21 May 2011

House and Barn Stars

A friend of mine sent me a text message today, asking what the story was on these big stars he was seeing all over the place in Bryce, Virginia.  So I thought I'd do some digging for answers for him!  Stars, houses, barns history and decorating, are a few of my favorite things, so why not?  So, Kifer Krew!  This one's dedicated to you!

There are only a few types of stars I can think of that adorn the sides of buildings on the East Coast; Amish stars, structural stars and builders marks.  Each of these have interesting history and significance.

Amish Barn Stars
Without seeing the photos of what my friend, Kevin, is seeing; I can only guess that this is what he is talking about.  These stars were originally used by the Amish to express good will or good fortune, whereas the Amish Hex sign was to ward off evil spirits.  The Amish Barn Star can be traced back to the 1700s and were often built into the side of the barn.  In later years, the star was made of wood and then metal so it could be removed and painted as needed.  The color of the star had meaning and superstition.

Rustic Black Amish Made Tin Metal Barn Star StarsBlack means protection, also used to bind elements together.

Rustic Blue Amish Made Tin Metal Barn Star Stars

Blue means protection, peace, calmness and spirituality.
Rustic Brown Amish Made Tin Metal Barn Star StarsBrown means earth, friendship and strength.
Rustic Green Amish Made TIn Metal Barn Star StarsGreen means growth, fertility, farming success.
Amish Hand Made Rustic Antique Bronze Tin Metal Barn Star StarsOrange means abundance in career, projects and challenges.
Rustic Barn Red Amish Made Tin Barn Star StarsRed means emotions, passion, charisma, lust and creativity.
Rustic Violet Amish Made Tin Metal Barn Star Stars
Violet refers to all things that are sacred.

Rustic White Amish Made Tin Metal Barn Star Stars
White means purity, power of the moon, and energy that flows freely.

Yellow means good mental and physical health, love for your fellow man, sun,  and connection to God.

Now-a-days, people are hanging these on barns and houses for decorative purposes and more recently, they have been used to show that a family member is serving, or has served in a war to protect our freedom.  I like that meaning better than those of the Amish.  

The stars, pictured above, may be purchased from Tin Barn Star.  I thought they were pretty and rustic.  Enjoy!

Builder's Marks
Sometimes, stars were painted on or built onto the sides of barns and houses by the builder to represent his signature style.  Painted stars to represent the barn builder, were more common after the Civil War.  Stars built onto the side of the barn, made of wood, were largely seen before the Civil War.

The builder of this barn chose a traditional star and a cross.  Some builders painted stars that had more than five points, although the five point star was more common.

A builder's mark star, built onto the side of the barn.  This one is beautiful!  

Anchor Stars Or Wall Washers
Growing up in Frederick, Maryland, this is the type of star that I remember most!  Iron stars were used as washers with bolts and tie rods to girder a brick wall of a house.  It was common on Federal Style homes to prevent lateral bowing.  

{By Judy Juracek for Architecture Week}
These were sometimes called wall washers and were a decorative embellishment to a structural support.

File:Strasburg E Main 109.JPG
Just one of the ways I know I'm "back home"!  I love these old stars!

Close up, rusty and cool!

reNOUNed Star In Your Home
{reNOUNed Nest}
Sorry, that's a pitiful picture (taken for another post with another purpose), but as you can see, I have iron anchor stars over my kitchen window.  Three in total, hung with old square nails.

Why not hang one on your house?  This one looks like it was there forever!

Even on a newer house, it looks perfect!

{the copper star}
Perfection on the porch!

{the copper star}
Over the mantel.  This one is 48" tall!

I'm taking the next few days off to visit with friends!  
Please, visit me again at The reNOUNed Nest, on Tuesday, May 24th for more redesign ideas for your nest!

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