I am making a house sculpture. I am forming it out of whatever materials come my way: from friends (who may have extra house parts), from the dump or whatever I can find or buy locally within a 15 mile radius of the sculpture itself. A great deal of the materials come from Buxton's building supply or my neighbor Peter Cormier who sells rough-cut lumber that he mills himself with a portable mill; sort of a big table/chainsaw on wheels.
I hesitate to simply call this a house. House sculpture seems more fitting. I am much more experienced at accomplishing tasks through my own "artistic process" than from any traditional methods. I have no experience building houses, but I can read and I am very adept at making mistakes of all kinds. What more does a man need to build a house sculpture other than the desire to do so? I did some sketches before hand but I am not working from a specific plan. I change elements of the design as I go according to what might be best in relation to the sunlight or view or aesthetics or the materials that I happen to have at hand.
I started out very ambitiously. The property is varied and large (55 acres I purchased in Dec. 2006) and there seemed to me to be several good sites on which to build upon and make readily accessible by 4-wheel drive (and later any vehicle). The way I figured it, the first dwelling I would build would be small and somewhat temporary; a place for me and Sarah and the three cats (Jerzy, Vincent and Sproket) to live while I embarked upon the task of building a "real" house. I expected that the first house would be riddled with problems and design flaws due to my lack of experience, coupled with the desire to do everything myself. I could then take my "experience" to the construction of the next house on the second best site to build, hone my experience on that and then build the ultimate home on my first choice of location. It was an ambitious plan and now that I am about half way through the first small and relatively simple house, I have begun to rethink some of my earlier goals. A house does not come together as quickly as a painting, especially when the studio is 300 miles away from my current home on Cape Cod.Before recounting my work, I must mention that in the progress of this endeavor, there has been a whole other path that seems to run parallel to the building process. There is something spiritual to all this that I would like to share. There are lots of books out there that will explain to you step by step how you can build your own house. But there must be something told of the underlying meaning and spiritual growth for a modern human to build a shelter for himself and future family.