Thursday, January 24, 2013

"H" as in HARDWARE

On the Main Street of Matthews, our little suburb of Charlotte, graces a centuries old Hardware Store.
Renfrew Hardware
Father to Son for decades and decades.
The building looks old, smells old and has a true antique ambience.  The windows are cloudy and at times dusty, filled with antique stoneware and butter churns with warped paddles, aging farm implements once highly valued for easing farm work, each standing shoulder to shoulder with the aging of time.

When we lived in Havre de Grace, we had a similar but smaller hardware store.
It was very "grubby" and once you stepped over the threshold of creaky boards, the vista was a "squirrel's nest" of all things possible and improbable, the nuts and bolts of repair and building.

We are fortunate when we have buildings with a deep, rich  history,  serving us in the present and into the future.
They remind us that there was a time before i pods, cell phones and computers, where good service, friendly chatter were very important and a part of everyday life. They stood as distilleries of information, informality and the "human element."
I am glad they are still with us.

Bonnie, who sponsors, Photo Art Friday, gave us the general direction of "working with hardware."
I am excited to see how everyone interprets this week's challenge.

Immediately I thought of something old that once served an important purpose.

Rusted implements are beautiful standing on their own: they have been of service; they have made life and work easier;  with age, the rust and patina represents a crown of good works.
The paintbrush which long ago lost its bristles, I discovered on the shore of a meandering beach in Sri Lanka. It was buried by the rubble of an old shack that had been devastated by a storm.  It just seemed fitting to bring it home.

No longer do I sew. That activity belongs to days gone by. Recently I was going through a box of sewing odds and ends and found a bundle of rusted safety pins, a golden thimble and some floss. Memories unfolded as I attempted to pry open the rusted and bent pins. Rust flaked everywhere, staining my fingers, the lingering of past moments when these were an amazing invention of necessity that made a difference. 
The invention of the safety pin has saved many a lady's modesty; held things together that were once cumbersome; kept a diaper on a wiggly baby and has not changed the way they work for centuries.

Simple, rudimentary hardware.
Do you have a piece of "hardware" that you can't live without? 

For those who like details both photos were texturized in a similar fashion:  Fool's Gold texture, screen mode, mask for removing pixels and a few other odds and ends.  


  1. A beautiful ode to all things rusty-aged with the patina of time.

  2. Both of these pieces are lovely and very creative.

  3. Ah, a bit of nostalgia I sometimes wish we could travel in time and go back, every now and then, to that time without iPods, iPhones, internet and social networks. People actually talked to each other in person!! I appreciate all the benefits we've gained from these technology wonders, but sometimes simplicity is longed for.
    Nice photos that bring back those memories!!

  4. It is a shame there are not hardware stores like the one you described around where I live. Lovely pieces of art.

  5. How beautifully composed - your images and the text of your post! Simply a pleasure to view your art and enjoy your description of it. Love the choice of texture placed on your rusty treasures, Sharon.

  6. great examples for Bonnie's theme!

  7. Beautiful photos!! Unique and so textural!

  8. such heartwarming hardware :) Very nice edits and compostion

  9. so simply lovely, photography and prose. really BEautimous, Sharon.

  10. I wish I knew how to sew. I was in 4H when I was younger, and I could see how that would be a necessary skill back in the day. I love your texture work!

  11. This is a wonderful post in so many ways. I loved reading your thoughts behind your pieces. Both are so wonderful in different ways. Since my mom is a seamstress (although she does very little these days) I loved the nostalgic feel of that piece.
    I also loved the colors and textural feel of the first piece. Well done.

  12. I sure like your photo art!

  13. Love these 'ancient' relics and how you transformed your collections into art. Very creative!

  14. What a great way of "working with Hardware"! I love the story about your old hardware store - I love places like that - and the images were the perfect accompaniment.


Thank you for taking your time to drop by and leave a note. Warmly, Sharon