Post by Randel Agrella
Comstock has some wonderful, locally-produced craft items, for sale in-store only. Today, let’s look at bird houses and bird feeders, lovingly handmade by Jack Manette, or as he prefers to be called, ChateauShack Jacque.
Jacque makes birdhouses, mainly for birds about the size of robins, and his houses are home to bluebirds, wrens and many another similar-sized species of feathered friend.
Jacque’s birdhouses are entirely handcrafted, of materials salvaged primarily from historic old Connecticut structures that time has finally overwhelmed. The roofs of all his birdhouses and feeders are fashioned from old slate roof shingles. Jacque’s shingles are all salvaged from the Broad Brook, Connecticut, Woolen Mill, built in 1835, which operated until 1986, when, unfortunately, it burned down.
The wooden portion of Jacque’s creations are fashioned from salvaged siding from old Connecticut tobacco drying sheds. (Many people do not know that Connecticut had a thriving tobacco industry for many decades, and that some tobacco is commercially produced in the state to this very day.)
As Jacque says, “The materials, with years of standing in the weather, bearing the storms and the scorching sun, did what we expected of them. Age and circumstances have brought their intended use to an end. ChateauShack Jacque feels they should not be burned, crushed or discarded in the name of progress. By salvaging some of the materials and building something useful, their memory and beauty will preserve a bit longer.”
Jacque’s birdhouses are very popular among Comstock’s walk-in customers. They retail from $37 to $98, and may be seen during regular store hours, which at present are Sunday through Thursday, 11AM-4 PM.
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