Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Illegality of Environmentally Friendly Lifestyles

Volume One, our local culture and entertainment magazine, has an interesting story about a cob home. In Sawyer County Wisconsin, Febe Simone Dancier and Machel Piper built a 175-square-foot cob home that they describe as a “sanctuary” for healing. Constructed over a six month period for less than $1,000, the environmentally friendly home features a composting toilet. The Sawyer County Zoning Administration, however, has been ready to bulldoze the home. It seems that they never applied for a land use permit and the home did not meet certain county codes. These codes include a minimum 500 square foot requirement and a code-compliant septic system. In the meantime, the owners of the Sun Spirit Log Homes offered to build them a log home. On the positive side, the zoning people had no problem with the cob construction.

Piper and Dancier are working on a children’s novel about their experience and plan to fight for legalizing smaller homes and composting toilets.

From the article, I cannot tell whether the cob structure will still be torn down. If it remains standing, I would love to see it before we build another cob oven. My husband claims that if they had been two good ol’ boys and said the structure was a hunting cabin, there would have been no problem. There are dozens of people living in hunting cabins up in the North Woods of Wisconsin. Their real problem was that they were up front about their intentions to use the cob building as a home.

For the record, I write this from my 3,000-square-foot home. This home includes two businesses – my husband’s office is in the attic and my studio is on the second floor. It is more space than we need for our family, but trying to maintain an old Victorian, rather than building new in the ‘burbs, has some ecological cachet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Translations Opening Photos

That's me! It was nice to see some of my pieces again. Some people thought this looked like a hide. I liked the circle I drew on it. That is something I have not done on any other piece.
Cassie Tondro and our work.
A little taste o the drumming circle outside of the gallery. And the door wide open on a marvelous, warm, May evening.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Opening Night and beyond

I have much to write about the opening at Translations Gallery. I will post photos after I get home. The opening was great fun, great weather and greatly celebratory. A drumming circle played informally outside with the front of the gallery open to the outdoors. You will see later, the front is like a big garage door. The show looked wonderful with Cassie Tondro's work contrasting well with my subtle work.

Today I went to the Denver Art Museum and spent some hours looking at a new Gee's Bend quilt exhibition. The exhibit contained historical work from the amazing women of Gee's Bend Alabama and some newer work. The 2000 exhibit has inspired some of the women to pick up quilting again. There is so much spontanaity, improvisation, and spirit in this work. What a joy to see it together in two gallery rooms. The video may have been from the older exhibit, I am not sure. Much of the 70's work had avacado green material that came from work that women from the area did for Sears. They stitched pillow covers and much of the material made its way into quilts. The colors they chose to go with the green were unexpected and surprising.

Wish I had more time to get to know Denver better and especially more time to get to the mountains. They are calling on the western edge of town.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm Off for Denver

Tomorrow I catch a plane to attend my opening in Denver. The opening is Friday night. Judy Hagler, owner of Translations Gallery is offering refreshments and live music. I will meet Cassandra Tondro for some pictures before the opening. It has been years since I have visited Colorado, so this trip will be exciting for me. It is hard to imagine that I will be heading over the plains and to the mountains tomorrow afternoon. So much packing to do, so I have to head out of cyber space and deal with the washing machine and suitcase.