Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tools Of The Trades

The cooler weather makes us think of feathering our nests for the winter; getting to that indoor decorating project that we've put off for the past months. or buying some new furniture or appliances. For inspiration, we recommend a visit to a place where simplicity rules. The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (www.metc.org) is a fun way to get some ideas. Housed in Madison's historic James Library building, the museum is dedicated to preserving the art of making things before there were machines and factories for mass production. Before everything said Made In China. It is full of tools and artifacts used by the earliest makers and merchants. Wood, metal, leather and textiles; the basics you find in your home and furniture, were created by New Jersey's original artisans. You'll find crates and barrels made the old fashioned way. Trunks that were used for luggage and not ornament. Urns and churns that held kitchen staples and produced butter that would make Julia Child proud. A zoetrope for viewing pictures was the entertainment center. Afterwards, when you look for ways to feather your nest, remember the carefully made, sturdy and long lasting chatzkas of days past. You might even pick up a hand tool, and carve out a niche for yourself!

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