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Louie’s Shop

When I first met Louie, in the mid-1980s, I was stunned by the beauty of this little building, and even more stunned when he told me that his design was based on the painting of a Mandan earth lodge on page 4 of our book Shelter. Moreover, his cabin across the river was based on the drawing of a small Japanese cabin (bottom right, page 21) in Shelter.

At that point, I had published Shelter II in 1978, but hadn’t really planned on any new books on building.

If Shelter had inspired buildings like this, it occurred to me that it was time for a sequel, and therefore I started working on Home Work, featuring Louie’s creations as the first part of the book. It turned out that a lot of buildings had been inspired by Shelter, as you can see if you leaf through Home Work.*

Since then, we’ve become the best of friends, and I visit him whenever I can. I stay in the little circular room (at right in the exterior photo), and it’s always a wonderful experience — looking up at the radial framing of the roof (with a Ford truck wheel at the apex), looking out at the grapevines, enjoying the design and quality of the building.

I always consult him on projects underway, and on this trip I took along the 30 or so pages of rough layout of our next book, Rolling Homes, and got his feedback.

Now that I’ve returned home, I’m back to work on this book, and it looks really exciting — what with the huge interest in nomadic living these days.*

Stay tuned.

P.S.: I highly recommend the film Nomadland; it’s real (a rarity these days).

*Shameless Commerce Department

You can get both Shelter and Home Work on our website with a 30% discount and free shipping — which beats Amazon. There’s a money back guarantee on all of our books.
www.shelterpub.com

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Tiny Native American Baskets

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I can’t remember where I picked these exquisite little baskets up. The 3 sizes are 1⅝″, 1¼″, and 1⅛″. They may be either Miwok or Pomo (both central California tribes). They’re sitting on top of our little Bose radio in the kitchen and we look at them all the time. Originally they had tiny hummingbird feathers attached to each of the beads, but they were destroyed by some kind of insects.

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I Wish I Still Had Time to Do Blog Posts Like This

I just ran across this post (below), done in 2006. What a difference 14 years can make! Our books were selling way better in those days, so I had the time to do blog posts.

These days — right now — I’m swamped with the business side of publishing: reprints, marketing, sales, publicity, foreign translations, interviews, podcasts, metadata as well as social media, and I’m getting very little time to work on new books.

My plan is to get as much of this stuff done as possible right now and, as well, farm out as much of it as I can in the future, and free up time to get going on the next book (which I’m really excited about): Rolling Homes.

I ran across the below post while doing a search on my blog for Godfrey and Bruno — this post came up first. If you’re interested further in these two amazing guys, scroll on down.

Note: When Godfrey first told me about Bruno (who I hadn’t met), he said: “He’s the ultimate guy.”

www.lloydkahn.com/?s=godfrey+bruno

Note: If you want to get on my GIMME SHELTER email newsletter list (goes out every month or two to about 4000 people), go to: shltr.net/gimme-signup

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Michael Kahn’s Stained Glass Greenhouse in Arizona

My cousin Mike and I hung out together until we both went off to college. Mike started painting at an early age, moved to New York, where he sold paintings on the sidewalk, then to Provincetown, Cape Cod, where he painted, did pottery, and supported himself waiting on tables.

In the ’70s, he moved to a piece of land near Cottonwood, Arizona (near Sedona), where — partially influenced by our book Shelter — he started building a partially underground village of sculptural buildings, which he called Eliphante. I visited him and his wife Leda off and on, and in Home Work, published 24 photos of his wildly creative compound.

This is his greenhouse room built out of old auto windshields, put together with silicone caulk. The stained glass, which he got free, was siliconed on the inside of the windshields.

Mike is no longer with us, but you can learn more about him and Eliphante at: www.eliphante.com/…

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First Nations Builders

The natives of the northwest coast of North America are referred to as First Nations people. In Builders of the Pacific Coast, we have a 12-page section, with 30 vintage photographs of their buildings and totem poles, as well as drawings showing how they raised the huge poles and beams of their remarkable longhouses. (A Salish building discovered by Capt. George Vancouver in 1792 was over 1000 feet long.)

Haida man standing in front of a six-beam Haida house at Haina, Haida Gwaii (formerly called Queen Charlotte Islands), 1888. Note the immaculate carpentry.

Kwakiutl (Kwagiulth) House frame of relatively recent times (note milled wallboards)

From the wonderful book, Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians, Copyright 1984 By Hilary Stewart, Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver/Toronto

Rear totem of the Raven House at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, Shows (from top) Raven flanked by two frogs, a human figure and the Thunderbird.

Interior post from the caps on big house of Yestaquana at Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. The post, originally painted black, red, white, and blue, stood at the rear of the house, aligned with the front door.

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Steel-Framed House on British Columbia Island by Builder Dean Ellis

From Builders of the Pacific Coast, pages 154 to 155.

As I go through the 1000 or so photos in this book, there are more than 100 like this that deserve large-formatted viewing. It strikes me that we could do an exhibit of selected photos from this book.

Note: We have an unconditional guarantee on all of our books. If you are not completely satisfied, for any reason, at any time, call us up and we will send you a refund. No need to return books. Also, we have a 30% discount on two or more books, with free shipping — which is usually a lower price than Amazon.

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Boathouse with Steel Rafters on British Columbia Island

This gracefully curved little steel-frame boathouse was built by Dean Ellis on the beach of an island in the Strait of Georgia, BC. Posts are 4″–5″ steel, 8 feet on center. The curved steel purlins are 2½″ steel tubes, The curves formed on a break in a sheet metal shop. The 1″ by 6″ wood sheathing is welded to the steel purlins with nails.

The wood sheathing is connected to the steel purlins by driving nails through the roof sheathing alongside the steel purlins, then welding to the purlins with wire-fed welder.

Details in Builders of the Pacific Coast, page 159.

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Stefan’s Home, Built by Lloyd House

This is my favorite house in the world. When I first saw it, I sat down. I was stunned. Every feature about it was beautiful, inside and out. It was built by master carpenter Lloyd House, and is shown in detail on pages 36-41 of Builders of the Pacific Coast. Unfortunately, it burned down.

I just started looking through the photos from this book (which in many ways is the best building book I’ve done) and decided to post some of them large-size here.

I’m also going back into blogging — bigger and more often.

Photos on a smart phone (Instagram) are pretty skimpy.

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