES” it had an old poop house (outhouse).  If one left its door open when ‘occupied’... one had a “magnificent” view (plane) of “THE VALLEY”.  Try that in one’s own homestead today, especially when ‘the fan’ is ‘on’. 

            “Now what happened?”  I just say... I said?  There was a cast iron pot built into a field stone case that heated water poured into it so the homestead has a constant supply of hot water and that was a luxury.  This took place in a small (six feet by eight feet) “room” (butted on shack) “OFF” the (fireplace) kitchen (in the main house).  Generally these rooms were “OUT BACK” and/or “PART OF THE SHED”. 
How did the water get there?  It was carried from the “spring” or “well” there by
            The ‘sap yoke’ (Parts Two-Four)
            That was hung up in the shed to be fetched for uses... such as this. 
In the primitive domestic fireplace kitchen at the Silver Twin’s Place... hot water... was heated in small amounts... sort of... sometimes... “along” by having ‘buckets’ (2) full of water “SAT” (often on a ‘bucket bench’) just outside the kitchen door to the shed for
            For that (making hot water)
            That way... one does not use very much hot water
            Very much.

            Meanwhile the family is using the cast iron cook kettle EVERY SINGLE DAY ALL DAY LONG to ‘cook in’ and EAT OUT OF.  So they do not need a hole drilled in it to “drain’ it so they may put a potted plant in it out in the yard as decoration.  “Anyone who did that is crazy”.  Kind of... right?
            The old Silver Twin’s Place cook kettle, is, when I found it left alone, of foundation and elemental design as an old New England Decorative Art.  It is as primary as “salt”.  It is as luxurious as “sugar”.  It is not as fleeting as those.  In fact it is remarkably resilient and permanent.  It took over two hundred years for that homestead to ‘get rid of’ its “old kettle”
            “What you gonna USE that for?”
            “Drill it.  SELL IT to SOME WOMAN.  SHE’LL PUT A PLANT IN IT.”

            Now just wait a minute.  Is THAT really it?  Yes it is.  IT is THAT.  A few have a ‘one’ by their own ‘old fireplace’; “SAT THERE”.  Most do not even have a “FIREPLACE” let alone a ‘fireplace kitchen’.  This is....  Followed by “WHY” “do that”.  Followed by the specific word; the very specific word:
            That word, two hundred and more years later, determines the fate of an old cast iron fireplace kitchen cook kettle that
            “Ate from”.
            An none of them (‘everyone’ today of those ancestors) would “eat from that” today.
            Might as well drill a drain hole in it.
            “I guess.”


  1. It seems that most things come up hill. The kettles, making them, who, where, when?

  2. I saw three "shell" kettles between Yarmouth and Poland Spring yesterday. They did not "belong" to the houses where they were located. Their stories are now gone.