Love press of the kitchen and furniture
beautifully grown tree
past month is.
Okay, from the poem above, you probably think this is going to be about how I’ve finished my cabinetry and built-ins, perhaps my whole house. Given that it’s been four months since my last post, this would be a reasonable assumption, but alas, this is not the case. In fact, I am amazed at how slow my progress has been as I approach my two-year mark from when I started building. In my defense, the first year I was living in one state and building in another when I could get time off work, and this last year has been beset by obstacles. However, it hasn’t been wasted time. Much has been learned and I am very happy with what has been accomplished. Though more battle-worn and less starry-eyed, I’m still as excited as ever about my tiny house. Good thing, eh?
In honor of this anniversary, this post is a look back on some of what I’ve learned these last few months about patience, potential, and perseverance. There are also some observations about nature, design, aging, as well as a look at some of the actual work – my electrical wiring, sealing the windows gaps, and starting to fluff wool for insulation – that I did manage to do. But first, because I’m never content with mere reporting of my building steps, I want to explain the origins of the poem above and the others included in this post:
Exquisite corpses & found poems
You’ve probably played the parlor game favored by the Surrealists called Exquisite Corpse, where one person begins a drawing on a folded piece of paper and passes it to the next person who adds to it not knowing what the first person drew. This continues until the last person adds their contribution and the paper is unfolded to see what this blind, collaborative creative process produced, quite often something nonsensical or, ahem, surreal.
The idea can be applied to other art forms as well. In film school, we would pass a camera around not knowing what the previous filmmakers had filmed, resulting in typically disjointed, but interesting, short films highlighting our very different cinematic styles. Written stories or poems can also be developed this way. It’s somewhat similar to the found poetry that grew out of the Dadaist movement. Like with the exquisite corpses, the appeal of found poetry, or found art, is the fresh insights or unexpected synchronicities that occur when artists portray commonplace objects or text in a new light.
In my case, my exquisite corpse/found poetry turned out to be an inadvertent collaboration between KitoBito, a small Japanese woodworking company specializing in kitchen designs; Google translator; and myself. As I was recuperating and unable to build (see below), I spent time researching my cabinet design. Through a random search, I ended up on KitoBito’s site and fell in love with their work. But beyond giving me inspiration for my own designs, I made a delightful discovery when I saw what random beauty and thoughtful word play was being generated by the Google translator! Continue reading