The Mountains of North Carolina are about 800 miles from the luxury boutiques of Miami’s bustling design district, but there, on North East 40th Street, in a temple to high-end consumerism, shoppers are confronted with the soulful presence of native North Carolina trees…
…all the standards that exist today for this bark product were created by Marty [McCurry]. Peeling bark takes skill and strength. Around here, it’s considered something of an art.
Marty and Chris [Bark House co-founders] know most of their vendors by name, and their families too: mountain people, like them, who wouldn’t be surprised at all that shoppers in Miami would want to stop and touch the bark of a tree.
The entire two-story store is covered in tulip poplar bark harvested from felled trees throughout Appalachia, including the Linville area: hundreds of square, gray, deep-ridged bark shingles stretching upward, like a sapling seeking an imaginary canopy. Pause to press your hand to the nubby bark, and you can almost hear the wind whispering across the nose of Grandfather Mountain.
The article opens the potential for contemplation of soulful places. It points out a temple of consumerism, a historic Episcopal church and alludes to the forest as a temple. These are indeed important images and ideas. We welcome your perspective on this at [email protected].