Monday, 18 April 2011

Weeks 3 & 4 - The History of Things

The first frame complete, with some of it's proud constructors
It's quite appropriate to the build that we should be getting into the history of things a few weeks down the line. As the challenge of this build starts to reveal itself, so to does the understanding that we are part of something really astounding; the real essence of what a roundwood timber frame build is starts to seep  from the sap that's rising from within. Take note, this blog entry might be a bit soppy as we head into more philosophical realms!

It's really special to be apart of building someone's home, as well as to be apart of the realisation of someone's dreams, especially when that someone is the Water's family. They are humble, kind and patient people, internally welcoming  to others, nurturing of ideas, creativity and of nature  itself. They deserve a home that reflects this, and that's why the roundwood timber frame is perfect. With roundwood timber framing you know where the wood is sourced, you see it's energy as the sap rises to the surface, which in turn helps to peel back the bark, and you choose a pole based on it's individual personality and stature. All in all, the house creates a unique space full of energy and rhythm and a connection to the wilderness, and embedded within that is the personality of the people who consider each of the elements  and  construct  it. It resonates a beautiful harmony.

So where did the idea to build such a house come about. Well, Anthony and Ele did a Permaculture Design Course and some WWOOFing back around 1997. Anthony then got into green wood working and Ele worked for a community woodland. As Ele puts it "we did the woody thing" and so after that they undertook a winter with Ben Law at Prickly Nut Wood learning about the lifestyle of a woodsman. Straight after that, with enthusiasm in tow, they bought Pentiddy. They got five years temporary rights to live on their land in a mobile home. When they decided to go for full planning they knew they wanted to build something that was site-specific and use local resources, but had no other specifications. They were doing some work at Stara Woods, a local woodland in Upton Cross, and a load of larch became available to them. This coupled with their relationship with Ben Law, who was by now building roundwood timber frame buildings for a living, swayed them to design this style of house. The decision was made and luckily everything went smoothly with the  planning application. Although they failed the agricultural test, which determines whether someone has a need to stay on the land, planning was granted based on their contribution to the local community and the successes of all the projects they had done to date. Interesting for those who are considering turning agricultural land into home. See Pentiddy's website for the submitted drawings, agricultural appraisal, and Ecological Footprint Report, produced by Anthony and Ele to support their planning application.

So where are we now, well it's week 5 and were onto frame 3. We've got experience behind us, a new cross-hair laser level, so hopefully we're speeding up and getting skilled up. Especially because we now have dates set and in the diary for frame raising which leaves no room for error. The pressures on but we're optimistic people...and, well, the sun is shining!

Frame raising will be on the weekend of May 7th and 8th. Anyone interested in getting involved please contact us to see if we can fit you in.

Return and see the next entry in a weeks time -  "The Science of Things" - we should be pretty confidant by then on producing a step-by-step account to the butterpat joint!

Beth Morgan

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