builders (165)

New England Stone Walls by Kevin Gardner

This sent us by Eva. It’s pretty long, and I haven’t watched it all, but I sure would if I lived where there was stone. Looks like a very thorough explanation of the principles of stone walls with and without mortar. A great explanation of why stone wall joints should not be lined up under one another.

   I loved this part: “Every stone in the world has an ambition…” — pause, twinkle in his eye –“that ambition is to sink to the center of the earth as soon as possible…”

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Seeking Tiny House Builder in Berkshires

Thanks so much for your stunning support for small abodes. I’m looking for an instructor to teach a hands-on workshop intensive on how to build a tiny timber-framed house on a trailer.
Location: my organic farm in the Berkshires
Timeframe: Summer, 2013
Any suggestions?

Eli Rogosa
Mystic Sheaf Bakery
Colrain, Massachusetts (near Shelburne Falls)
413 624 0214

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SunRay Kelley Revisited

On November 29, I posted a link to a large New York Times article on SunRay Kelley. In retrospect, it’s not really good or fair reportage on SunRay; it doesn’t do him justice. Part of it is East Coast reporter snark about West Coast free-spiritedness. Part of it is that the reporter just didn’t get SunRay— that he’s not only an artist, designer, architect, and inventor, but a master builder. His mortise and tenon joints, even with gnarly lumber, are tight. He’s a carpenter whose buildings soar. There’s a joy and a spirit in both builder and buildings. The NYTimes reporter missed all this and focussed on a bunch of trivialities.

    And there was a very weird interview with SunRay’s ex-wife, who came up with some mean-spirited comments. This shouldn’t have been included in the article. Cheap shot, ex-wife-wise and journalistic-wise.

   SunRay’s way better than you’d get from this account. In my opinion, there’s no other natural materials builder in the world who’s combined such ecology, design, and craftsmanship in so many buildings on the American landscape.

   Just settin it straight…

    For anyone interested in SunRay and his work, we have posted a PDF of the 27 pages we did on him and his work in Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2004. (We do—ahem—a way better job on builders than does the New York Times.)

   For the real SunRay, click here. (To get this in Acrobat, you may have to right-click and save linked file in downloads folder.)

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Dylan Got Shelter at Age 4

Dylan Friedman stopped in at our booth at the Green Festival yesterday and said that his Mom had given him Shelter when he was 4 years old. He said he had called it “my picture book,” and it and Winnie the Pooh were his two favorite books. He said he’d looked at the pictures when he was tiny, and built his 1st yurt when he was 21, and was now, as a result of that early inspiration, a green builder in NY.

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Adventures in Working With Wood

“I’ve followed your stream of fantastic information…for quite a few years, monthly I seem to find something that really speaks to me on those pages.  I own most of your books from Shelter Publications and am particularly inspired by “Builders of the Pacific Coast.”I believe a sequel to that book, if time and material permits, would be well received. I wanted to email you to say thanks and share some of the projects I’ve been involved with in the last few years here, at the website here. Much of my work from the last few years is in the portfolio section. I think you may enjoy, “Working with a Master,” “Extended Point,” and “Stevens Point IFTB,”  Thanks for your enthusiasm in the field of handmade construction and keep up the fine work.
-Adam Valesano”

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