natural materials (281)

Master Carpentry in Poland

Hi Lloyd,

I spent Christmas with my family in Dabrowa bialystocka, northeastern Poland …

Yesterday evening Santa had the good idea to bring me one of your books, Small Homes, great idea, impossible to spend a better Christmas ….

I’m a fan of your books that I discovered about fifteen years ago.

It always makes me dream of a better world.

Thank you for everything.

If you go to Europe, it would be a great pleasure to meet you and to welcome you to Poland.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and lots of new adventures in 2018.

–Julien Croisier
www.justwoodit.com

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2-Story Driftwood Shack

On the road again

Heard about a 2-story driftwood shack at Navarro beach, road to beach closed because Navarro River has not broken thru to ocean, making big flooded Estero. Tried to walk thru yesterday afternoon, but water soon up over knees, so had to settle for this long shot. I’m heading south today to another long sandy beach with a bunch of shacks. Glad I got this iPhone 8 plus, way improved camera. BUT am so pissed off I forgot to bring my grown-up camera (Olympus OM-D) with telephoto lens. Damn! Still, you get the idea. Watch for my new book, Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture Along the California Coast. As a result of this trip, the book has grown by at least a dozen pages. This is the first in a field of small print-on-demand books we’re going to try. I have a ton of things that I’d like to make small books out of. Barns, motorcycles, New York City, L.A., Baja California Sur…

Meanwhile, finishing 2nd draft of my book on the ’60s, present working title: “Something’s Happening…

Haven’t got subtitle, maybe “My Life and the ’60s”

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The Lost Files

I was looking through one of my many filing cabinets (which contain old school file folders containing papers and photos) the other day and discovered about 15 folders on a book I started to write in the late ’70s. It was going to be called Home Work* and was about my building experiences, starting with my first building (studio with a “living roof” in 1962), then building homes over the next 17-18 years. I took them out of the filing cabinet and put them in this box:

Back then, I felt that I could offer guidance to novice builders, based on the fact that I started building from scratch. No carpentry training or previous construction experience.

I’d made a lot of mistakes that I could warn first-time builders about, and I had ideas for simple homes based on practicality and economy– and ones that felt good.

I wanted to encourage people to use their own hands to build their own homes. I’d done it, and never had a bank mortgage or paid rent.

The project got interrupted by my publishing Stretching by Bob Anderson in 1980 and then 20 years of publishing fitness books. Karma, I guess.

Read More …

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SMALL HOMES Now Available

Our new book Small Homes: The Right Size is now available at independent bookstores, and Amazon — as well as from us: www.shelterpub.com/building/small-homes

Shameless Commerce Dept. This is, I think, the best building book we’ve ever done. (Yes, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it keeps reoccurring to me.)  Shelter is everyone’s favorite; it captured the times, it inspired thousands of homes. Builders of the Pacific Coast is in some ways, my best book. It’s an odyssey of discovery where the reader rides shotgun with me over a 2-year period. Cohesive and focused.

BUT Small Homes is so useful to so many people in this era of astronomical home prices and rents, that I think it’s hugely important. It offers alternatives to people looking for rentals on Craigslist or homes on Zillow. Here are 65 very different homes, of different materials, in different parts of the world. The idea, as with all our building books is to use your hands to create your own shelter.

Two things I’ve discovered about this book (after seeing the finished product):

  1. There are a lot of homes out in middle America – Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, more so than in any of our other books.
  2. It sparkles. Largely due to Rick’s considerable Photoshop skills, a motley assortment of photos from contributors have been rendered in colorful detail. I was stunned when I saw the first book off the press. The photos draw you in.
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SMALL HOMES Book is off to Printers

We got the proofs back last week, and I almost cried when I went through it page by page. Sounds dumb, I know, but it was overwhelming to see all the pages, in collated order, full size, 4-color for the first time — after a couple of years working on it. I’d only seen rather low-quality, reduced size printouts up until now. And you know what, it’s ahem, a beautiful book.

People, home builders from all walks of life, a great variety of designs, materials, locales. It may very well be the most useful book we’ve ever done. Tiny homes are great for some people, but too small for most. Here are 65 or so homes in all, a cornucopia of ideas for people who can’t afford high rents and bank mortgages, and want to build or remodel (or contract out) their own homes.

Check out the “sneak previews” on TheShelterBlog:

https://www.theshelterblog.com/?s=sneak+preview

Book due out April, 2017. More details to follow here.

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