It’s been no more than a couple of weeks since the persistent blanket of snow finally gave way to the browns and duns of a Delaware County spring. Perhaps it’s the soul’s innate capacity for self-preservation that stretches time, making it feel longer since winter’s bony grip was at our elbow. But now it’s official; spring has arrived and the redwing blackbirds will not shut up about it. Ramps are muscling up between the rocks and cyclists are blurring the backroads with spandex.
Odd that it was just February – six weeks ago – we were approached by our friend and unfailing pizza-night supporter, the astonishing Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, with the bones of a conceptual photo story based around Table on Ten, for the inaugural issue of her new Magazine OSMOS. Even as we excitedly listened to Cay Sophie’s proposal (probably with our arms in the wood-fired oven or one of the sinks) it became clear that she was thinking of something quite different from the kind of pieces we’d been involved with till then – Wilder, Martha Stewart Living, Remodelista. No sunlight dappling the surface of potato pizzas or meticulously-casually abandoned forks for Cay Sophie. She’d seen a grid of pictures we’d posted, illustrating a journey around various farms picking up ingredients for a pie. We must have been in esoteric mood that day; the grid was more dreamscape than literal rendering of the journey, and it was that aspect – the landscape of the mind, perhaps – that Cay Sophie was interested in exploring.
With deadlines already pressing, London-based Danish photographer Henrik Knudsen flew from the warmth of California into the teeth of Delaware County’s lingering winter. For the best part of a week, he ploughed a furrow through our snow-bound corner of the county, up hill and down dale, calling in at producers Burnett Farms and Harpersfield Cheese, frequently scuttling into Table on Ten to borrow Inez so she could walk shin deep through snow, sit behind foggy windows, drive along deserted roads.
An amazing few days: we cooked dinners, lit bonfires, gathered each evening to look at pictures and watch the storyline unfold. In some ways the process was quite natural – reflecting upon the familiar choreography of living and working in this landscape – and in other ways a complete departure. Walking slowly across a frozen field of corn stubble is something we all know. Walking back-and-forth across it a dozen times in the bone-chilling cold is somewhat less familiar. The narrative that emerged felt something like the lingering edge of a waking dream.
It was a privilege to be able to collaborate on a project of this stature with Cay Sophie (a force of nature in her own right), Henrik and Christian. And what a thrill to see it out so quickly, just a few weeks after it was shot, beautifully printed and currently available on the shelves of the microshop. Here are a few pictures from the story; you can also see the whole piece as it ran in OSMOS in the Press section of the website.