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.
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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].