My name is Eric Marth, I’m writing in from Virginia. Thank you for all the work you’ve put into Shelter and your great blog.…This morning I was catching up with your blog and found a post I’d first read in the fall about starting out in carpentry (It’s here). Since the fall I’ve been working full time for my friend Jason who owns a small construction business here in Fredericksburg. I’d worked for him off and on for a few years, a day or two here and there, while also working in a great used bookstore in town before joining the crew. In my case it was the meeting of my interest and the good fortune of knowing someone in the trade. I’d known Jason for a few years before starting to work with him. I’m still green, but have gone from pushing a broom to wearing a tool belt. The work has been great and satisfying and I haven’t been happier. I live here in town and have the rare pleasure of coming home for lunch each day, eating from the garden and taking a short nap. It seems like this sort of thing has all but disappeared from most of our lives.
Much of our work is in the historic district of Fredericksburg city, doing additions, remodeling and renovation. We’re into a big job at the moment which will take a few years, renovating a large brick house built in 1815. The place needs the works, having been neglected for the past thirty years. New roof, new floors, rebuilding interior brick walls, new plaster throughout. We just finished underpinning the house with a new foundation, the original brick was sitting right on dirt.
I spend a lot of my time making and printing photographs, and most of my work has been made on farms and in rural places here in Virginia. If you have some time, my work is up here at https://www.ericmarth.com. This June I’m having a small show at a public library with photographs of boxelder trees that are living on the banks of the Rappahannock River in Stafford County, Virginia. The land where the pictures were taken was cattle pasture in the first half of the twentieth century, and the trees there were planted as shade for the livestock. The light there in spring is a miracle.
Take care, Lloyd and thanks for reading. And thanks especially for all of the work you’ve done to share your experiences and the good work of others.