builders (162)

Barn in Sooke, British Columbia

I really like the gambrel roof, where you take the gable shape, and push it up to get more headroom in the 2nd story. Big, spacious dormer nice for 2nd story.

Though it looks like it’s not being used (and there’s krappy shed attached on the left side), they’ve put a new roof on it.

Framing

There’s a lot to learn about building framing from farm buildings. Like the gussets here; attach them with construction screws and you’ve got simple, cheap connectors.

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A Home in Sooke, British Columbia

Shot on a trip in 2017, hanging out with Godfrey Stephens and Bruno Atkey…

I like a lot of things about this design, like the way the shingles flair out over the lower windows.

Too bad more people having homes built don’t just go with the thousands of well-worked-out designs like this, rather than hiring an architect, who will usually be trying to make a “statement.”

There are lots of of home-sweet-homes designs out there, worked out over centuries.

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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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Postcard from a Prisoner

It’s great to connect with people in prison. These books give them something to hope for, ideas for things they can do for themselves once they get out.

We sent the two requested books yesterday.

(I whited out the prisoner’s full name here.)

Note: We continue to send books free of charge to any prisoner who so requests.

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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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Cowboy Cathedral in Oregon

I’m delving around in the photo files from our book Home Work, published in 2004. This is the so-called round barn, built by cattleman Peter French and what is now the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in southeast Oregon. In 1872, French set out for Oregon from Sacramento, California with 1200 head of select shorthorn cattle, six Mexican vaqueros, and a Chinese cook. He drove the cattle across the Sacramento River and then then northward up into Eastern Oregon, where he settled on the west side of Steens Mountain. Over the years, his ranching Empire grew to encompass 200,000 acres and 45,000 head of cattle, one of the largest cattle empires west of the Rockies.

In the late ’70s or early ’80s, French built three round barns for breaking horses in the winter months. This one is 100 feet in diameter, the conical roof framed with a 35-foot center pole of Juniper (about 40 inches at the bottom, tapering to maybe 28 inches at the top), 14 surrounding Juniper posts and then a third wall of posts at the perimeter about 8 feet high. It’s a breathtaking building; I spent a couple of hours there in Spring, 2003, shooting photos.

It’s a great story, with 7 more photos, told on pages 206 to 207 of Home Work.

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