Sketches of Old Sturbridge Village
I drove up to Massachusetts today to have brunch with my son, and decided to sketch at Old Sturbridge Village while I was in the vicinity. What a fabulous place to draw and paint! It's an old colonial village, with everything from farms and sawmills to pottery demonstrations and hot mulled cider over an open fire. They do not allow photography nor artwork for commercial purposes, but they had no problem with me bringing my sketchbook around.
These are ink and watercolor in a 5.5x8.25" Hand Book Journal. They're done across the two-page spreads, so each image is about 8x10". The images are a little distorted because the paper doesn't lie perfectly flat.
I started out in the Towne House (above), on the recommendation of the sweet woman working the Admissions counter. I could have spent the whole day drawing there, but there were so many other things to see!
The Fenno House was my next sketching stop, where this big fireplace with oven and built in cabinets above captured my interest (below). I didn't realize there was a person spinning wool in the next room! We chatted for awhile about all the interesting things there, and I sketched a couple of them. She gave me a piece of unspun wool to bring home. The little house in the drawing below is the Fenno House.
The District School (below) had a sloping floor so that the students in the back would be able to see the teacher! The benches were built so that the backs served as desks for the students behind.
On the upper right, that brick structure is a huge pottery kiln. When I say, "huge," I mean about 20 feet tall! The kiln takes 3-5 cords of wood to stoke the fire, and can handle about 800 pots at a time. They fire up the kiln a few times a year.
The image below that one was sketched in the kitchen at the Freeman House and Farm, where I was served hot mulled cider by a woman dressed as a farmer's wife in colonial times. She was cooking bread pudding over the open hearth in the kitchen. On top of the cabinet is a sugarloaf. The farmer's wife would break off pieces and grind them with the mortar and pestle.
When I left the farm and continued walking down the road, I saw this picturesque covered bridge over a frozen pond (below). I walked past the blacksmith, sawmill, and some other buildings and crossed over the bridge, heading back to the Village Green.
The bank in the Village Green is really pink! It was getting late, so I headed back to the main building to quickly check out the Clock Museum before it was time to go. On my way there, I came across an artist painting a wall mural based on a colonial woodcut. He'd project a transparency of the woodcut onto the wall, and then do an interpretation in black acrylic on the white wall. It looked fabulous.
I only had enough time left to get to the gift shop. I wanted some kind of a small souveneir, made there at Old Sturbridge Village, to bring home with me. I found the perfect item; it's a little ceramic inkwell!