A year ago our house burned to the ground, but a phoenix is rising from the ashes…
the new house is a little darker and more mischievous than a phoenix. If there is a legend of a Raven rising from ashes, that might be more appropriate.
I wrote about the fire here. It was, to keep things simple and understated, heart breaking and unsettling. But it has been a year and a lot has happened since then. A new house is underway.
Within a week of the fire I began sketching. I guess I didn’t want to dwell on the old house. I needed to push ahead, take the absence and fill it with something new.
I sent out letters to friends looking for building materials. I visited Film Biz Recycling and hauled a tub, toilet, tiles, faucet, painting supplies and more up to our unburned garage. Film Biz Recycling collects props and other material from film sets which would otherwise be thrown in the garbage after a shoot. I think most of their visitors are from art departments, set designers looking for props, but their doors are open to everyone. Its amazing what they rescue. The tub and toilet had never been used, they still had their stickers on them. Their shop is full of furniture, art, plates, lamps, and anything else you might have seen in the background of a movie scene. I knew we weren’t ready for furniture yet, but somehow taking a jacuzzi tub seemed reasonable.
I was about a year ahead of myself. I didn’t have a house to put it in… I didn’t even have a building permit. I did have a few crudely drawn doodles though. I was moving full speed ahead with out much idea where I was going.
My first sketches were pretty terrible. I was so bad at drawing I barely passed art class in high school. I felt much more comfortable sculpting, so my first comprehendible idea for the new house was actually made of play-dough.
I began to fill out my play-dough master piece with pencil sketches then. When I kind of felt I knew what I wanted, I asked my friend David Bell to help me flush out my drawings. He is a production designer, an animator and a fine artist and was obscenely over qualified for the job.
The nice drawing below are David’s. The architectural drafts are by Tyrone Featherly, a family friend and master builder from Nantucket. The madcap idea is mine. If you think its a little strange on paper just you wait.
Our quaint traditional little cottage is being replaced by a wonderfully unique art house. Strangers who drive past describe it as many things, a ship, a church, a Tim Burton castle. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it is the kind of house that will need a name.
…Real photos tomorrow.