Wednesday, May 31, 2006


i've contacted a sawyer, mckim mitchell, who has agreed to saw our on-site timber for us between june 10 and june 20. we have somewhere between 3000 and 4000 board feet (12" x 12" x 1") of timber from our clearing last fall that we'll be using to build our kitchen and the composting toilet facitily. we will need to order some more timber, most likely, to complete both.

spring survey

the "meadow" during whitman

kitchen survey

bathhouse survey

composting toilet survey

during whitman gathering michel and i, with the help of a few others now and then, surveyed the three building sites we plan to work on this summer. we used a self-leveling laser to shoot elevations and set up grade stakes at the corners of the survey. we noted the locations of rocks, trees and other landscape features, such as the swale near the kitchen. i plotted one-foot contours on the drawings shown here. click on any one of them to see a larger version. the survey's are accurate to about 6", good enough for our purposes.

i also took the noon sun location to give me a bead on south (i have never had a compass on the land). taking the position of the sun at clock-time noon gives you a rough location on south. it varies slightly because of the relationship of the earth's orbit to the sun. here are some photos and descriptions of how the sun varies:

Monday, May 22, 2006

small is better

some fun small houses: tumbleweed houses.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

timber framing weekend

the gate and faeries

the timber framing workshop in white river junction produced a beautiful hemlock hand-cut gateway for the land, pictured here laying flat with most of the faeries that worked on it. over two days we covered the essentials of timber framing and everyone got to try their hand at sawing, chiseling, boring and finishing.

i'm happy with the way the workshop turned out. my goal was to demonstrate that almost anyone can do this kind of work. over the two days i felt the mood shift from nervousness to excitement and hope. i heard expressions like, "wow, this is really beautiful" and "we can really do this!" as the beams started to take shape, as we tested joints and finally assembled the whole. we all created a marvelous transformation of rough timbers into finished interlocking pieces.

there are pictures of the workshop in a couple places: jim jackson art and the faerie camp destiny web site.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

act 250 update

one of our neighbors has requested an act 250 hearing around our application. the issue is a right-of-way that they believe extends into our property. they are concerned that we are changing the right-of-way and may be building in it. however, according to their deed, which they supplied to the state, their right-of-way extends only 1975 feet up the road from route 103, ending well before the road reaches the area in which we are building. at first glance, it is not easy to tell where the right-of-way does go, so the misunderstanding is understandable. we've been debating this for a few years amongst ourselves. but, it is very clear from the deed, and from our survey drawing, that their right of way ends well before our parking lot. we are trying to get this cleared up without a hearing. communication with our neighbor has been friendly and hopefully this will conclude peacefully.

Timber Framing Introduction Weekend

the gate we'll be building

May 5-9 at "The Millbillies" White River Junction, Vermont

In this weekend workshop I'll introduce faeries and anyone else interested to the principles and practices of timber framing that we'll be using to build some of our structures at Faerie Camp Destiny. I'll be passing along what I learned at the Yestermorrow School of Design/Build last fall. We will make a simple two-posted information board/gate for the land that will be erected at the parking lot to help people arriving.

5:00pm-8:00pm Arrival & Dinner
8:00pm Welcome Circle & Introduction to Timber Framing

6:30am Yoga (optional!)
8:00am Breakfast
9:00pm Joinery: Mortise & Tenon
9:45am Tool Demonstration (Saws, Chisels, Planes, Drills, Squares & Pencils)
10:30am Break
10:45am Measure & Cut Posts
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Cut Tenons
3:30pm Break
3:45pm Finish Posts
6:00pm Dinner
8:00pm Drum Circle

6:30am Yoga (optional!)
8:00am Breakfast
9:00am Measure & Cut Beam
10:00am Mortise Demonstration
10:30am Break
10:45am Cut Mortises
12:30pm Lunch
1:30pm Bore Peg Holes
2:00pm Frame Assembly (weather permitting)


Work Clothes that you don't mind getting dirty
Sleeping Bag, Pad & Pillow
Eye protection recommended if you don't wear glasses
Work gloves recommended if your hands are sensitive
Instruments for jamming!


fired tiles

in the last month faeries at dick and daisy's loft have crafted some beautiful tiles. here are some pictures from the tile-making sessions and a picture of one fired tile at the bottom. these will probably be set into the kitchen's plaster walls.