Sunday, November 13, 2005

Art Book

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As promised, I wanted to show a bit of this unique book I got at a thrift store the other day. It is called Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher's Art, and features organic structures like this one, nestled in trees (many are tree houses), that use salvaged materials and artistic touches. Very similar to some of James Hubbell's work. (I highly recommend seeing if your library has a copy of Hubbell's now out-of-print From the Earth Up. It will make your jaw drop with its beauty.) I find these amazingly inspirational. I guess there's a little bit of hippie in me. Anyone ever read about Julia Butterfly Hill, the woman who lived in the tree to try to save it? I made an art piece once around that idea--it was a concrete bust with recycled materials all around--a fan of twigs, a piece of rebar sticking up through a PET (recycled plastic liter) bottle, ceramic charms and other stuff. I had a lot of fun with that one. Making sculpture is one of my favorite things.

Old bottles create a stained glass effect when viewed from the interior. Posted by Picasa

It's a fantastic resource to take images of structures or nature or whatever stirs your soul, and use that to inspire your art or sewing. I can see a quilt pattern here, what do you see? Posted by Picasa

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Art gate, manufactured from salvage metal. I really really want to learn basic metal work techniques. I would like to make my own garden art and metal sculpture. I haven't been able to locate a class yet other than welding for a trade. I'll keep looking. Posted by Picasa


Blogger Miss Cellania said...

These are gorgeous... I want one!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Claudia said...

Barb, this is a wonderful book!
I also love organic architecture sooo much. Somehow this reminds me of my idea of how houses in the Shire in Tolkien's Middle Earth would have been built (and I'm a huge Tolkien fan).

I also like houses by the architect Hundertwasser.
If you're interested, the Kunsthaus Wien (House of Art, Vienna) has some pics of some of his buildings at
His houses are quite colorful, in contrast to the houses in your book (but I like those better).

Anyway, I like the concept that Hundertwasser despised the monotony of brick-like buildings; his buildings have curves, they are said to have no stairs, rather ramps (so upper floors can be reached easily also for handicapped or older persons), no two windows seem to be on the same level, and the buildings are in bright colors, as in his paintings. Oh, and plants are incorporated in the houses and on the roofs. Quite playful.

12:01 AM  
Blogger my house is cuter than yours said...


1:37 PM  
Anonymous Siri said...

I LOVE that book. We don't have a copy ourselves, but I know a few people who do. That's a lucky find!

12:07 PM  

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