I had a rare and wonderful experience at Yestermorrow: I learned a lot, from kind and knowledgeable teachers, alongside interesting and dedicated students. The campus is surrounded and infused with Vermont’s natural beauty, and filled with thoughtful architecture. It was inspiring to be in a place that had been designed and constructed with such obvious care and creativity, and I was delighted by the incorporation of nature/natural materials, and all of the unique architectural expressions to be found on campus.
I helped build a whole tiny house! This included several construction firsts: using a nail gun, marking layout and hammering joists together, installing a window, rolling out bituthene and screwing on roofing panels.
My tiny house knowledge and designing abilities advanced quite a lot. Here are the drawings I went in with:
And here are the designs I made after 2 weeks of training:
Please note the inclusion of a suspended meditation circle!
It turns out that Vermont has very few building codes and even fewer building inspectors, which attracts creative architects to the area and results in lots of whimsical and refreshing buildings. My class took a socially-distanced tour of a house that different classes of Yestermorrow students had designed and built over the course of 10 years – it was a trip.
I also befriended the classmate whose tiny house we built (hi Abby!) – she was kind enough to give me a tour of her beautiful property and the houses there she had built herself. It was really inspiring to meet someone who had bought land, cleared it, and put up one house and then another on it, and is now working on creating a 5-house affordable tiny community. Meeting an actual person who had done something like what I’m going to do made it seem much more attainable.
While at Yestermorrow I also was lucky enough to take a weekend tadelakt workshop with Liz Johnson, a mistress of the field. Tadelakt is a plastering technique that involves lots of rubbing with precious stones, and results in surfaces that have a water resistant finish. It’s very cool! Also very finicky – apparently tadelakt is the diva of the plastering world.