Category Archives: news

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.

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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. ..

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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.

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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…

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

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Dream havens coming soon

Well it has been a while! I was away selling the Ark up north, and now I’m back in Gisborne and Dreamspace is getting closer to hosting the building of the first real live ‘hobbit’ haven. While I was away we lost the hobbithaven domain because my email peter at eutopia went west. So, I rethought and decided it’s a blessing in disguise, since our styles are not limited to a ‘hobbity’ look, but encompass Elven and Aedenic as well… and we have had the question of copyright about the name Hobbit, at least for a main name for it.

Watch this space – our first cabin will be a very ‘hobbity’ one, for the grandsons 🙂 We have been up the garden path so to speak, at the Gisborne environment centre, making the edging for their path and a spiral herb garden, and now hopefully a few raised beds…

There are some other projects ordered too. The sculptural ferrocement is in demand!

 

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Action at last – Hobbit haven has a base!

From my pecha kucha talk ‘Sailing to Eutopia – Dreamspaces built and imagined’,  (see  Youtube:

came this article, in the Gisborne Herald weekender supplement, 11/6/16.  The Hobbit havens will be built in the back yard of the Dreamspace Gallery and Workshops, then trucked to wherever they are wanted. The large workshop space means we can have a whole area for sandcasting, another for bandsawing lovely wood for fitting out the interiors,  plenty for storage, etc.

photo of my gisborne profile article REDUCED 11  june 2016

 

Thanks to Natasha who bravely interviewed me and managed to make something coherent of it (and who let me see it and tweak before publication). And the photographer – a nice young man who came, smiled, arranged doglets and wizards, and left. Of course, there were one or two minor factual corrections; mainly that of course the pictured playhut is not a true hobbit haven, as it isn’t curved and is very little…

 

 

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A Rose by another name

This is the cabin in the woods with the old Cafe Eutopia road sign, and the new bench and carved roots. Ferrocement is so great, permanence being one of its greatnesses as I get older and have seen hard work rot in the form of titree that seemed so solid and durable, and macrocarpa, and even treated pine (yuk). So think twice, then build once, for life and for the next generations too…

The stain I’ve used is just iron sulphate in water, which reacts with fresh cement and forms a rusty effect. It soaks in a little way – enough for pretty good wearing, and of course a recoat is easy and very cheap. The roots I have stained with acrylic green – not finished yet! Apologies for more on the cabin – I can’t wait to get down to Gisborne’s ‘deep dark woods’ where I am going to build the Hobbit Haven for little Bruno… Watch this space! Oh, and the dome in the last picture is an experiment with some alkathene pipe and greenhouse film – it was quick to make and will last a long time, but… I want to use glass and sand-cast ferrocement arches! Next time!

oh yes, the staff I’ve been carving is in the last photo. Note the classical labyrinth pattern on the concrete paver. I made a mould so these are quick to make – always good to have some stepping stones. Will make more. Can do on order if you want some, too.

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