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.
All hobbit dwellings must have ample outdoor seating to catch the sun while smoking a pipe (health warning for humans of course!) or enjoying second breakfasts, elevenses and so forth.
I finally got round to turning the earthy bank on the sunny side of my non-hobbit haven into a nice bench, complete with tree roots and an embedded stone from the ancient hill of Baldrock here in Kaiwaka – the previous owner of our house in Kaiwaka was the local quarryman and blasted half the back side of the landmark into nice light-coloured, hard road chips for the Newmarket overpass among other things, before he was stopped by conservationists or just plain concerned locals… It’s now a reserve I believe.
Anyway, here are some photos. I can make such features around any hobbit haven of course, happily! It’s simple enough to do, just takes patience and a caring eye – look to real trees and you can’t go wrong… I do try to post details and hints for ferro construction in http://www.fantasticferrocement.com for those who want to go DIY. And there’s always the ebook Fantastic Ferrocement.
Still a bit of a building site as you see, and the staining with iron salts not complete yet. But the doglets don’t mind, and neither do I, when there’s sunshine and coffee and Vogel’s toast with honey..
This is a plan for a slightly bigger Hobbit Haven (4.4 by 3.2 metres, or approx 14 1/2 by 10 1/2 feet), with its width determined by the two windows and one door in the middle with sufficient space between them all. The depth (from front to rear wall) is determined by the height (1.8 metres or 5 foot 11 inches – for Big Folk this would be adjusted to 2.5 metres or 8 ft approx) and the arc from that – I like the idea of sticking to simple circles and part circles, which any sensible Hobbit would (I think) approve of.
Regarding the finials (the decorations above the door and the end walls): Hobbits are generally agreed to have a great fondness for flowers, and fruit, and therefore would I believe have in the classical period have carved finials in floral or fruit shapes. Likewise trees and tree forms of all kinds, including knotwork (now referred to as ‘Celtic’ knots).
This is the latest plan of HobbitHaven no.1 for grandson Bruno in Gisborne – a chimney (all children like and EXPECT chimneys), and a rounded back which will be covered and blend the lines of the roof with the bank behind… The chimney can be a skylight, a lookout place, or even have a little potbelly stove under it.. Apologies for the fuzziness – my cellphone lens seems to be terminally fogged up – but very soon I will make a scale model and photograph it with the Big Camera.
One window faces down the path of the ‘Deep Dark Forest’, the other up it towards the back garden (and safety). The door (note the lattice windows) faces across the gully.
Filed under cabins, playhut
Just drew this up for the consideration of my grandson (nearly 2) and his mum and dad. Look about right for the woods at the bottom of the garden? Interior simple with wooden table and chairs, and a little mattress for naps (well he must sleep sometimes?!) Insulated. flywire on window for summer. door glazed or lower half half paneled.Brass doorknob in the exact middle, of course, but with a latch to the left.
Also for anyone out there who wants real Middle Earth architecture for their child’s first home away from home. Tree carvings and brickwork can be done to your taste – all in ferrocement. Colours from stained iron oxide (the rusty brown) to painted any colour the Gaffer approves… email me, etc firstname.lastname@example.org .
I prefer WordPress and the blog, but for the billion or so who don’t… you can now like Hobbithaven on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hobbit-cabins-and-Elven-Architecture/363445557191066 and see all the new posts from this blog which will automatically appear on the Facebook page. Follow us there or here – it’s the same content post by post – only difference is this blog will soon have more pages with special interest topics – and of course it’s elegant WordPress! Either way, like hobbithaven, follow hobbithaven, and spread the word that Middle Earth is in New Zealand in little cabins and hobbitholes popping up (or down) in back yards, lifestyle paradises and woods all over this green land – I hope!