I worked with Leon Smith of Earth Play to design a playhouse for a Joyful Noise Child Development Center. I did the cob, plaster, and interior work for the project. The playhouse has interior benches, table, and counter and low open windows so children can easily interact.
Portland, Oregon 2008
City Kids Play Structure
For this project I got to collaborate with the four and five year olds at the City Kids Child Development Center. The center was building a new play area and the older students came up with ideas for the infant and crawler space. We worked with a cob model mix in the classroom to come up with some truly inspired ideas. I combined many of the student's ideas to create this cob creature. During construction the kids got to help too. I think it is safe to say, a great time was had by all.
Portland, Oregon 2009
Cloudhands Bale-cob Micro-Cottage
I have recently been lucky enough to inspire the person who is my own greatest inspiration, my mom. A couple of years ago she got the crazy idea that she too would like to live in a cozy natural cottage so I helped with the design work, some of the heavy lifting, and provided the guidance she needed to do much of the work herself. Now she has a cozy home of cob and straw-bale in the hills above the Columbia River Gorge.
Lyle, Washington 2007
Swirling Oven and Bench A more fun than average sculpture project at a private residence here in Portland, Oregon 2013
Portland State University Oven
Originally built by students in 2004 this oven had some design and structural short comings. I worked with the Food For Thought student run cafe and other students to renovate and ornament the oven. Portland, Oregon 2012
This fine back yard oven got its inaugural use catering a bridal shower. Food and fire have a special way of bringing people together. Built and designed in collaboration with the owners.
Portland, Oregon 2009
Fernhouse, Cob and Stawbale Cottage
In 2001 I was introduced to cob by Elke Cole of CobWorks. At the time I was teaching art in a middle school and had no idea how inspiring that experience would be. My background in ceramics and sculpture fed my desire to work on an architectural level with unfired clay. One thing lead to another and by 2003 my wife at the time and I had launched on building a natural house. It was a tremendously rewarding process and since then the house has been featured in a 2007 article for the Green Living Edition of Oregon Home Magazine, and on the cover of the book Rocket Mass Heaters.
Service Learning is a component of each years courses at Pacific Crest Community School. In 2007 students and staff participated in the Village Building Convergence and turned the corner in front of their school into a noteworthy gathering spot. I worked with the students and Mark Lakeman of Communitecture to create the basic design for the bench. One of the senior art students and I put together the design for the back of the bench.
Portland, Oregon 2007
Oregon City Cob Bus Bench
Property owners Gabrielle and Thomas Chavez were bothered by street noise and the lack of seating at the bus stop in front of their home. They launched on radical action that involved negotiations with the city, county, and TriMet the Portland metro public transit system. What resulted is a one of a kind bus stop that reflects the Oregon Trail and the history of the city. My design was a synthesis of ideas from Gabrielle, Thomas, and the participating community. I lead the bench construction that began during the Village Building Convergence work continued throughout the summer by dedicated volunteers to finish the adjoining wall. Later in the summer we had a plaster work party and the roofing was finished just before fall rains.
Oregon City, Oregon 2008
Cloudhands Earthen Oven
A fun roof design to this oven provides shelter for the cook and supplies.
Lyle, Washington 2009
___________ Artist in Residencies ___________ .
Willard Middle School Earthen Oven
What do motivated students do when a rival school installs a fancy Italian brick pizza oven with the financial support of Alice Waters? Well, students at Willard Middle school put a plan together with their school's garden coordinator, canvased the local community for funds and got their hands and feet covered in clay. I had the good fortune to leave the spring rains of the Pacific Northwest for sunny California and lead the students in the creation of their own wood fired cob oven. Needless to say it was a hit inspiring this impromptu after school marshmallow roast.
Berkeley, California 2007
Walluga Middle School Plaster Panels
Walluga Middle School has a strong art program that has painted murals around the school taken over display cases and in 2008 took on the challenge of improving their cafeteria space. In an ambitions project we created over 40 large panels with food themed designs. The four foot square panels were built with lumber and drywall by the students. The next day we mixed barrels of clay plaster. Groups of students then plastered the panels and drew out their designs in the fresh plaster. Once dry the designs were enhanced with natural paints. Here is one example. Special thanks to Kiko Denzer for his pioneering this model.