natural materials (251)

Tiny House

Tiny (10 by 10) building — my latest. Curved roof like gypsy wagon (vardo or Basque shepherd’s wagon) plus windows at eye level give tiny rooms a feeling of spaciousness. This is the first autumn for this building.

Billy Cummings did a lot of the work here. Construction details (including making the curved rafters) and interior photos in The Half-Acre Homestead.

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Oregon Mountain Cabins

Lloyd,

Peter from Portland, OR here. Met you at a book signing a couple years ago at Powell’s on Hawthorne St.

Came upon these beauties on the first day of a 5-day thru-hike in the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mtns of NE Oregon. These mountains are high alpine, differing greatly in appearance and density than the Cascades. They seem to be managed by a man who goes by “Dennis”, who we encountered on our initial ascent into the wilderness. He told us he was the caretaker of the cabins on the southern shore of Android Lake, to peruse them if we fancy. He mentioned that it was the remnants of an old summer “resort” from the early 1900s. He has done good work restoring these old gems.

The yurt-shaped cabin looks newer, however. You’ll also notice some homemade structural supports on a couple of them. All gear/equipment/tools are carried by horseback up nearly 6500 ft. (3000 ft. gain) to this location. All in all, pretty cool. They function on something of a rental basis. They all have beds, wood stoves and seem to be in good shape interiorly as well.

Cheers,
Peter Knudsen

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The Most Isolated Buildings in the World

(CNN) — Driving through the beautiful, winding country lanes of Georgia’s remote, western Imereti region is an immensely pleasurable travel experience — but not one you’d immediately associate with religious experiences. Until, that is, you pass a hidden lane signposted with a picture of a church.

This is the way to the Katskhi pillar — a natural limestone monolith that towers more than 130 feet, or 40 meters, into the air and on top of which stands what is probably the world’s most isolated, and most sacred, churches.

Situated approximately 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) west of Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi, this remarkable landmark is notoriously difficult to reach. There are no trains in this part of the region, so the only way to get there is by car or bus, but it’s worth the trek.

The final approach is done on foot, a 20-minute hike during which the monolith appears suddenly on the horizon of the vivid Georgian landscape. It’s a magical experience that only intensifies as you draw closer to the pillar itself. A steep climb up some half-finished steps is a sign that visitors are almost there.

At the base of the pillar, a monastery and a small chapel come into view on the right-hand side. To the left stands the 130-foot tall limestone column in all its mesmerizing glory.

sputniknews.com/photo/202008121080143078-introverts-dream-most-isolated-houses-across-the-globe

Sent us by Maui Surfer

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Virtual Presentation of The Half-Acre Homestead

I did a virtual presentation of my book, The Half-Acre Homestead on August 20, 2020) at Bookshop Santa Cruz, one of my favorite bookstores in the world. I usually do a bunch of bookstore appearances for each new book; this year I just got the first one done at City Lights, before Covid closed things down.

It was recorded. About 30 minutes are me doing a slide show from the book. The last 30 minutes are questions from the audience — what do I think of domes, A-frames, underground houses? How to build nowadays? Cob and strawbale and Hardy Board? Chickens. My image looks blurry (at least here) and I suspect this is because of our slow DSL connection. (C’mon Horizon, ride to our rescue!)

www.crowdcast.io/e/bookshop-santa-cruz-7

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Shingled Cabin in France

Shingled Cabin in France

I am Bastien Forestier. I live in Boussy Saint Antoine near Paris. One year ago, in the winter, I was driving across Normandy to go surfing. On my way I stumbled upon la Chappelle D’Allouville, a mystical wooden treehouse made by a monk in 1609. So I decided to build a shelter using this technique.

I began doing wood shingles and beams. First with axes, then I bought a shaking axe.

I used the trees around me. I know them all since my childhood. Now after a year i have a roof and walls. I am very sure to make more houses like this in the future, inspired by Tingely’s cyclops maybe.

I like that the people in the neighborhood call it La Chapelle (the chapel).

Note: These are actually shakes, rather than shingles.  –LK

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Louie Frazier and the Connection Between Our Books Shelter and Home Work

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I was photographing Jack Williams’ house in Point Arena, Calif. in 2000, and he said, “There’s someone up here who wants to meet you.”

We drove about 5 miles out of town, down into a riverfront valley, and I saw this beautiful little building. The two doors were open, and this guy, who I’d never seen before came out with an old tattered copy of Shelter, and he told me to crouch down in the doorway and look at the building’s framing. See this? He said? I built it from this painting (of a Mandan earth lodge) in Shelter.

Wow I thought, If Shelter inspired something like this, it’s time to do a sequel.

So Home Work, published in 2004 was born, and it featured lots of buildings inspired by Shelter.

BTW, the other day Louie said that back in the day, the saying was: “Turn on, tune in, drop out, and read Shelter.”

Note: With a 30% discount for 2 or more books, you can now get both Shelter and Home Work for $41 with free shipping: www.shelterpub.com

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Yurts in Cornwall

I recently got an Instagram post from Lisa Mudie at Mill Valley Yurts in Cornwall, U.K, along with some photos. (They rent yurts and cabins in a rural setting.) I asked her to email me, and she wrote:

“Thirteen years ago we started a rustic campsite in our beautiful Cornish Valley a few miles from the rugged Atlantic coast which has evolved over the years into a crazy mix of hobbit huts, wooden yurts, cabins, and gypsy vardos. All handmade by us using reclaimed materials and all Cornish timber. Our latest purchase is a mobile sawmill and 26 tonnes of local oak … now we can really start building!”

Yurts in Cornwall

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Surfer’s Shack by Bruno Atkey on the “Wild Coast” of British Columbia

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Surfer’s shack built by Bruno Atkey on the “Wild Coast,” about 40 miles by north of Tofino (reachable only by sea–no roads), on the west side of Vancouver Island. We went in Bruno’s 17-foot aluminum fishing boat, with 50 HP rope-pull-starter outboard motor), stayed there a couple of nights, fished, surfed, drank whiskey, and took a driftwood-fired sauna when I was shooting photos for Builders of the Pacific Coast. Bruno was one of the first surfers on Vancouver Island.

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