The theme of this year’s Burning Man had a few people scratching their heads. However, the idea of fertility taken to the next level describes the burgeoning annual event very well. Burning Man is a completely fertile location where spontaneous creativity and ideas are allowed to naturally flourish without any kind of expectations. The Burning Man website described it, and the community of Black Rock City, as a kind of giant petri dish. This year, out of that petri dish sprang a nice new crop of tiny structures and shelters that various Burners took with them out to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to live in for a week.
There were several actual “tiny houses” out there this year, including this one across the street from our own camp. Continue Reading »
Like an Amish barn raising, Evan and Gabby’s tiny Tarleton house is going up piece by piece with the help of friends and family. The Illinois couple were inspired by the Tumbleweed houses and decided to downsize their already sustainable lifestyle even more. With no prior construction experience, they have been working on their tiny home for just over a year and plan to move in (along with their two cats) soon.
The couple also plan to move around the country, staying in campgrounds that offer year-round rates. They then want to purchase some land where tiny house living is more acceptable.
Their 117 square foot Tarleton, built on a car hauler trailer, will have a great room, a sleeping loft above the bathroom and kitchen, another storage loft above the door and a bathroom with a custom shower and composting toilet that vents to the outdoors. The kitchen has four feet of stainless steel countertop, a two-burner stove, a bar sink, a toaster oven, a small fridge and – rare for a tiny house – a combination washer and dryer that they got from a family member for free. Continue Reading »
Sarana House is named after a word in Pali, an ancient Buddhist language, that means “safe place” or “refuge. It will be the ultimate refuge when moved from its current location in Los Angeles, where it’s being built, to its final home on a private 23 acre forest retreat, named Sarana Park, in Northern California.
The tiny house on a trailer is being built by Juko and Jerry, not only as a new home, but as a way to respond to the Great Recession. Following the foreclosure of their home in Santa Monica, the couple decided to downsize and live more simply. Their first tiny house, the Huling Halfway Hut, was featured in a Tiny House Blog “Tiny House in a Landscape” post. During this time, Juko and Jerry became stewards of Sarana Park and wanted to make this new land a place for reflection, restoration, and transformation. They think of it as a “re-boot camp” – a place where their friends and guests can take some space to recharge, rest, and be inspired.
Sarana House is being built with as many reclaimed materials as possible. They are using reclaimed white pine from Ohio (Juko’s childhood home) and Pennsylvania; and Juko is building a larger kitchen by re-furbishing an IKEA freestanding kitchen. A long bench will be the focus of the dining room. It will be large enough for several people to sit or for one person to sleep. Bamboo flooring has been installed and a stock door from Lowes has been cut down to fit the entrance. Continue Reading »
Joseph Crowell has been building buses and vans for many years, but was recently inspired to build his first gypsy wagon by Sunny Baba, an activist and spiritualist who has built dozens of gypsy wagons. Joseph, who is in the Ashland, Ore. area, built this gypsy wagon with about 80 percent recycled materials. He gets a lot of his supplies from Dumpsters or from the side of the road. He uses manzanita tree branches as exquisite details in his design.
“If I see an old piece of furniture laying around, and it looks like it can still be used, I’ll saw it up,” Joseph said. “It makes the whole ‘find is and use it’ process more enjoyable.”
Joseph initially designed and built the stained glass window in the gypsy wagon, but he thinks he might look for a local stained glass artist to do the window in his next wagon. The wagon weighs about 1,500 pounds and can be towed by a small truck. It was recently sold for about $8,500 and Joseph plans on keeping his next design’s price to below $10,000.
If you are interested in one of Joseph’s gypsy wagons, email him at jsph.crowell (at) gmail.com.
Photos courtesy of Joseph Crowell
Kim Vader and his family have lived in Boise, Idaho since the early 1900′s. His ancestors were sheep farmers, his aunt was Basque, and their lives in the high desert have inspired Kim to design and build classic sheep wagons. This style of wagon was originally used by sheep herders who needed a portable place to live while tending their sheep in the high desert and mountains of the Western U.S.
Kim has been a craftsman for over 35 years and builds the wagons from scratch. You can purchase a finished wagon or have a custom sheep wagon built to your specifications. The wagons can be built on running gear that is freeway worthy or they can have original antique wood spoke wheels.
Typically, each wagon will have a bed with a memory foam mattress, a sitting and eating area with storage underneath, an antique wood stove or an electric stove, and a small kitchen area with custom cabinetry. They can also have several 110 electrical outlets and a storage area on the back of the wagon. The wagons are painted in traditional white and green colors and will have the classic canvas roof that is rated to last up to 10 years. The wagons are built with 2×6 Douglas fir and the cabinets and doors are built with 3/4 inch birch, pine and Douglas fir.
These sheep wagons can be used as a tiny house, on a farm or ranch, as a guest house, or an artist’s studio. Idaho Sheep Wagons also offers delivery. The prices range from about $9,000 for a 12 foot wagon to $13,500 for a wagon with original spoke wheels. Currently the company has a wagon for sale for $8,300. Continue Reading »
This beautiful custom sheep wagon by Wizard Wagonworks is based on the original “sheep camp” of the 1880′s with a modern twist. It is designed for both highway and off-road use as well as for durability, comfort and ease of maintenance. Kenny Harris of Wizard wagonworks is in the cabinetry business and built two of these sheep wagons according to a customer’s specifications. One is now being sold for $60,000, but Kenny can build any custom sheep wagon for less than the current price.
The exterior of the wagon contains laminated oak struts, a T&G planked floor and metal roofing. The wagon is insulated and the exterior wood is finished with teak oil. The interior has oak bead board paneling and the benches, tables, cabinet doors and drawer fronts are solid oak. The wagon can by towed by a truck or other large vehicle and handles well on the highway with speeds up to 70 MPH. Continue Reading »