Tuesday, September 26, 2006


we are nearly done cutting the posts for the kitchen building. we have started cutting the cross beams. orange cut the first saturday. timbers to complete the project will arrive later this week. we could use help unloading, guessing friday will be the day.

the plumber will place the rough plumbing thursday or friday. this will make way for layout and formwork for the foundation slab which we hope to pour just before or during the october gathering, weather permitting and concrete company willing (to deliver on saturday). if you plan to attend the october gathering and wish to participate in the pour i recommend bringing rubber farmer boots if you have some. we'll need a few folks to wade into the wet concrete to help with levelling and smoothing. it's fun.

after the foundation is poured, we'll focus on finishing up the timber frame for our "barnraising" in late october. if weather permits, we'll go ahead and get the roof on, otherwise we plan to tarp the frame, place everything we wish to keep dry inside the frame, and close up for the winter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

water samples sent

water samples from our new well have been sent to the state laboratory for analysis. we should hear back from them within three weeks. these tests will tell us what is in our water and if there are any problems with it. since there is nothing above the camp except our moundy mountain it's unlikely that there will be any issues.

work and play

bambi and the boring machine
bambi bores mortise

chris double digs a row in the garden

a quick "shower"

new peas
dhami boo's peas sprouting

i'm back this week just today. we're in the middle of a work week and about a dozen faeries are on the land now gardening and timber framing. the weather has been fantastic with days near 90 degrees, sunshine and light winds to cool. we'll be receiving new timbers from a local sawyer tomorrow that become the front posts of the kitchen. the sawyer will be cutting more timber for us to complete the project later in the week. hopefully this week we can get the plumber up to do rough in work so that foundation work can proceed.

the sight of faeries working and playing in our new space, which is quickly transforming from a rough patch into a beautiful faerie-sculpted garden has taken my breath away more than a few times.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


timber framing is going splendidly. we've cut about seventeen pieces of the frame, mostly braces. three posts are complete, one of them the most complicated in the frame. it took me a full day to cut it.

more or less, except for tuesdays, i will be at destiny for the next month. so, reports here may come in only once a week.

it's wonderful living and working on the land. dhammiboo has prepared fantastic lunches and dinners, though he claims no expertise! we gather in the morning over breakfast, talk about the day's tasks, plan trips into town when we need to, and then get to work. under our large work tent we've got three sets of sawhorses supporting three workstations. we keep collective tools on the stack of 2x4s drying next to the workstations. each person usually has a piece that's theirs to finish. everyone works at their own pace and we help each other out when it's needed. most days include teaching someone new how to work a chisel.

the magic of timberframing, for me anyway, is the joinery. i've said a couple times to folks when showing them chiselwork: "you're not just whittling away here, you're creating a relationship!" you spend the day, sometimes longer, chipping away at a timber, working your way down to some lines that don't necessarily make any sense to you. you do your best to create the smoothest most accurate work you can, often betrayed by eagerness and impatience. the wood works with you sometimes, against you others. each cut is a new challenge asking you to be present and attentive. at times the workplace is silent except for the sound of tools. at others it's raucous with jokes, laughter and stories. and, eventually, when you're all done and your back is a bit sore and your palms are calloused from the thousand whacks of the chisel that you put into your piece, you stand back and you see you've created a beauty despite all your "learning." then, my favorite moment happens. you try your piece with its companion. there's nothing like the look of wonder and accomplishment when people first see how the piece they've worked fits with its mate. without fail it's a moment of clarity that induces exlamations of "i get it!" and waxings about the simple profundity of the work they've done.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

work weekend pix from jason

jason took some fun and beautiful pix of our work weekend. you can view them here. working with chisels brought out the best in all of us.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

water and wood

michel and the hose

peat and the saw

peat, michel, jason, dhamiboo and i semi-ceremoniously ingaugurated the construction season at destiny last weekend first with a powerful spray from our newly functional well, second with the erection of a tarp city over the timbers providing weather-proofish workspace, and third by chiseling up a storm as prolific as the hurricane.

"the well is in." we can now say that! how long have we been waiting? while it's not yet connected to a building, we can hook it up to a generator and pump 20 gallons a minute for construction purposes, or just create small floods. 20 gallons a minute is a lot of water.

we can also say construction has begun. after a good deal of discussion we decided to start cutting braces, the 45-degree angled pieces that keep the frame from racking and which are one of the hallmarks of a timber frame. these are good pieces to start with because they're small so if, for instance, we cut the end off too short (we did this) you haven't wasted a big timber. also, much of the chisel-work is hidden reducing some of the pressure those tending toward perfection felt while practicing their new skills. it also happened that we have more brace stock than anything else and it was on top of the pile.

i think we were all pleased with our progress. with a regular faerie carpenter corps (a few people each day) working the frame we should continue to make good progress. i encourage anyone and everyone who can take a day here or there, or more if possible, to consider contributing your skills. we will be working on the land most days from now until november. if in doubt call me, bambi or dhamiboo to find out what's happening. calling is probably better than email since we'll not be checking it while on the land. many of you have requested we post in advance the tasks that will be happening on specific dates. i understand the need to know, and we'll do our best, but please also try to understand that the tasks change day-to-day depending on weather, who shows up and our contractors. there's plenty of work to do! if you don't feel comfortable with sharp tools, we can employ you as a butt clamp--someone who sits on beams to keep them steady.