The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to lloydkahn.com.

Cob (13)

The Laughing House

…Walls are cob and straw bales, structurally bonded (“BaleCob”). Almost all of the materials are either from the site — the ground under our feet, or snatched from the commercial waste stream. The foundation is “urbanite” (recycled sidewalks), most wood is unmilled roundwood or is reused…

Post a comment

Cob House in Northern Spain

img_3065.jpg__800x600_q85

Dear Lloyd & Co,

I’ve been an admirer of your work since I came across the first Shelter book years and years ago. I wanted to send you a link to a self-published book that we’ve just brought out about our natural building & ecological learning project here in Northern Spain.

Our cob cabin was already featured on Lloyd’s Blog

The book’s available here: www.abrazohouse.org/… It’s in English and Spanish, free to view online or download. If you like it, share it or give it a mention on the blog!
Read More …

Post a comment

Natural Buildings: Photographs by Catherine Wanek

A natural building

CW-03CW-02

Since discovering straw bale construction in 1992, Catherine Wanek has traveled widely to spread the straw bale gospel, and documenting traditional and modern examples of natural building. She co-edited The Art of Natural Building in 2002, wrote and photographed The New Strawbale Home in 2003, and wrote The Hybrid House in 2010. Her photos are featured in Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter.

Shown above, Thierry Dronet built this fairy-tale hybrid of straw bales and cordwood masonry, topped with a “living roof,” as his workshop and stable for two horses in eastern France. Bale walls act to retain the hillside, with a plastic sheet barrier and a “French drain” to wick away moisture. Time will tell whether this practice is advised.
Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)

A Living Living Room – The Farmhouse at Hickory Highlands

the living living room

My wood-artist friend Duncan, tells of the temple builders in Japan. They go to the forest to find the temple. When found, ceremonies are performed amidst the trees. Then the builders relocate the temple from the forest to the population center. I consider myself (and likely delude myself) creating on that level — finding the house in the forest, asking permission, seeking willingness, then moving the house from the forest to the brow of the hill.

30 years ago, I was gifted a scroll from Japan by a friend who studied there. It depicted dozens of people moving a huge log with rollers, ropes and oxen. In turn, because of his interest in Japanese woodworking, tools and culture, I gave the scroll to Duncan who kept in on a low table in his temple office with other treasures of wood and art and spirit.

A room with a wooden ceiling, curved in a soft barrel vault, emerged from a deep place in my heart. With this internal picture, I went for a walk in the snowy, hickory woods, searching for this room. Because hickory trees grow straight and tall, the likelihood of finding a curved one for the ceiling was slim, and two beams with the same curve pushed the dream into the realm of unrealistic. But dreams are to pursue, explore, manifest.

10433089_333298980153134_4963825438595443725_n 10409112_333298976819801_339889295410086040_n 10399436_333298973486468_9205175988151208669_n

10269253_331693573647008_8176393122909521702_o
Read More …

Post a comment

Welsh "Hobbit House" Faces Demolition

Welsh Hobbit House

Sent to us by Conor McBrierty :

A young family is making a last-ditch effort to save its cherished “hobbit house” from the bulldozers after planners deemed it had to be razed.

Charlie Hague and Megan Williams used natural materials to lovingly build their roundhouse tucked away in southwest Wales. But the pair, both 27, applied for planning permission only after moving in with their newborn son, Eli, in 2012.

Though many local people did not even know the small building was there, planners ruled the house did not fit in with the surrounding Pembrokeshire countryside and decided it had to go.

Read More …

Post a comment (7 comments)

Cob Home with a Reciprocal Roof

gp-12

gp-10

Les Tit’B Libres is a group of young French artists living communally in handmade structures, such as this cob home with a reciprocal roof.

See more of their free lifestyle at titblibre.garagepunks.com.

To build a reciprocal roof, we first install a temporary central pillar on which the first chevron is placed. The height of this pillar depends on the roof pitch.The following rafters are then placed to support the one on the other. The last chevron place above the penultimate and below the first one. They are then attached to each other and the central pillar is removed. If only one of the rafters breaks, the whole structure collapses. Read More …

Post a comment

The Laughing House

Laughing House

Tiny Homes: Laughing House

From Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

Lloyd Kahn’s book, Tiny Homes, featured Linda Smiley’s Laughing House, located in Oregon at the Cob Cottage Company. Linda is a director of Cob Cottage Company as well as a master cobber and therapist. She teaches Sculpting Sacred Spaces, Interior Design, and Natural Plasters and Finishes.
Read More …

Post a comment

Uncle Mud's Tiny Cob House

DSCF5075-lo-res

Š

I built a cottage for the local suburban farm outside Cleveland, Ohio. It took 2.5 of us and some weekend volunteers about three months to build. It is 200 square feet plus a bump-out window-bed and a 100-square-foot loft. The round poles and lumber came from the firewood pile on the property. We had an Amish miller come out with his trailer band-saw and slice up the bigger logs into live-edge boards for the ceiling and window bucks.

The walls are insulating clay-straw. The windows came from the local Habitat Restore. The interior is plastered with tinted drywall compound. The floor is local clay and stones sealed with hemp oil. The heat source is a small rocket mass heater. The chimney goes back and forth through the clay floor to heat it and keeps the building warm long after the fire is out.

…We used the clay — excavating to dig a swimming pond just behind the cottage. This summer we will do a two-week cottage building workshop at the same site for anyone who wants to learn how to build their own. Email Info@unclemud.com for more information.

–Chris McClellan
aka Uncle Mud

Read More …

Post a comment

Uncle Mud's Rocket Stoves

Hey Folks,

rocket stove bench

We have been working on some fun Rocket Heater projects. You might have seen the 8″ with a big cob bench that heats our 1600 sq. ft. uninsulated barn apartment even though our renter managed to blow the cleanout caps and crack the barrel seal by trying to start it with gasoline — I think it would have killed him if it had been a regular woodstove. I had been told that an autoclaved concrete core would disintegrate but its holding up pretty well in year two. Read More …

Post a comment (1 comment)

Massey Burke's Cob Cabins in Mendocino

Interior wall

We featured these cabins about a month ago and have repeatedly had requests for some more photos including interior shots. Here are some more shots as well as some info on the builder.

Massey Burke is a designer, builder, and advocate for natural building.

She has also taught natural building and design with various educational institutions, including the University of San Francisco, Swarthmore College, and the Solar Living Institute. Other current projects include permitting a load-bearing cob studio in Berkeley and a natural remodel in El Sobrante. Current work can be found at masseyburke.carbonmade.com.
Read More …

Post a comment
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!