small homes (113)

Small Homes Book Rolling

Workwise, I’m having more fun than in a coon’s age.

This book—Small Homes—was in limbo for the 30 days we were in Scotland. Add to that the several weeks it took to get re-grounded at home, and there was a long lull in production (layout, that is).

WELL! The book is now rolling at a grand pace. This lovely little home just came in a few days ago.  French carpenter Menthé (partner of French carpenter Yogan) wrote, rather poetically:

“I grew up in the forest of Corréze; it’s really wild and green. 

I started building cabins when I was 3 years old, playing in the forest. 

I started this little one when I was 17 in 2000—I wanted my independence. 

It took me 3 years, and I lived there for 2 years.

The frame is made of chestnut from the forest, and all the windows are industrial window seconds.

The roof is insulated with lime and woodchips—a really strong mixture once it’s dry and insects can’t get in.

The walls are made of straw and lime; it’s a really cheap material, important when you’re young without money.

I built the entrance door with chestnut and walnut—my first work of joinerie, and it’s still working good.…”

***

This is gonna be such a good book!

Música del día: Cool Dry Place, Traveling Wilburys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gD8mBMn5F5k

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Stone Cottage Overlooking Sea On Scottish Island

Everything here is perfect. It’s one of the buildings where I just say to myself, oh yeah!

The rounded, angled-out corners, the  proportions, the deep wall openings, the red roof.

According to an historical account which I read, some 14 farm families were forced to leave their land by landlords in the mid-1800s, and resettled on a more remote and less fertile part of the island. This is one of the dwellings; in its day, it would have had a thatched roof.

And with this I conclude posts from Scotland. I’m back in the saddle at home and back at work on Small Homes.

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Friday Morning Fish Fry*

*So titled after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen’s Friday columns, called “Friday Fish Fry;” Herb was master of 3-dot stories…

Water It’s raining this morning,

Praise the Universe.

We’re up to 28″ this year, more or less normal. Our well is working again. We’ve installed a 5000-gallon storage tank which collects water off neighbors’ roof. The California hills are an almost chartreuse green. Creeks are running.

Scotland Ho! We’re off

There is a festival of architecture in Scotland now, sponsored by the Fife Contemporary Arts Center. It’s called “Shelters,” and features an entire room exhibiting our work, with photo and page blowups, and our building books. It’s open now at the Kircaldy Galleries (about 12 miles north of Edinburgh), on the east coast of Scotland) and runs through June 5, 2016.

I’ll be doing a slide show presentation on May 10th, at Kircaldy Galleries, titled “50 Years of Natural Building,” chronicling our building books from Shelter in 1973 up to the present.

We’re leaving Tuesday via Virgin Atlantic. On Saturday, we’re taking a ferry to the tiny island of Eigg.

“Eigg (/ɛɡ/; Scottish Gaelic: Eige, [ˈekʲə] ( listen)) is one of the Small Isles, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It lies to the south of the Skye and to the north of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Eigg is 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) long from north to south, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east to west. With an area of 12 square miles (31 km2), it is the second largest of the Small Isles after Rùm.

Notably, Eigg generates virtually 100% of its electricity using renewable energy.…” -Wikipedia

Our hosts have arranged for us to spend a week in “Sweeney’s Bothy,” a tiny home looking down to the sea. Am I excited!

There are about 80 people on the island, there are kayak and mountain bike rentals, sheep, there are a couple of restaurants, the Whale’s Head Community Pub, and I am sure, plenty of kindred spirits. Yes!

I’ll be Instagraming and blogging, so stay tuned and ride shotgun with us during the month of May.

