Although my heart has always been in the city (and by the sea), whenever we have occasion to drive through rural areas, I find myself hanging out the window, dog-like, looking for barns. Farm buildings have always given me the warm-and-fuzzies, though I can’t really explain why. Sure, they’re picturesque (at least from a distance), and there’s something culturally comforting about a farmhouse, but I suspect I’m mostly in love with them because I’ve never actually had to do any work in them. Enough about me.
Crafted of sterling, copper, and nickel, Robert Farrell’s one-of-a-kind farm building sculptures beautifully straddle the line between rustic and modern, and I want them all! The 1- to 2-foot tall sculptures are finished with ground-glass enamel and, occasionally, 23k gold leaf. The special enamel gives the buildings a very convincing weather-worn look, just like those barns that make me squeal and point and ooh from the car.
Farrell is adamantly committed, obsessed, really, with maintaining his hand-made, one-of-a-kind aesthetic.
“I maintain a true, one-person studio. Each piece that I create is designed and executed without assistants or production techniques, using only basic hand and power tools. All of the pieces that I produce begin as sheet metal and wire. The patterns that you see are inlays rather than surface applications. There is no lathe-work, no casting, no mass-production techniques of any kind.”
His pieces can be found in prestigious museums including The Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the V&A in London. The talented Farrell also makes museum-worthy tabletop items and some very toothsome jewelry.
All images property of Robert Farrell/Farrell Silver.