natural materials (281)

Shelter’s Seven Building Books

Shelter publications published its first book in 1970 — 48 years ago. In that amount of time, we have published about 50 books — about one per year. It seems to take us forever to do each book, but what we’ve learned is that when we put in the time and money to do books this way, they tend to have a long shelf life.

These are our seven building books, starting with Shelter in 1973. Each of these has over 1000 photographs and is densely packed with information. They form a body of work, and I’m pretty proud of them.

In a way, this is the end of an era for us. I’m going to a different format with our next two or three books: smaller size, larger and less photographs, less text.

Shameless Commerce Department: They are all available at, with free shipping and a 30% discount for three or more books. Stores get a 50% discount (plus shipping charges) for bulk orders.

Post a comment

Custom Home Built on British Columbia Island by Lloyd House

This is my favorite home in the world. Built by Lloyd House and featured in Builders of the Pacific Coast, it’s on a small island in British Columbia. When I first saw it, it took my breath away. It was just perfect. The materials, the size, the shape, the way it fit into the environment as if it had grown there.

Funny thing: After 40+ years photographing builders and their buildings, I meet the builder of my dreams, and his name is Lloyd — House!

Even though we seldom see each other, we’re good friends. He’s built dozens of wonderful buildings in his career — most of them shown in the above book.

BTW, this is my favorite of all seven of our building books. It’s a story, an odyssey, from start to finish, hanging out with these wonderful people in British Columbia and documenting their unique creations. My intent was to take the reader along, riding shotgun, in my excursions to this land of wood and water.

Post a comment (1 comment)

Stonework in Ireland

I shot this in 1972, somewhere on the west coast of Ireland. It didn’t look like a master mason did the work, but more like a farmer with an intuitive sense of building. I love the soulful rock work, the colors and placement of stones — obviously gathered nearby. Look at the five different funky window/door lintels. Looks like a fairly new slate roof. Abandoned, but looks sound.

Post a comment (2 comments)

Bill Castle’s Log Lodge in Alleghany Mountains

Going through all my digital photos of the past 17 years, pulling out photos for my book in progress, The Half Acre Homestead, I’m running across forgotten gems, like this. Bill and family created Pollywogg Holler, an inn in southeast New York state — featured in Home Work — entirely from trees growing on their land. Bill passed away a few years back, but Polywogg Holler lives on. It’s now an eco-resort:

Post a comment