Sunday, October 4, 2015

Remnants of Peter

Every fall for the past sixteen years I have gone to Plimoth Plantation with my U.S. History students.  It is a "working" day for me, but an easy one by all measure.  

like a day at the beach...

For those unfamiliar with Plimoth Plantation, it is a "living history museum," with role players interpreting both English and Wampanoag perspectives. You want to chat with Miles Standish or William Bradford, have at it.

With this much historical expertise, I pretty much leave the teaching to the staff and spend my time wandering around.  Over the years I found myself drawn more and more to the Craft Center, and especially Peter Follansbee's workshop.  As I have said elsewhere, Peter was a big reason why I got interested in green woodworking.

But Peter moved on to greener pastures (as have many of the Plimoth craft people), and so the place feels, well, a little empty.  The Craft Center has been renovated, but there does not seem to be much craft going on there.  It is pretty much a bakery and a gift shop now.  I did see one potter throwing period pieces on an electric wheel, and period food ways are certainly interesting and worthy of study, but it just does not feel the same.  For a living history museum, its presentation of craft was pretty dead.  I am sure they will get back on their feet, but it definitely felt like a transitional time for the museum.

And so this last visit I wandered through the Mayflower II and the 1627 English village, poking around and looking for signs of Peter's work. It was everywhere, like ghosts hiding in dimly lit corners.

This shot felt especially sad.  Peter's work, behind glass and with museum labels...

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