Tree House of Hors d’oeuvre II

Tree house shopping list: 

…hockey tape, “free” carpenter pencils from Home Despot which always make me feel a little guilty, a dizzying myriad of colorful fasteners most of which have mysterious German engineering going on around both head and point, copper wire, and the occasional coffee from French Memories–a local bakery where the hoity comes dangerously close to being put in the toity and a place where you may become audience to an intentionally-public cell phone conversation about custom made light fixtures and beige BMWs. (I’m sure this well-heeled individual treated her help very cordially and always chewed the foie gras with her mouth closed). But we digress. The tree house project is a flippin pissa opportunity for any laboring woodworker: An equipoise, as it were, of straightforward carpentry and creative license. And to that we say, fuck yeah it is! because we can. 

Wait, copper wire?

Know this about Preston: He was a boy scout. Or at least, I’ve made that part up bc it makes for a great story. Regardless, the man can lash anything, and tie knots with the mastery of a Zen hammock-maker. Rope, to me, is clothesline wrapped in a worried mess around an item to be carried home; the very weight of it securing an object as much as any half-baked knot that I might improvise. Here’s me trying to tie a clove hitch with the aid of my cellular device:


Weak. Pathetic.

So, combine the practical application of lashing with the creative use of a found object (copper wire) and you get this:



The wire came from a friend’s house whose barn had a fire. Pret, ever resourceful, saved some lengths of electric wire.  Did you know that heat will soften the copper within an electric wire to the point where it’s malleable and easily worked? I didn’t. So, over lunch, he carefully peeled away the copper from the rest of the wire housing  like some simian trifurcating a banana.

This lashing made for a great way to piece together organic forms of cedar branches. Pret used it sparingly, in surprising places where it would surprise and delight. I’m still talking about copper wire here…

Well, that’s enough words for now. Here’s a raw, unedited, and yet compelling video of Pret in his natural element, at work being both resourceful and creative. (The skid steer busily regrading the western hemisphere in the background only adds to the “moment”). This is really what it’s all about anyway:

blue acornBoston_Bruins_logo

Back to the tree house proper next time–the house, the roof and the etc. (I’m parceling these posts out like Hershey’s Kisses on Halloween–get on with it McKee!).

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4 thoughts on “Tree House of Hors d’oeuvre II

  1. I thought people ate horse doovers (little equi sausages poised on a stick maybe?). The Riven word has re – appeared in my in box. I know it’s early yet, but it has a definite limp so far.

  2. Rick says:

    It’s going in a different direction, which is a good thing, John. It’ll give other folks a chance to find their own voice. There’s some really good people there.. I’m glad they changed the name. It didn’t quite fit the new one. The Artisans Dept are working on getting their own blog up to speed which will be distinct from “Many Hands”, so keep your eyes open for that. Andrew came up with the “Riven Word” name a while back. He and I were asked by some of the artisans to help come up with a new name for their impending blog. We’ve already scratched “Beyond the Pale” off the list. Any thoughts?

  3. Hi Rick, E.Dubois, (not his real name), joining in here, (also following along as it were), ’cause it’s always a good read at least and usually more…

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