Social Media I’m doing less blogging and more Instagraming these days. Less writing, more photos. I like the immediacy of Instagram, still learning the techniques (don’t like the square format), trying to figure out how to use hash tags and get more followers…Check out our new Tumblr presentation of large beautiful photos: https://shelterpub.tumblr.com and https://shelterpub.tumblr.com/archive, set up by Sean Hellfritsch and now managed by Brittany Cole Bush…Check out The Shelter Blog, https://www.theshelterblog.com/, managed by Evan Kahn, and improving daily, with an ever-increasing flow of original material…we continue working on the digital side of our communications…while producing real life hold-in-yr-hands books…

Small Homes, the book We are 3/4 through with layout…about 154 pages so far and counting…Rick will be doing Photoshop work while I’m gone and then we’ll hit it again in June…this is shaping up to be a great book, I kid you not. You can see some sneak previews at: https://www.theshelterblog.com/?s=sneak+preview 

A gude beginning maks a gude ending. (Scottish proverb)

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Fixer-upper in Berkeley

This is exactly the kind of building I’d be looking for if I wanted to live in a city (or town) these days. I’d first check to see that the foundation was solid, and there were no rotting floors to deal with.  (The roof looks pretty good, and the eaves do not seem to be sagging, which usually indicates the foundation is not disintegrating.) It would be exciting to fix a place like this up.

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My 5000th Post!

For some years I was really into blogging. These days I post a lot less, what with doing Instagram, contributing to theshelterblog, Tumblr, Twitter, and reluctantly, Facebook. A blizzard of internet activity.

The idea is to get our “content” out in digital form to compliment our publishing of hold-in-your-hands books. All this with “build it and they will come” approach. We’re working at having theshelterblog be more and more of our original material as opposed to stuff already on the web.

We’ve also upgraded our website in the process.

I’m also posting less because I’m immersed in production of our next book, Small Homes. Which is looking, ahem, incredibly good. This may end up being our most relevant building book ever, with a variety of simple homes and lifestyles that will give lots of people ideas and inspiration to create their own shelters.

Sure, tiny homes are wonderful and photogenic and a welcome relief from homes that are too big and expensive and rents that are too high. But small homes are relevant for way more people.

So far we’ve done 97 (out of approx. 200) pages. A sample we just completed today:

So onward I go with the book, posting less. But hey, 5000 posts is a body of work (along with all time history page views of 7,448,979)…

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Mother Earth News Looking For Editor-In-Chief

15 years after resurrecting and refining Mother Earth News, Cheryl Long is retiring, and they are looking for a new editor-in-chief, as follows:

“Topeka, Kansas-based Ogden Publications is looking for an experienced professional with passion for, and knowledge of, all things sustainable to lead its flagship media brand, Mother Earth News into the future. Ideally this person will have first-hand experience as a sustainable lifestyle community member as well as an impeccable record of innovation and leadership in the publishing business – or other closely related media area. But don’t let us define you too narrowly. If you have related experiences and the drive to lead a highly collaborative team devoted to creating and delivering the best, most relevant sustainable lifestyle content possible, we’d like to hear from you.

Read More …

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Interview About My Layout Style (and More)

The big news around here regarding our next book, Small Homes, now in production, is that we decided to postpone the publication date until spring, 2017.

It takes us an enormous amount of time to put a book like this together.

Also, this book is looking so good, and will be so relevant to so many people, that we want to take our time and do it well.

Here (today) I’m working on the most complicated two pages so far in the book. When I started I had no idea how it was going to come together (or if it would).

But starting did the trick; in over two days it worked itself out. 22 photos with fact-filled captions.

Here’s an interview of me done a few months ago by Natalie So, where I talk about layout and beyond: https://www.editionlocal.com/lloyd-kahn-shelter-publications/?rq=kahn

Photo:Evan Kahn

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Why So Few Blog Posts of Late?

1. Working on Small Homes.

2. Doing the “social media” thing. A lot of effort in these early stages, what with coordinating Instagram, Twitter, et al. Still some rough edges to smooth out. I’m not sure if this will pay off, but we’ll give it a try in the next year.

Just rebuilt by Rick

Shooting on my new iPhone 6s Plus. What a tool!

Check this out on your phone:

managed bySean Hellfritsch

And, our new website, also by Sean (Squarespace format):

3. Riding my new “Overland” from my sponsors, Loaded Boards. Skateboard of my dreams. More on this to follow. https://loadedboards.com/
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