I'm getting used to it. Chronically being on the receiving end of dubious looks, that is. Almost everyone we talk with these days seems to find our aspirations rather odd (building a house of mud, clay and straw, living in a canvas tent while we do it, eventually growing all of our own food, etc). In this day and age our ideas may seem unconventional, but we're hardly the first to conceive of them.
So far, the research process for our hand-sculpted homestead has left us with no shortage of ideas. In this entry, we've cataloged a small collection of videos showcasing non-traditional homes/homebuilders that we've found inspiring. Actually, depending on the perspective taken, one could argue these people are pursuing traditional ideas, and that our modern state of living is the aberration.
First, we have a celtic roundhouse. It was built "illegally" by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith, in Wales, on their friend's land. After the structure was discovered by the local planning committe, it took a decade of fighting before they were granted the right to continue doing what they had been all along: living in harmony with the land around them to the detriment of no-one.
Here, Austin Hay, a 16 year old from Sonoma County, California, talks about the process of building his tiny house—an imminently practical project which has the potential to preemptively save him from ever needing to make a rent or a mortgage (a.k.a. death pledge) payment.
Here, Kevin Shea (a retired NYC firefighter) talks about his wood-frame geodesic dome. He ordered the plans from the back of a Popular Science magazine!
And finally, Tara's favorite: a spectacular strawbale-and-timberframe woodland home, built by Ben Law.
In writing this entry, I am filled with a sense of déjà vu. We've been here before—preparing for a grand journey—finding ourselves inspired by those who came before us. As fulfilling as this stage of the cycle is, I look forward to the day when we've moved from reading about building our home to being completely immersed in the work/adventure of actually doing it.
10 Acres in Vermont