Our mission ... is nicely captured in a sentence quoted from Delacroix by the American Historian
David McCullough during an interview with the
New York Times:
What I demand is accuracy for the sake of imagination.
*(Pls see notation below.)
Left: A tiny brass screw appearing to the right of upper ladder (and three others used to secure the cover plate for the hidden wiring system) are the only metal fixtures in this entire 5' wide, Bethlehem creche.
This represents our first "Double Construction Site" in the works! Double? Last year I came across a fascinating story in Down East Magazine (March '11) about our nation's 3rd oldest African Meeting House formally founded July 2, 1828 by Free African Americans in 1828. Frederick Douglass addressed the congregation several times from its pulpit.
Closed in 1917, it is currently being restored to its former glory after nearly a century of many (unedifying) alterations, not to mention surviving major fires, and many harsh Maine winters. ( My next related project involves the Nantucket African Meeting House.)
Upon reading Down East magazine's story ("Sing Hallelujah") about this very interesting, but long neglected part of our nation's history, not to mention a strong appreciation for its (original) classical clean New England lines and functional appearance, I knew it was only be a matter of time before I started my own "reconstruction project, albeit in miniature."
To reach the Abyssinian Meeting House Restoration Project's leaders for more information and make a donation, by all means, send them an email! (*All of the figurines displayed above, by the owner of our largest production to date, were manufactured by Hestia Creations, located in Marblehead, MA.)
"Under Construction" ... What's Ahead!
* Please see notation below.
Our Special Italianate Baptismal Crèche. This side features a free-use print of Bottacelli's famous nativity painting. Created on a special order basis only.
Above: Notice the slit in the roof for depositing coins, bills. Latch is hidden below.
Opposite "Bank side," Notice small Franciscan style crucifix set in a fisherman's net and "gothic windows" with opal glass to create a stained glass effect.
Double Hay-loft, Alpine: Our first large creche. The stucco coating the back walls of both creches were "smudged up" for added effect.
One of our largest "Alpines."
Welcome to Our Website
Established in 2011 by artist Steven Barrett, of Hadley, MA, Nature’s Heirlooms is the site for discerning purchasers of Americana folk art, seeking high end handcrafted replications of Colonial-Federalist, or regionally themed buildings, or family owned buildings, as keepsake decorative birdhouses, dollhouses and/or personal use/jewelry boxes.
We also create exquisitely detailed nativity crèche display stalls -- equal to any created by internationally famed crèche stall crafters in Europe. Because every crèche stall we sell is handcrafted from scratch in my shop, we are able to maintain the highest standards of quality, and offer very competitive prices due to much lower domestic S & H costs, and no additional foreign taxes, etc.
The majority of our (non-Christmas) creations are dedicated to promoting a greater awareness of and appreciation of New England's long legacy of positive contributions to our nation's historical, cultural, spiritual and civic foundations. "Nature's Heirlooms" also takes its name from our dedication to use as many natural elements to give our structures, especially our crèche display stalls the most naturally realistic appearances possible.
This year, we decided to take our business into a slightly different direction, preparing for the day when we will be nationally known for creating the most affordable handmade replications of historically or personally significant buildings to help raise funds, and generate greater awareness for worthy charitable causes, referendum, drives, and candidates running for elective offices. If you are seeking to fund an anti-demolition drive or have a charity you'd like to support by having us replicate a singularly special building, or several copies of one (or more), drop us a line through our forms featured on this site the website, or by phone, (413) 584-6131.
Come and visit my accompanying blog,
(Image of Meeting House, Prop. of Maine Historical Society.)