Heartwood alumna Jane Strong is building her dream home – a timber frame, of course. But she has also pioneered the use of a new straw bale panel enclosure system from Canada.
Here are a some photos we took a few weeks ago at the installation
The company that makes the panels is Nature Built Wall Systems.
To read more about Jane’s adventure, see the article here from the Litchfield CT paper.
Our Timber Grading course from April 7–9, 2014 is now full with 20 students. We will start a waiting list that will include notice of when the course will be offered again. Please fill out the Request Form on our website to get on this list, and include “Timber Grading waiting list” in the “Comments” box.
A Timber Grading course will be offered from April 7-9, 2014 at Heartwood, sponsored by the Timber Frame Engineering Council of the Timber Framers Guild. For details, see our website here.
One the left (below) is the “Hobbit House” now at home pondside in Willamsburg MA, and on the right is the kiosk for the new Butterfly House at Project Native in Housatonic MA. Both projects were part of our 2013 Scribed Timber Framing course.
Project Native Butterfly House kiosk
Our framing projects in recent years have been getting smaller, partly due to the “tiny house movement” and also to the fact that people may be coming to their senses after the building frenzy of the past few decades. When we plan our timber framing courses, we know how many joints we can layout and cut in a week based on the number of participants in the course. Since June’s course was full, and we had two small frames in the “pipeline”, we decided to tackle them both at once. Raising the first frame in mid-week gave everyone the chance to see how their work fitted and to understand how the joinery worked; the second project was completed even quicker.
The smaller frame (above) was a 9′ x 12′ cabin in the woods; the second frame (below) was a 10′ x 12′ addition to an existing house.
Two completed chairs from our recent “Build Your Own Country Windsor Chair” course are shown here. On the left is Kirk Fox’s, and Heartwood apprentice Miwa Robbins built the one on the right.
Jack Sobon discussing hewing axes
The History of Timber Framing: a 2-day course with Jack Sobon
Author, architect, timber framer and Guild founder Jack Sobon will again lead a two-day weekend workshop June 22 & 23 (Saturday & Sunday) exploring the history of our craft. This is the second year we have offered this course, that will include the evolution of traditional tools, how to identify the age of buildings by their architectural style and tool marks, and tours of historic buildings in our area.
This workshop satisfies core requirements for the Timber Framers Guild Apprenticeship curriculum. For more information and registration, please visit our website here.
Our June 24–26 Timber Framing course is now full, but we still have room in our August 19–23 class. We also have room in the following upcoming courses:
Intro to SketchUp for Timber Framers (May 30-June 1)
Concrete Countertops (June 1 & 2)
Advanced (3D) Concrete Countertops (June 7 & 8)
Mike Beganyi’s SketchUp course is an intensive three days of learning to use this free, easy-to-use yet powerful 3-D drawing program. Mike has honed his presentation of this material over many years to suit all skill levels, whether you want to use the program for timber framing, furniture, cabinets or home design.
Heartwood Director Will Beemer (3rd from right, front row) is pictured with over 300 French compagnons timber framers at their recent meeting in Besançon. Will was invited along with two other Americans, Dennis Marcom from Bensonwood and Rick Collins from Trillium Dell Timberworks, to describe timber framing education and business in the USA. The French charpentiers have expressed an interest in expanding their exchange programs to America. This is an exciting opportunity for us since their tradition, going back to the Middle Ages, provides the most extensive training in traditional craft anywhere in the world.
Heartwood alumnus Patrick Moore (Scribing 2008, Cruck Framing 2009, Raising & Rigging 2010) has become the first North American to graduate from aspirant to full-fledged compagnon in the French system. It has taken him over three years, living and working in France (and learning to speak fluent French), and culminating in the construction of his “masterpiece” pictured here. This model, or maquette, is much more complex than it may appear, with intersecting and interwoven pieces traveling through the piece at unique angles. Drawing and construction takes 6-12 months of dedicated effort. Congratulations, Pat, and we look forward to you returning home and sharing your exoerience and knowledge.
Pat Moore with his "maquette".