Some additions to the blog are forthcoming due to the vast intelligence of the friends I have surrounding me. Many of you know that I’m currently in grad school for documentary photography. It’s been a difficult and often frustrating year of school and a few days before I left to work on my thesis in
I thought it over and talked to other friends in SC and they seemed to be in agreement. Why not use my tiny house research as the starting point to a documentary? So, within a week, I had sent out emails to a few people involved in the tiny house movement, including Greg and Jay, previously mentioned, as well as Kent Griswold of Tinyhouseblog.com. I posted a request on the tinyhouse yahoo Group I’m on and sent out emails to a list of people On Saturday, I drove to She apologized for not having all the furniture in it (she had emptied it to take it to a weigh station and plans to move it empty down to Yale in the next week or two), but I didn’t mind. I’ll just have to go back. She will be using solar power and has one of the wall-mounted boat heaters, probably the exact model Tyson and I will get. The ceiling is covered in sails. I had a fantastic time and came away with a lot of good information. One of the things that she stressed was that she absolutely couldn’t have built this place alone. Her friend Andy was there working with her and has been an integral part of the process all summer. She also said that she had building parties with family and friends which proved to be a great way to get chunks of work done. She was fortunate to have many materials donated to her by companies excited about what she was doing and wanting to help out, and even had a painter offer to do a decorative paint finish on the interior for her. She’s done the building at a boarding school she attended and has been able to use their maintenance and construction building that has table saws and other tools, bathroom, kitchen, internet, and the like. She also said that her training in making furniture has been a great tool and jumping-off point to home building (see photo below for some beautiful stools she made). On Sunday, I continued north to Yeah, you heard me correctly. For several years, he cleared land and worked on constructing this dam, which he says produces enough energy to power 22 houses. He started with wind power on the property, but found this to be more efficient. The hydroelectricity provides him with a modest income on which to live. One thing that he said which struck me is that most people at some point have to choose what they want to have more of—time or money—and he chose time. I really liked his setup. He uses the small building which houses the pipes, gauges, and controls (I’m sure there are better words for these but you get the gist) for his kitchen area. He has a freestanding outdoor shower close by and an outhouse with composting toilet maybe 30 yards from the “house.”
As all his appliances are spread to other buildings, the house is a small (about 100 square feet) free-standing room with shed roof, with room enough for a futon, single bed, desk, and heater.
He is currently working on building a bathhouse out of recycled insulated materials which is on a trailer and will contain a toilet and shower. He had it covered with a tarp to protect it from the elements, but was kind enough to let me peek inside.
The project I was originally in the
At Corn Hill—the site where colonists landed just prior to
At Plimoth Plantation, one of the native historical interpreters commented that people often wonder how natives survived in the times of pre-contact. She said that people shared, children were watched by neighbors, food was cooked for everyone, all people did some form of work to contribute to the community. She said that now, all people do is survive; back then they lived.
It seems to me that the people involved in the tiny house movement are primarily concerned with living. They live in these small places as a way to thrive.