natural materials (295)

Off-Grid Cabin

Lloyd Kahn’s books were instrumental in Josh and I creating our very own off-grid cabin. Please consider this an open invitation to visit us anytime! Please see attached photos of our cabin that Josh built entirely by himself, as well some of our favorite treasures!

Peace and copious amounts of blessings upon each and everyone of you for all that you do! Keep up the good work! We love what you’re creating! We look forward to hearing and collaborating with you soon!

Take good care,
Jessica and Josh Courson

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Straw Bale Guest House in Idaho Inspired by Shelter Book

Hello,

I’m writing because we have just recently completed a straw bale ADU in our backyard in Boise, Idaho that all came about because of (1) a pregnancy and (2) seeing Lloyd Kahn speak at Bookshop Santa Cruz promoting Small Homes: The Right Size years ago. I wanted to share our story.

My husband and I had moved from Santa Cruz to the Santa Cruz Mountains (Boulder Creek right outside of Big Basin). We had the big dream of starting from scratch on an off-grid property and building a structure over time utilizing natural building principles. We had taken a straw bale building workshop at Real Goods/Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA and fell in love with straw bale building. That first winter was tough. It rained so much that we barely had the ability to get that infrastructure going. There were trees falling and mudslides. Leaky roofs and mice. No power, no running water.

Then we found out we were pregnant and needed to rethink whether we would realistically be able to both work full-time in Santa Cruz, commute 45 minutes each way, and build a home while taking care of a small child. Land, permits, building materials, daycare, etc. all added up financially so to live in that area we would both have to work full-time jobs. How could we do that and build a home? It was daunting.
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Stone Masonry Publications

Lloyd, hello. I’m Tomas Lipps, used to live in Bolinas late ’70s, early ’80s… I was pleased to stumble upon your blog today and have enjoyed browsing through it. One line in particular struck me [referring to the book Shelter]: “We were both fans of Life Magazine, and felt that each two-page spread should stand alone and be visually balanced.” That’s because I’ve gotten into publishing myself. I edit a glossy print publication called STONEXUS Magazine and a digital counterpart to it called the STONEZINE, and in the print mag I’m particularly sensitive to how the two-page spreads are laid out. (The ‘zine is single-page, 8.5″ × 14″.)

Good to see you’re still at it, and out and about. I’ve been confined here in Santa Fe due to the damn pandemic, but as soon as I get issue #XX printed and mailed out (April), I’ll go off on the trip I had planned in 2020 — to Sardinia. Will be photographing stonework there, the Bronze Age Nuraghi in particular fascinate me. You seem to be familiar with Italy, anything you can tell me about Sardinia?

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Yogan’s 40-Foot-Tall Half-Timber Tower in France

From our good friend yogan, a highly skilled and innovative carpenter in France:


Our last job!

A big tower in colombage (Middle Ages technique of half-timber framing).

We sawed the wood with a mobile horizontal bandsaw, then drew an outline of the entire tower on the floor of our workshop; we then laid the wood on the markings to draw the assemblage.

Only tenons and mortises! No nails or bolts.

It’s a 4.5 × 4.5 × 12 meter (15 by 15 by 40 feet) tower (without the rock foundation).

8.7m3 (94 sq. ft.) of oak and chestnut was used. Almost 18m3 (194 sq. ft.) of uncut logs.

The roof and the walls will be finished this year!

www.cabanophiles.com
yogan.over-blog.com
facebook.com/mryogan
instagram.com/yogancarpenter

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Sámi Shelter

Photo of Sámi people standing in front of a peat-covered goahti shelter around 1880 in Northern Norway

The Sámi people are a Finno-Ugric-speaking people inhabiting the region of Sápmi (formerly known as Lapland), which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and of the Murmansk Oblast, Russia, most of the Kola Peninsula in particular. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, but these terms are regarded as offensive by some Sámi people, who prefer the area’s name in their own languages, e.g. Northern Sami Sápmi.…

Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding. Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sámi are connected to reindeer herding, which provides them with meat, fur, and transportation. 2,800 Sámi people are actively involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis in Norway. For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi people in some regions of the Nordic countries.…

–Wikipedia

From article in The Guardian on the return of a Sámi shaman’s drum to the Sámi people by the National Museum of Denmark
Sent us by Maui Surfer

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Solar-Powered Thatched Hut

Photo by Jon Kalish

Handmade living structure built from invasive grass by Daren Rabinovitch on the Aptos, California homestead known as Trout Gulch, created by members of the animation company Encyclopedia Pictura.

Note: Sean Hellfritsch, who lived at Trout Farm for a while, commented that they could not keep the woodrats out of the building. (Makes sense, it looks like a giant woodrat nest.)

Link to the NPR story Jon did about the place:
www.npr.org/2011/07/17/137680605/making-cutting-edge-animation-on-a-diy-homestead

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Restoring an Old Ruin in Cornwall, UK

Hi Lloyd,

Love Shelter and ever since a friend showed me your book a decade ago I’ve been dreaming of taking a copy of it with me to a hillside somewhere in Europe and seeing what might be possible haha

I’ve done bits of labouring and landscaping and walling over the years here in Cornwall, and have never quite managed to earn and save up enough to get a foot on the ladder towards some land here or even elsewhere as life has been quite hectic. However, I somehow managed to come away with enough money to buy the old ruin I’d dreamed of since being 15.

It’s not on a hillside somewhere sunny yet, but that might be the next one, but it is a very special place in an incredibly beautiful and historic area within a world heritage site.

It was built in the late 1700s to early 1800s and the archaeologists that we have to use here in the preliminary stages of the build because of the surrounding ancient history even found a couple of shetland pony shoes (that were often used by the coast here to pull up carts full of seaweed). We also found an old pair of sugar tongs and a half penny from 1861 which was really cool.

From the patchy information that we’ve managed to find in some of the old records it’s likely that it was lived in by mining and agricultural workers as there is an ancient farm 100m down the track and many disused copper and tin mines scattered all over the fields and into the valley.

I’m probably only one third of the way through the works (with some help along the way) towards reinstating it traditionally and working it into a cosy tiny home that will sleep 2 to 3 and maybe even a couple more outside in a small yurt or something.
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Raised from Earth

Under the gaze of southern Arizona’s cinnamon-hued Canelo Hills, a mother shares ancient building traditions with her three sons. In Puebloan creation stories, adobe structures, like people, emerge from the earth and return to the earth. For Athena Steen, it’s the family memories, skills, knowledge, love, laughter — and the clay itself — that endure.

All clay, rock, and standing dead timber harvests in this film conducted in accordance with the rules of local jurisdictions.

Also, see: www.caneloproject.com/photos

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