Articles

Whimsical Forest Village Built from Raw and Reclaimed Materials


I’m going to come right right at you
there so watch out. I’m Sun Ray Kelly. I consider myself an artist because I do
do carpentry in my work but it’s more about the art and the beauty that I’m trying to convey. So right now we’re at the side of the
temple. This is the latest structure we’ve built on the land here. Some of the
natural building features is the walls are straw bale. It has an earthen
plaster. Actually came out of this hole that we dug to build this pond. we took
all the soil out of that and put it on the wall, but that’s what we used to make the
wall. It has a living roof which also has lots of straw on it. It’s like a double layer
of straw with two layers of pond liner. One of the things that I try to do with
my art is to create a feeling of motion and movement and nature eplores a
straight line. She doesn’t do it and so I do it as little as possible too. I try to
use and I love curves and I love the curves of the human form. I love the curves of the earth.
I really dig into the sacred geometry of the spiral and how the
spiral is how energy moves. A lot of my work I don’t really feel like I’m just
building buildings anymore. I’m creating energy
vortexing machines that actually transform human consciousness. Nature’s
the greatest artist you know and I mean nobody else is as good as nature and so
when I can ever I can borrow from nature and use her in my art then my art becomes
much more powerful. Some of the other features has a radiated heated floor in
it. It’s heated by wood-fired mass heater that heats the bathtub and heats the house
heats water for the floor. Principles are of the
down drafting stove so if we light a fire over here get the chimney warmed up
and then we pull the fire through this maze which goes up over an oven through
this heat exchanger heats the water down under the bathtub and then goes up the
chimney so it’s a way of getting a lot more heat out of the fire. And then this here is the old dome and this is all inside this structure. We
basically live in the circle around the old dome and inside it’s more of a just
a special place. Well the dome is made of cedar and
basically I cut the boards thin enough that I can bend them. It’s really a
process of just bending boards and first make a circle, a ring out of laminated
wood on the ground and then about nine feet up there’s another circle that I
make out of laminated boards and then on the top is the hub so that the first
board you slip in under the hub you bend it over the upper circle and then down
to the lower circle and you screw it on then you go across 180 and you put one
on and 90 and 90 and then you got four and then you just start filling them in
till the whole thing is seated in. It makes a beautiful dome which is pretty
amazing and a swing cause I like to swing around. Yeah. Kids love it. I love it. It’s a
pretty functional house and then it’s easy to eat. It’s got a wonderful kitchen. This is the kitchen. This house we’re coming to is the Sky House kind of was my second
major house on the property. I think I started in 82 kind of moved in 88 or
whatever and then it was still not finished but started out to just be
small and then it just kept mushrooming up and growing up you know. Well the first advice I give everybody
is take a walk in nature every day get out be in nature and then allow that to
work on you because it will work on you and seeing nature you’ll automatically
get the sense of its beauty and its majesty and it’s grace. That’s my electric trike. It weighs a
hundred pounds goes 65 miles an hour and but anyway this is a solar
diesel-electric hybrid. It’s a net gain vehicle. It’s designed to make more power
than it uses in the year by collecting sunlight and it has electric drive motor
when your solar charge runs out then you can run on diesel or biodiesel or veggie
oil it’s kind of old-school and it still burns fossil fuel but
that’s the little diesel gem set there. This is one of my
masterpieces but also in process too you know it’s infinite amount of money it’s
costing to build this thing. Even the suicide doors and stuff, but the
electric motor’s in here inside the box here and in the tranny. It’s a
very comfortable little house in here roomy and we loved it. We loved traveling
and being part of it. Practice. Everything in life is about practice. If you
want to get good at something you practice. You want to improve your skills
you practice. It’s almost the answer to everything you want to do is get out
there and do it. You know little steps. Little steps lead to big steps so
that’s how you start. Challenge yourself one way or
another do something like that and then those gateways will open, those valves will open and then the floodgates will flood you with immense more creativity than you ever felt possible. Ninety-eight I guess was when we built this
one and of course it was called the Garden House because it was built right
in the garden. It’s the kind of thing where I was going through my divorce with Judy, I needed to move out, I said, “well I’m going to move into the garden”, so I moved
in the garden and built the house in the garden. It’s a very solar house. It has a very
nice solar gain. It’s a fairly efficient house in that it doesn’t ever get too
cold or too hot. It’s shallow so that the light penetrates the whole house so I
can sit here in the winter and I get basically I get the Sun going across the
sky but I get the reflected Sun off this glass so I actually get two suns heating
me all the time on this deck so the deck never gets very cold here. And this is the other half of the solar
diesel electric. This gypsy wagon here it’s basically a Toyota with 70,000 miles. It
runs perfect. I couldn’t kill it. I had this dream to do this or be so lucky but I
couldn’t kill the Toyota so I decided I would have to cut it in half and make
two out of one and that worked real well and a beautiful little gypsy wagon which
me mostly just use as an Airbnb guesthouse because we don’t really take it
out much on the road. It’s a little tall. It catches the wind pretty good. We are in the outdoor kitchen. We use it, the Airbnb folks use it, the community that comes here. It’s a sweet spot for everyone. I asked
myself, “what is the greatest thing that I ever did in my life?” and for me it’s
building the pond because building the ponds I’m able to affect the ecosystem
greater than anything else I do. I create the ponds, the frogs come, I plant the fish, the Eagles come, the herons come the otters come. All these creatures come
to eat from the ponds and so I got this tremendous amount of life. The
orchards are great too because we got deer, bear, tons and tons of brood
light coming in here you know to feed on these on these systems that I’ve created
and I’m trying to demonstrate that this planet is the garden planet. It was
meant to be a garden then it’s just happy happy happy when it’s allowed to be a
garden and on down the trail we go. One of my favorite parts of the property is
down in this forest. It’s where I come to get my inspiration on.
This is the little stump house here. This is one of our little Airbnb
cabins. I lived here my whole life. I grew up on
this land and one of the first things we built was Stump Houses. We would go and
we would go inside these giant cedar stumps which were absolutely amazing and
make little little fortresses and stuff and this is our sauna. This is 30 years
old now. Amazing amounts of saunas in there. This one pond here it’s got the most
fish of all of them. My best fish success story here. Well this is our little
outhouse for the Airbnb guests and the sauna and stuff over here. One of
our little tree houses. Mostly for fun. I love treehouses. Thirty years ago a guy brought me this
roll a rope that he got from the dock for anchoring huge ships in the water down in
Seattle and I always was trying to think of something to do with the rope and
then I came up with this idea to build a suspension bridge across here and so
we did. Good little bridge. Now we’re kind of
circling back. This is the orchard. This is you know this is where, where I
started my dream of edible forestry and so I got loads and loads of apple trees,
nut trees, hazelnut, walnut, hickory, hard nut, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries,
huckleberries, blackberries so we’re trying to create a sustainable world
where we can live off the garden. Oh yeah yeah let the love in your heart flow. Forgive
everybody and move forward in the present that’s probably my three things.
I would pass it on as good advice and take a walk in nature.

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