Al Wachlin, Jr :: Fine Art Photography

Aroostook: Potato Houses of Northern Maine

The images from this portfolio focus on the northernmost county of Maine, known as Aroostook, and its potato framing industry. The images are potato barns, or "Potato Houses" as they are called in Aroostook. The old wooden barns, which were in effect, large "root cellars" for winter storage, are vanishing from the landscape. Some are torn-down and rebuilt using more modern energy efficient materials, others are abandoned left in the field to decay and be reclaimed by the elements they once guarded against.

I used a variety of photographic processes to help emphasize the changes between the old and the new. These include traditional black and white for the older barns printed on hand-coated paper. The newer barn images are shown in color and printed on a specially-coated sheet metal. Whereby the old barns, in black and white, speak of a tradition nearly gone, the color images printed on metal speak of technological change.

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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From the Maine Barns series
silver gelatin emulsion on hand-made Gampi paper, 2011

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