After making a list of highlights from the work week of July 18-July 22 I am kind of shocked at how much was accomplished. With a core group of six with a few extras thrown in the mix depending on the day we were able to accomplish a multitude of tasks!
We were greeting on Monday morning by AB Tech Carpentry Professor Heath Moody. He informed us of some of the properties of wood and different building techniques. After Heath filled our noggins we put him to work. See, this is what happens when you visit the project site…no wonder we don’t get more visitors! Heath helped us cut the 8’x10′ Texaco sign in half so that we could frame it and eventually mount it as sliding barn-like doors on the front of Mystic Dreams. Thanks to Heath for all of his hard work and informative lecture. At the end of the day we sat in at the Burton Street Community meeting to hear what all was going on. Once again, impressed by a large and diverse group of community members who are interested in stirring the pot and making changes for their neighborhood and beyond. B.Love has the quote of the meeting “The Tech Center is going to pimp off!” (speaking optimistically about the proposed Tech Center for the basement of the Community Center). Enthusiasm, hope, and a vision.
Despite a blistering week weather wise we were able to check some important tasks off our list. There was much discussion about purlin organization and roof material…decisions were made faster as Luke bribed us with brownies kindly reminding us that we only had 2.5 weeks until our kickoff party! Okay okay, we decided to keep the purlins simple and create a gradient of light with our roofing material. On the West end of the structure (less shade and afternoon sun) we used corrugated metal sheets and as you move towards the East end we have introduced corrugated clear polycarbonate panels that allow more light to pass through. The two materials are staggered on the roof so that the intensity of light that passes through varies depending on the need for shade or sun. After much heartache, sweat, blood and shorts ripping the roof has been raised.It keeps the rain off and at the same time accomplishes a unique type of light filtration.
Handy Gabe Landes rejoined us for a solid days work. He and Tia, a student volunteer from NC State, worked diligently on what the siding for the North wall would be. They came up with a lot of great, innovative ways to incorporate a lot of the materials that we had on site. Both the North and South walls will be made of material found in and around the garden. At the same time a lot of work was happening in experimenting with a gutter system. Red half pipe shaped pieces of plastic were bent and assembled together with metal straps and will hopefully be able to form a solid gutter so that the rain water can be collected and eventually flow down the water slide at the East end of the structure.
The week ended with an interview by Mountain Xpress reporter Christopher George. Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit about our project and hopefully spread the word to others in and around Asheville. You can see the article and a video of our very own Luke Perry and Oscar Sorcia here.
All in all, another hot and successful week on site. Mystic Dreams has been named, it has a floor, a roof, and a very solid foundation–I think it’s ready for a party. Er, maybe we wait another 2 weeks when this skeleton has a bit more character and then it will PIMP OFF!
Much like the plants in the Burton Street Peace Garden the structure has sprouted and has brought new and exciting life to the site! We have worked from the ground plane, dug down, and built up.
Although we did not quite meet our last goal of finishing the main structure before the end of the day on July 15th we did have a most productive week. The fundraiser at The Market Place was a great success! Many many thanks to Chef William Dissen and all of those who came out and had a drink in support of the great vision of DeWayne and Safi and the hard work of many others.
By the end of the week the floor was 99.9% complete. We scored a great load of wood from Home Source in Asheville, which included rot and insect resistant cedar members, which will be used on the two porches. Needless to say, we have all acquired some scavenging skills and now we might find ourselves being distracted by “junk” piled on the side of the road. We set the collar ties and got ready to put in the rafters. We are finding that as we continue to build that one decision has many implications. Often times we will have an idea about how something should work and the response will be “What are the implications of that?” It is one of those important catchphrases that makes you think twice before you begin to shoot the nail gun or screw in a screw. Raising the collar ties and rafters were one of the crucial times where we needed to think entirely through the process before placing them. As hindsight is 20/20, next time we would build the entire bay on the ground and raise it all at once. You know, we might be learning something here!
By the time the weekend arrived our concept for the structure, which has now been deemed “Mystic Dreams” after a sign salvaged from a warehouse by the river, was becoming obvious. The drawings were becoming a reality and we were enthused!