I love spending time with my sweetie. In September we will be married 19 years and I would still prefer to spend the day with him holding hands and enjoying each others company. I have a quilterly fascination with artisan/craftsmen like Frank Lloyd Wright & Gustav Stickley in part due to the graphic nature of their homes & construction and in part because their homes & items were very well built and we can still see them today.
Sunday morning we headed out for the Stickley Museum Craftsman Farm in Morris Plains, NJ. We arrived just in time for a tour. Our guide starts the tour down hill from the home as it is the original drive way leading up to the main house. The property was originally 650 acres, it’s not that now but the 2nd family that lived in the home did not sell off all of the property and left the home pretty much in tact.
Like many of his generation Gustav Stickley aesthetics mattered. He spent a great deal of time thinking about how to welcome guests to his home & how the family would live in the home. Visitors now are limited in taking photo’s to the outside of the house. I would have loved to get photos of the fire places, they were gorgeous!
As we walked & chatted our guide mentioned this area (photo on right) at the foot of the steps was most likely a rose garden. I can see the possibility of it being a rose garden from the shape of the area. I can imagine intentional pathways with a great variety of roses and consideration being given to where & how they were planted.
The House itself is open plan. Mr. Stickley thought open plan living is the way to go and more conducive to family life & entertaining guests. I like the idea of an open floor plan and given the opportunity this is the style I would have. There were separate intentional spaces that were warm & inviting.
One amazing thing about this particular home/museum there are quite a few original furniture pieces in the building. Either family members had them & donated/loaned them or collectors of Stickley’s furniture donated them to the museum. Stickely furniture was very desired during the period he was actually in business so there are a lot of pieces that the museum was able to obtain that would have been in the home.
The home/farm itself was intended as a school for craftsmen very much along the line of Milton Hershey’s idea with his home/school for children. The idea/goal was to hire Master Craftsmen to live with and train young men to be craftsmen through working with them. Their education needs would also be met along with training as craftsmen so that when the young men became of age they would have a greater choice in career to support their families.
For whatever reason this particular idea never came to fruition. I like the idea as a lot of people enjoy working with their hands and creating something functional and beautiful.
A little later in the afternoon we went to a winery. We helped them discover that one of their red wine bottlings was very off. The first taste had a rather strong sulfur odor so the guy doing the tasting opened a 2nd bottle. The smell of sulfur was worse. While we’ve been buying & drinking more red we didn’t get any from this winery, rather went with a couple of whites. After this we headed home. As we were driving through an area we stopped at a Big Lots. As we got to the car with our purchases I realized I left my bike tires in the car. Whoopsie. These things happen. We put down the back seats, loaded up the car and drove home.
Later this week I’ll have a quilt to share with you!