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

Zyl Vardos

The Fortune Cookie was featured in Tiny Homes on the Move. Here are more examples of Abel Zimmerman’s wonderful work:

The Fortune CookieFirst: Wood creates its own pathways. I am only following as best I can.

Second: My work is about people. Every time I collaborate with somebody on a little house, some new “flowers” seem to bloom in the world. Despite the newness, I more often intend to build things that feel “magnetic” and familiar. If people appreciate it 50 years later, then I/we have done the right thing.

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In less starry terms, I build tiny houses — usually on wheels, so they can be moved from place to place. I use a hybrid structural technique, combined with traditional woodworking, that allows me to make a house in almost any shape one can imagine. I make my own roofs, windows, doors, cabinetry, countertops — just about any part of a house. This gives me great flexibility in design, and allows a great deal of natural, reused, or just unique materials to become part of a functional house. I also specialize in systems design: electrical, plumbing, gas, and wood heating.

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I have always been building something. My dad was always building: barn, house, woodshed, or model trains. I followed his lead, more or less. Then, a short time after leaving home, I went to work for a government office. Sitting there doing inane work just drove me nutty. Needless to say, I wasn’t the most “inspired” desk clerk. I eventually quit, worked at a café for 2 years, then returned to college. Upon leaving college, I had a 1 year old daughter and a pile of student loans. So, I built an enormous piece of furniture for a friend. Oh yeah, I joined the circus for a few years, which was a time I hold infinitely dear. And I have been building things ever since.

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Now, I have four kids, and live on a small farm in Olympia, WA. I have a beautiful workshop, and build tiny homes fulltime for amazing people. And I am following the pathway that wood whispers to me…

–Abel Zimmerman Zyl
Owner of Zyl Vardos, Olympia, WA

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Abel Zimmerman

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