20th Century Fossils

20th Century Fossils features, in cast glass, discarded gears that once turned machinery. Almost all the glass in this series is found or recycled.

These are fossils of the mechanical mills that went silent in New England in the 1960s and 70s. I spent childhood summers about 3 miles from woolen mills in Harrisville, NH. We would hear the clackety clack of the machinery as we came near the village.

In 1970, the Harrisville mills went silent. Thanks to many dedicated people, Historic Harrisvile (HHI, Inc.) has preserved this amazingly intact mill village. One by one the buildings are being restored to use and rented out. A current HHI project is to revive the water-powered turbines to provide electricity to the tenants and perhaps the village.

Two bevel gears

Mill is Closed #3

I collected gears, and made molds of them, to cast them into glass memories of the now-silent industrial mills – the way we have shed a proud heritage of skilled industrial workers.

Elegy for a Silent Mill

In the winter of 2010-11, I cast several different styles of metal gears into glass to make “Elegy for a Silent Mill.” The effect I wanted was that of a waste-ground: as though the gears had just been dumped there. In fact, people interested in gears still find them in the woods around mills and former mill sites.