Home in Osprey Point, Maine | House for Sale
When we first corresponded with the owner, we weren’t sure whether to visit this property.
The owner is well-known artist and sculptor Kendra Ferguson, whose work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Harvard’s Fogg Museum, and others. When she told us the house she designed eight years ago was actually her “largest sculpture,” we wondered whether it might not be as practical or functional as we like our featured properties to be.
And then we learned that although her 7.1 acres includes almost 400 feet of ocean frontage, she’d placed her “sculpture” on high ground, surrounded by so many trees that the ocean isn’t visible. “Putting the house down by the shore, along with the necessary driveway,” she told us on the phone, “would have disrupted the mystery of the forest.” Well, we thought … admirable in a way but maybe not our cup of tea.
On the other hand, the property was located on Osprey Point, a couple of miles south of the village of Deer Isle, Maine, on the island of Deer Isle. It’s just off Blue Hill Peninsula, which in turn is a few miles south of Bucksport. If you’ve ever spent time in that general area of coastal Maine, as we have, then you, too, probably dream about living there someday (as soon as you’ve won the lottery).
So it was that on a foggy, rainy day this past May, we found ourselves crossing over the beautiful suspension bridge spanning Eggemoggin Reach, a narrow stretch of ocean between Sargentville on the mainland and Little Deer Isle — a stretch of ocean so familiar to Down East sailors — and onto the narrow causeway, which put us on Deer Isle. Ten minutes later, at a point some three miles north of Stonington, one of New England’s most picturesque fishing villages, we turned off Route 15 onto a narrow dirt road, part of which followed along an ocean cove. Then a left onto an even narrower dirt road, and there we were.
From the photos we’d seen, there was no mistaking Kendra’s “sculpture,” a two-story, L-shaped home on high ground, surrounded by granite ledges among tall pines, birches, and spruce. It had a rather steep Galvalume standing seam roof with skylights, a second-floor balcony, and a rich brown reverse board-and-batten exterior accented by red trim around doors and windows. We liked it right away, thank goodness, but the best was yet to come.
The main door was blocked by snow that day, so Kendra — a pretty, soft-spoken lady, her dark, barely graying hair cut very short — and her dog, a pointer mix named Hugo, greeted us at the door to her studio (one of her studios in the house), a large open space, almost like a small gymnasium, with a bed and a desk but otherwise empty. She was apparently between projects. At the far end, she opened a door into the main area of the first floor, and it was then, in an instant, all our reservations about traveling all those many hours to Deer Isle evaporated. We’ve been moseying around New England looking at available properties for many years, but we can’t recall ever seeing a more beautiful interior.
It wasn’t just the open, airy feeling, or the large windows overlooking the forest on all sides — windows, like the doors, that had been hand-built in Sweden. Nor was it just the dramatic beams, made from trees cut on the property, and hexagonal pillars, milled onsite. It wasn’t just the spacious kitchen on the far side across from us, either — although, we must say, we were immediately taken with the cabinets and counters. Kendra told us later that they were all built with leftover wood originally milled for some of her sculptures, which, incidentally, have been described by art critic Philip Isaacson as “modernist in an extreme form” and “utterly exquisite.” Well, so were those cabinets and counters.
Actually, what impressed us the most during that initial moment was that everything — beams, windows, floors, ceilings, and each piece of furniture, all designed by Kendra, and even details such as the wooden clock on the wall — was so obviously an integral part of a harmonious whole. Breathtaking.