Posts by Lloyd Kahn (239)

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 wood chips — 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!

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Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #19 – Damian Helliwell's Straw Bale Home in Scotland

Interiors of Damian Helliwell’s straw bale home on a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Construction is timber frame, and the straw bale walls are protected on the exterior with shiplap cedar siding. Heat and hot water are provided by a homemade rocket box stove. It took Damian four years to complete the house.

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Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #18 – Small Home in Lithuania, Builder Inspired by Shelter

_DAN3374 copy

I started as a carpenter when I was 16 in Montana. I was working as a dishwasher when a builder, who was a regular at the counter, liked the way I worked and offered me a job. During the next two years, we built houses, and I was exposed to the first printing of Shelter. This was in 1973.

Shelter had a significant influence on me and opened my eyes and mind to many paths, which I explored…

In the summer of 1994, when I was sent to Lithuania to show a Lithuanian building contractor how to assemble an American technology house — the first in the then recent break-away from the Soviet Union. It took me about two weeks to decide I wanted to live there, and over the following years, I saved money in preparation for my move to Lithuania.

In 2003 I loaded everything into a container and moved to a piece of land I had purchased in northern Lithuania…

–Dan Combellick

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Homesteading Residency Opportunity on Bill Coperthwaite's Land in Maine


Dear friends of Dickinsons Reach and Bill Coperthwaite,

We are very pleased to announce the creation of 4–6 week long homesteading residencies at Dickinsons Reach in honor of Bill Coperthwaite and his way of life. The residencies will start this September and occur every season thereafter. We are very excited to offer individual and couples this wonderful chance to live within the homestead and landscape that has inspired so many of us. The Homesteading Residencies also reflect a new phase of our shared stewardship of Dickinsons Reach.…

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Small Homes Book Production Full Speed Ahead

IMG_6486-lo-resThe Small Homes book is about two-thirds done now — the most complicated one I’ve done so far; 80+ contributors, and lots of correspondence going back and forth, getting large enough photo files, more information, enough material to do layout.

I’m going to back way off on posting here in coming months, in order to get the book finished.

Friday when I was in San Francisco, I shot this picture of the building where I worked for five years as an insurance broker — corner of California and Sansome. I was on the sixth floor. If you count up to the third row of windows in the red brick part of the building and then across to the sixth window on the right, that’s where my office was. I was standing looking out that window the day JFK was assassinated.

I lasted until 1965, until along came rock-and-roll and everything else, and I gave up commerce for artistic freedom.

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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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