I remember the barn I grew up with on our country property in Mulino, Oregon. It was leaning. Like the leaning tower of Pisa. Over the years, the barn slowly leaned more and more. Although it was increasingly dangerous to go in the barn, it was irresistible for my brother, my sister and I to stay out of it.
When you stepped inside, you were engulfed in the musty barn air. The coolness of the barn on a hot summer day was always a relief. I loved the thick wood beams, and most of all, I loved the loft—a wide-open space in the sky with a large square opening. My sister and I slept in that loft one summer night. The bats flying in and out over our heads, lying right next to the large square opening, we saw the starry sky and smelled the summer night air.
Barns are beautiful. They’re a connection with a simpler time—a structure that was built by hand, without heavy machinery. Today we see the prevalence of barn wood being used in almost everything. From furniture to home remodeling, barn wood is everywhere.
Photographer Matthew Eaton shares in my love for the barn. He’s been photographing barns since 2006, and in this issue, Eaton captures the beauty of the barn just for us. When asked what he loves about the barn, he says, “They captured my imagination. I look at them and think of the day they were new and the owners proud of them, of what they represented: safety, a bank of sorts, a building that protected a crop or livestock that sustained the family through the dark, cold months. Over decades of providing protection and fighting gravity, the character they developed was largely forgotten by all but a few who took notice of their crooked frames, bulging beltlines and thinning roofs and saw beauty not only in the total package but in the individuality of their parts.”
Editor & Creative Director