“…Inspiration is rare and can´t be bought.…”

This came in today:

Hi, two of your books found their way to me, Tiny Homes I got from my best friend who died tragically recently, and Homework I spotted yesterday in the housemoving pile of my flatmate/landlord… Both, especially Homework in it’s unashamed eclectic spirit of excitement went straight to my top five most inspirational books list…

Reading these was like laying my hands on Bart Hopkins’s Musical Instrument Design for the first time. Prior to that I’d seen a myriad of books basically giving blueprints for pre-existing designs, but approaching that from a layman’s POV was too daunting for me. So what Hopkins did, was take out the mystique in the craft and instill a belief in possibilities in me, giving me the inspiration to start building musical instruments with no prior knowledge or plans. Sure I botched a thousand things, it wasn’t easy, and you would get arguably “better” sounding ones from the shop. But hey:

they’re mine.

Plans, blueprints and opinions are cheap these days. Inspiration is rare and can´t be bought. Except sometimes, maybe… Anyway, I don’t promise to build my own house one day (although until now I always tried to fullfill my every idea and dream, so we’ll see…) but at least now I believe it’s possible if I want it.

I hate people who said that the Arts & Crafts movement failed, or that the 60s failed, or that whatever time and ideology failed. You don’t say that a tree failed when it dies eventually, when it’s seeds are sown all over…


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

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