Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kentucky Folk Art

Jim was on one of his wheeling/dealing runs this morning [a congenital weakness inherited from his NC paternal line ] and I've learned when invited along to take a supply of books and my camera.
We've noted the popularity of metal stars in various sizes and colors as decoratively applied to local houses.
These cut-out stars on these barns appear to be an older form of folk art.

The current owner of the property told us this is the old Garrett farmstead, located on the Garrett Creek Rd. Another old barn in a nearby pasture wears the same decorative effect.

I'd love to know if the stars were cut free hand or a template was used. It must have been a fussy job balanced on a ladder and using a slender-bladed handsaw.

A close-up of the stars on the main barn.
A horse and two large black and white goats shared this space.

Here is a view of the farmhouse, currently unoccupied.
Daffodils are in bloom below the rough curbing that runs in front of the house.
Note the rather Gothic trim which crowns several of the windows.

                            I think there must have been an inventive carpenter involved in this feature
as well as the star patterns on the barns.
Perhaps a woman with artistic sensibilities inspired her good man to such detail.
Daffodils in bloom.

In our drives around Adair and surrounding counties we spy colorful painted quilt blocks adorning
barns and other out-buildings.
This brilliant green barn faced the junction of the side road as we left the old farm.
A perfect color to display on St. Patrick's Day.
If you would care to learn more about the Kentucky Quilt Trail Project, here is one of several links.


  1. The stars are interesting. I wonder if a local blacksmith and metal worker enjoyed making these? They remind me of teaching days, when the children would earn a star for good work.

    I thought of you last night MM. We had a talk, in our village, by a woman who has done the most amazing quilting and artistic rug making all her life. She is well into her eighties and still sewing.

  2. How fascinating, I had never heard of the Kentucky Quilt Trail Project. I lovew the stars on the barn, I wonder if i could get Husband to cut some out of the wood shed wall?

  3. I love the empty house and would so love to move in there :D The decorations are lovely and must have taken a determined hand to get them so precise.

  4. Very pretty those stars, and a quilt trail as well. Thinking about the old houses round here, they are very decorative with pargetter work in the plaster work, but the barns are always plain,normally black painted..

  5. Loved seeing the barns - the first barn and house are treasures. That's also a neat barn with the quilt block.

  6. How did I miss this post? Doh!

    I love the folk art (NOTHING like that round these parts - old buildings are just allowed - encouraged even - to fall down . . . and were never titified either . . .

  7. What nice treats while roaming around.....the empty farmhouse looks very evocative - evocative always invites me!