Category Archives: cabins

Focus, focus, focus…

The work goes on to get design details and techniques right and efficient… invented a couple of new ways to make sandcasting concrete rings for door and window frames; almost set up the hinge blacksmithing shed; made a square mesh bender, and more.

The vacuum sandcastle. .. this cuts a profile through packed damp sand and vacuums away the tailings…

This is the shorter square mesh bender. The bolt heads hook onto the rebar beside each strand to be bent and curls them around the tubing as the lever is pulled.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under cabins, news, Setup, tools and inventikns, Uncategorized

Base Camp established… a hobbit HQ

Hayley and I have been lining this tiny corner in the long sheds as a retreat, office, draughting and meditation room for dreamhaven… it’s only about 1.3 by 1.8 metres…

Leave a comment

Filed under cabins

Putting my energy where my heart is – hobbithavens Elfhaven and mokohavens

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Hayley who wants to build her own whare and learn ferro and other skills, I’ve dragged hobbithavens back to centre stage and the long-awaited ‘Moko whare’ aka grandsons’ hobbit haven in the woods, is happening. First we had to clear the back yard though. .. Autumn flame colours in tge leaves of the vine, and hot flames of cleanup… lining a hobbit office in a corner of the long sheds, and then we start… after a tangi and (paid!) writing stint with big brother john in Auckland, and a long-awaited party for his 75th. ..

1 Comment

Filed under cabins, news, playhut

NOW We’re starting – grandkid’s den first

After much other setup, some relevant to building good Hobbity tiny homes, some less so, I’ve been re-awakened to the vision to start building DREAMHAVEN..

A young helper/apprentice has appeared and galvanised me to do it NOW… she will build her own tiny cabin after learning with me on this first one for my grandsons Eddie and Bruno (4 and 6, nearly).  Before they grow so much I’ll have to build it grownup size!

Follow this blog for updates:)

First we will set up the Yard at the back of Dreamspace. We’ll build it there and hiab it into place, hopefully the easiest way.

1 Comment

Filed under cabins, news, playhut, Uncategorized

Of Pumpkins and procrastination

Concrete creations lately have been mostly limited to ferrocement garden beds and pergolas (see www.fantasticferrocement.com) and my white cement casts of carvings at our Dreamspace Gallery (see www.dreamspace.nz) But I have been asked if I would build a pumpkin cabin, and I’ve done a concept drawing. It’s quite Hobbity… If the lady says do it, I will! But I will try to also get onto the first Dreamhaven cabin, the little one for the grandsons – before they get too old for it…

2018-01-21 18.39.23

Here’s Ortin, a little character from my fantasy epic, volume IV. He would like a pumpkin cabin, I reckon!

Leave a comment

Filed under cabins, ferrocement, news, Pumpkin cabin

Wood is good

What would Middle Earth look like without trees, or its houses without wood? So, I have been beachcombing and using a bandsaw

115 116

to make planks and cut curved things, and soon the first proper Haven will be begun, and wood will figure largely inside it… I have tried out some wood shingles too on Bruno’s little playhut here at Appletree Haven…

130

cut from totara driftwood. I love them though they use up a lot of wood! They are meant to overlap each other by two thirds – hard to do that!  I saved some of the best totara for a frame for a painting. Here’s a small frame I did – an ‘Altar of art’ frame as I call them. Linseed oil on poplar (I think) driftwood.

152

So hobbit havens will be nice and woody… I was really inspired about wood craftsmanship and how much loved those who do it well can be when I found out about Sam Maloof.

sam maloof

See this documentary about him and his work – it’s long but charming:

His signature rocking chairs sold for $40,000 US in his lifetime – now they’re more!

So there’s hope for me to get hobbithavens built and sold and then more can be made until there’s a trail of them for those who love Middle Earth and Hobbits – and wood!

Finally, a section of old (150-odd year rings) totara log turning into an outside table:

160 141

And grandson Bruno walking the plank with crocodile Jemma below. Some kind of pine – the planks are drying now, a peaceful use to be found soon:)

145

Here they are painting the big round door:

067 068 069

2 Comments

Filed under cabins, playhut, wood

Should a Hobbit have a Shower?

Or boycott the polythene pipes that feed it?

But first: Finally! I’ve almost finished the grand bathhouse annex to the tiny cabin in the woods… Mainly a tepid shower by candlelight but if the temperature on the roof gets high enough it can be a  warm bath as well.

004reduced

 

Highly insulated walls thanks to the dubious material polystyrene slabs (though recycled), so what it lacks in water temperature it makes up for in snugness of the ambiance. It was a rare pleasure to shower in it for the first time. I think Tolkien might have had an unfavourable opinion of showers; such an invention is not mentioned in the Lord of the Rings, at least – but baths of course are, and in a very positive light, notably in the delightful account of Frodo, Sam Pippin and Merry’s first (and last) night at Crickhollow.

For those with minds of plastic and pipes: the shower is fed by rainwater collected on a area of plastered ground plus two tarpaulins (o dear it looks scruffy!) high up on the Hill,

048

feeding into a black polythene tank of 1000 litres just below, and thence down many metres of 25mm black polythene pipe (‘Alkathene’) then more of 15mm, to a ballcock on the roof of the cabin, and thence into the rooftop pond beneath a tent of black pipe framework and clear greenhouse film:

003

and finally down a 15mm pipe to the showerhead, with a low-pressure rose (showerhead) made by punching lots of panel-pin holes in a circle of thin copper sheeting. Whew! At least there’s no motor involved – all it needs is gravity, which has never to our knowledge even broken down or run out of power…

I am typing this in bed in the cabin by solar powered light, on solar powered wifi, on my solar powered laptop. It’s not exactly Hobbiton, but Poppy the Head Doglet is curled up beside me, snoring, and Honey, no.2, at one foot, and Max the old tabby at the other, while the wind sighs in the manuka outside and the rain comes and goes. Homely Hobbithaven the First it is… But in the future I will eschew the greenhouse film and plastic tank. Alkathene, well that’s a hard one to do without. Clay piping would be lovely, though! and copper. And glass for the rooftop pond tent. (Or I think a separate little solar tank would be more normal – it is a bit odd having a pond on the roof! Pushing the boundaries – using the amazing strength and watertightness of (nautical) ferrocement…

Leave a comment

Filed under bathhouses and washhouses, cabins, ferrocement, hobbit hobbithole