Rusty Buckets
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      In December 2005, I moved from downtown NYC, 100 miles north to Mountaindale, NY. Fascinated by my new environment, I took time to explore the area, particularly the large amounts of abandoned buildings, farmhouses, summer homes, bungalows, trailers and rooming houses. I undertook a photographic survey of these vacant and decaying buildings.
      Walking around the properties as well as hiking through empty fields or along country roads, I kept coming upon the odd piece of enamelware and or a discarded rusty bucket. I don't know why I started but I kept the first rusted deformed enamelware cup that I found. From that point every time I found a piece of enamelware or a rusty bucket I kept it. The enamelware I began to use as a basis for a photographic project, Kitchen Table. As I became more familiar with the landscape I began to discover the penchant of individuals to discard their household trash and appliances along the side of the road. Roads that were built on the side of a hill were a favorite because the trash would fall down the embankment, hiding the evidence from view. In pre-environmentally conscious days, garbage was often burned on the property in a "burn" pile located behind the building usually behind a stone fence. All the household trash, such as mattress springs, paint cans, beer bottles, refrigerators, bicycles and so forth was also thrown out in the same area.
      These places became the hunting grounds for a swelling collection of enamelware pots, kettles, fry pans, coffee pots, washbasins, pitchers and cups. Everywhere I looked, I also found the ubiquitous galvanized pail or bucket, filled with residues of paint, tar, and cement or merely empty, perforated with holes or missing the bottom entirely. The pails were interesting because they are the industrial version of the first ceramic pots made to carry water. The bucket is the acme of industrial design, production and utility. Today metal buckets are increasingly scarce and rarely available for household use. Plastic has replaced galvanized steel as a matter of convenience. Color and lightness are valued more than durability.
      This web site is a presentation of the rusty buckets found in the Mountaindale area. The effects of use, time and decay have made each bucket a unique shape, each with an aesthetic value that now has replaced their utilitarian value.
      — Raymon Elozua, 2008

Raymon Elozua is a visual artist, working in ceramics, sculpture, painting and photography. He has taught at New York University, Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt School of Design and Louisiana State University as well as lecturing at many colleges nationally. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts grants in painting and sculpture as well as a New York Foundation for the Arts grant in ceramics. His work appears in numerous public and private collections.

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