building (338)

I’m Off to the Winter Institute in Baltimore

Tomorrow morning (January 21st), I’m heading to Baltimore for the Winter Institute, the annual American Bookseller’s conference for independent booksellers. I’ll be signing copies of The Half-Acre Homestead for book buyers. This is the book lovers’ book conference, always with a wonderful spirit of independence and love of real hold-in-your-hands books from real live dedicated book people. I’ll be posting from Instagram during the week: www.instagram.com/lloyd.kahn

My first trip to Baltimore; have always wanted to go there. Hey, if anyone has suggestions of things to do there, please comment. (Are there cold water swimmers in Baltimore?)

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SunRay’s Treehouse Masterpiece

Just when you think maybe SunRay has done all he’s gonna do — like major buildings — he pulls off this wild soaring, spiraling, 4-story log-framed structure in the woods. The spiral turrets up top are just insane. I mean, holy shit! SunRay rolls on, a true Spirit of Nature in his designs, carried out with incredible (and intuitive) building skills.

I wrote Uncle Mud (aka Chris McClellan) about SunRay’s latest (I’d seen a pic on @cabinporn) and he responded:

Lloyd,

I was there in 2018 during the rebuild after the fire so I don’t have anything newer than framing, which I have enclosed. Bonnie sends this video. I’m off to the mountains of Jamaica to teach mud building again next week. The village of Nine Mile is very sweet to us. The little kids call me “Meesta Mood”. People there make $20 a day but a sack of cement costs $10 so no one every finishes their house. When we were there in 2018 we taught them how to make windows out of bottles that get thrown by the side of the road, putting up a rough “Tree of Life” window in the dead of night before our flight home. When we came back in 2019 we were treated to this lovely view of the finished window.

(I’ll put up Mud’s photos in a later post.)

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House Made of Hemp Panels in UK

Practice Architecture’s house is built from the plant growing in the fields around it.

Flat House, as the home on Margent Farm is called, is the conversion of a steel-framed agricultural shed, within which a new structure has been made of prefabricated timber-framed cassettes that were filled with a mulch of hemp, lime and water known as hempcrete. Once the mulch was dry they were erected into thick, highly insulating walls that also hold the building up. The exterior is covered in corrugated panels, which at first glance looks like the cement cladding typical of farm sheds. It is actually made of fibres from the outer coating of hemp stalks combined with resin taken from agricultural waste. It has a livelier texture and a more translucent quality than cement.

theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/dec/07/flat-house-margent-farm-cambridgeshire-hemp-practice-architecture-carbon-energy

From Maui Surfer

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Little Log Cabin in Nevada Desert

Log cabin with hip roof, central Nevada. Squared-off logs, nice joinery. I shot this in the early ’90s, on one of my 4×4 trips in search of remote hot springs in the American southwest. It was out in the middle of nowhere, making it even more special.

Note tacked-on addition in back. Even with that, the simplicity and beauty of this little building shine through. Note also floor joist tenons routed in to bottom girder/log.

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This little beauty down a side street in Torrey, Utah, stopped me in my tracks. It’s in our book Home Work. The log work is perfect — a master builder at work. (Check out notched-in log partition in center, and notched-in cross-ties — look at second horizontal log below eave.) Perfect proportions. No architect in sight. Shot in 1989.

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The Half-Acre Homestead Book Is Finished!

(Subtitle: 46 Years of Building & Gardening)

You know, it’s Thanksgiving morning, both boys are off for the holiday with spouses’ families, and Lesley and I are working on our separate crafts. What a difference with no phones, no email, no business necessities, no one else around. Witness the fact that I’ve hardly blogged at all lately. Gonna have to get one day a week here with no distractions. A right-brain day!

The unbound pages came in from the printers a few days ago. What a thrill! The book’s getting bound (in Hong Kong) this week, shipped and will be available in early March, 2020. When we get it together, we’re going to take pre-orders.

I’m still getting used to the book. After covering hundreds of builders over the years, this is the first on my own (and Lesley’s) work.

Stay tuned.

These photos shot with iPhone. We just got these early pages.

Music de éste día: The Gilded Palace of Sin by The Flying Burrito Brothers, 1969
www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUeFJ7QIRbE

Here’s how I make books:

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