No. 16. The Cider Mill Riders & Drivers Association

 

Last week after dropping off some work at Studio B in Boyertown, I decided to explore a back road in hopes of finding something interesting to photograph. I came across this derelict Cider Mill/Horse Stable whose textures attracted my attention.  Call it “ruin porn” if you will, but I found the textures of this structure in its last days worth some study.

While shooting the owner drove from around the back in his Ford F150. I learned that at one time, long, long ago, the property had been an orchard with its own substantial cider press. When that business failed the property was used for horsing around, sporting a large stable and practice arena. With that operation now long defunct permits to bring the building down have finally been obtained, according to the owner, who expects demolition to begin shortly. Next door to this structure, on the same original property, is a modern industrial facility.

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography and Encaustic Art He is an outstanding location photographer, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. But Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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