Our wedding couples can now get a one-of-a-kind hand-carved and painted keepsake plaque with bride and groom standing in front of our Welcome Barn. Hand made by Indiana Artisan Dorrel Harrison, this three-dimensional piece is crafted from wood of retired, fallen, or existing barns. Through this recycling process, new life is brought to what was once going to be discarded. It is then hand painted and shaded to provide a realistic look. A photo representation of the bride and groom is then placed in the doorway of the barn. The plaque is a keepsake you will cherish forever.
“I take barn board that is going to be thrown away or burned and I redeem it – a second chance, a new life. Sometimes it is the actual wood from the barn that I use to handcraft the plaque” says Harrison.
After a 15-year second career as a photographer, Dorrel Harrison started handcrafting barn board in New York State. When he retired as a health educator, Dorrel moved to southern Indiana to be near his son. His hobby grew as he began handcrafting classic barns in Southern Indiana.
One of his first barn plaques was for Sand Creek Post and Beam in Nebraska. After sponsoring several local classic barn contests in Scott and Washington counties, his unique three-dimensional art appeared at the Indiana State Fair, as well as at the Indiana State Museum and numerous towns in southern Indiana.
Since barn board is weathered, it often requires a bit of restoration before Dorrel paints it with acrylics. He often incorporates the weathered board as part of the art, and his work recently has progressed to where his clients may select to have a shadow box framed barn plaque.
Dorrel wants his selection as an Indiana Artisan to lead to a greater appreciation of the barns in southern Indiana, many of which remind him of the farms in up-state New York/Vermont. His long-term goal is to create a driving tour that features the barns in Indiana. “Wooden barns are becoming a thing of the past, especially in Indiana,” Dorrel says.