I painted this stone I carved as a model and ‘wairua stone’ for the first dreamhaven ‘baby’ -for the grandsons… So when we’ve built it the stone can go in the earth bank behind perhaps… a kind of foundation stone… Hayley took a moment off the intricate stained glass window she has been making for the hobbit office…
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. ..
What would Middle Earth look like without trees, or its houses without wood? So, I have been beachcombing and using a bandsaw
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…
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.
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.
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:
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:)
I’ve been away from hobbithaven too long! Art and other diversions…(started a blog for my art if you’re wondering what could possibly be more important than doing hobbit havens! – www.altarsofart.com) But I’ve just done a door and window prototype in the recycled chipboard I’ve scavenged from a transport place in town – they need rebating and glazing and painting and fittings of course, but it is important to try full-sizes models. The hobbits, aka grandson Bruno and daughter Anna, visited for lunch yesterday and loved it. (Door is only 800 mm – fine for Bruno, but in the real children’s cabin it will probably be 1200 mm (4 foot)) Ferrocement will follow, with all the curves and carved features of brick and stone.
Also planned for the inside is good wood – elbows of beautiful driftwood pohutukawaka or red birch or totara; shelves and furntiure of recycled native wood or old oak if we can get it… There won’t be a shred of chipboard in the hobbit havens, of course. I actually got a hangover from routing and sanding this stuff – there are traces amounts of solventy things in chipbard I gather – from the glue. I really am a canary in the coalmine nowadays. Raewyn thinks this is a good thing – I will HAVE to use natural wood!
Watch this space. It is high Srping now and time to start Bruno’s cabin in the ‘deep dark woods’ at the bottom of their garden. I will document progress and follow up with a ‘how-to’ ebook, assuming it goes to plan, or better!
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.
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 email@example.com .