A short & silly video documenting our learning process and the day of our Timber Frame Raising:
Timber Framing 101
From Karen George, Apprentice and Timber Frame addict
Natural buildings are made up of an array of different materials: straw, sand, mud, clay, stone, and wood. Many of these materials feel so accessible, perhaps because they are right there under my feet. But timbers, I have a deep respect, and fear of. Perhaps because they tower above me and house and shade a myriad of different species. They feel a bit like my mother, someone I love and respect, but don’t exactly want to mess with. Timber framing made me face a lot of my fears: math, precision, lack of strength, and lack of skills. I walked into this week, as I think many of us did: apprehensive. I walked out taller than I’ve been in quite some time. It is often when facing one’s fears, that we arrive on the other side changed.
We chopped and pared our way into many large timbers, learning to work with wood out of square, knots, and the timber’s heavy weight, instead of against it. We rediscovered throughout the week, as we got ready to place all the carefully crafted puzzle pieces together, that we were all capable, powerful women. Some of us found a new love: the love of wood, its strength, power, and integrity.
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A part of each of us lives within this frame: spirit, prayers, strength, release, uncertainty, will power, and dedication. On framing day, all of the pieces fit together perfectly, and we stood up an entire frame. By the end of the day, those timbers supported all of our weight, as we stood upon them to set up the first rafter. Before raising the first rafter, Sarah Highland, our incredible and impressive timber framing teacher, told us about white pine, the wood that created this home. She told us that white pine grows in groves, and for her, it brings with it a sense of community. For Sarah, pines are happy. So we stood, allowing the building built of pine, to hold us up. Last week we created the foundation, and this week, we built upon it the framework for the rest of our work here. Thank you pine and Sarah for showing us with grace and skill, that we are capable of everything.