Saturday, January 19, 2013

Objects of Interest

not just any old iron

An iron cauldron once used for laundry, 
like the old 'copper' in Australia,
for rendering the pork fat in winter,
and no doubt for many other tasks.
It now sits in a prominent position 
sporting irises or Chianti 'giaggioli' in summer.


This barrel was used to crush the first grapes off the vine at harvest time, to reduce their bulk, so that more grapes could be carried in the wagon. The inside of the barrel is deepest red and smells wonderful. 

A local basket made of fine strips of wood

A flowerpot holder still performing its original function

Another wood-strip basket, great for firewood. The man who acquired it for us told me that when he was a baby and his mother was working in the vineyard, she would keep him in a basket just like this, with some toys to play with....the original playpen!

Lovely old tin bin with lid

Two iron trivets used for cooking over embers in the gigantic fireplaces that once were hearth, oven, stove and heating for many families in Chianti.

A tray used for drying homemade tagliatelle and an 
iron scraper for the kneading surface of the traditional 'madia' or bread-making chest

 A large scoop probably for flour or grains, about 130cm long, made from a single piece of (poplar?) wood.

Basket used for gathering olives: it would have been tied around the waist and filled in front.

giant sieve about 1.5m across, used for winnowing, or separating grain from chaff: suspended from a hook it would be twirled and shaken until the chaff was blown away by the wind

Pieces from farm machinery, a rusted sickle, bicycle and electrical parts, remnants of wrought iron, shards from crockery, bowls, terracotta jars for oil, demijohns for wine, even the old enamelled house numberplate. Our local smith helped me solder them together to make a small tribute to the peasants who once lived and worked so hard at Le Ripe and surrounding farms. 

We have a friend and collaborator, Paolo, who scours country markets for such items. He has quite a collection and sometimes we are lucky enough to benefit from his research and knowledge. 

1 comment:

  1. There is also the "trebbiatrice" that was found in the stalle at Le Ripe when you arrived, and that now serves as a container for little plants. Do you have a picture of that?


Comments are welcome but will be checked before publishing.