We’ve got wood now. All the structural pieces (see yesterday’s post for the exact count and sizes) have been delivered and are out on a concrete pad next to the workshop under a tarp. They’re under a tarp because it’s been raining pretty steadily since the middle of the night last night (or at least I’m guessing the middle of the night; it was still dark when I was woken up by it), and we’ve got to keep the wood dry of course.
We’ve got the structural model finished and ready for referencing, and this afternoon we’re going to start building the trusses. Yesterday we built the jig since all the trusses are the same, and with the chalk lines and blocking in place we’re ready to cut the boards to the right length, lay them down, and build the truss. From what the teachers are saying, it looks like we’ll build all the structure here, transport it to the site in pieces, and then bolt it all together and attach the decking/wall slatting there. I think it’s going to be a good experience to do construction on-site, since we’ll be able to see things that need changing and will be able to change them on the fly without much trouble.
A few words about the instructors: two of them are founding partners of Jersey Devil, a design/build firm that started in the 70s and is still going today with just the three original guys. It’s a small firm and they don’t do a lot of work, but what they do is intelligent, appropriate, and fun. They also do public art every now and then, one example being the iconic Freemont Troll in Seattle. The third instructor runs his own firms in New York and Cleveland; his name is Bill Bialosky and you can google his firms. His work is good stuff too, but not too outrageous. Some of it, in fact, is really beautiful and peaceful. From what I can tell through this first week, all three are kind of the example I’d like to aspire to by the time I’m their age (mid-60s). They work, they teach at Universities, they do good architecture, they have fun, and they don’t take themselves too seriously.
So that’s what’s happening in the class. My cabin is still dry through all the rain, but we have a mouse friend who has a nest of leaves up in one corner where the rafters meet the wall. I saw him run out when the door slammed today, and Paul (my UNCC classmate and cabinmate here) has a couple bites in a loaf of bread he brought, but as long as the mouse doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it. I believe in a future where mice and humans can coexist peacefully.