Yurts of America - Don't Be Square!
Feb 122009

 

Coming in March…an “art yurt” at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum!

Janice Arnold at Cooper Hewitt

Janice Arnold

The Cooper-Hewitt exhibit Fashioning Felt, which runs from March 6 through Sept. 7, 2009, will feature a yurt installation by hand-felter Janice Arnold. Arnold (photo at right) will create a palace yurt, inspired by “the traditional dwelling of the tribal leader,” in the museum’s conservatory. The yurt will have a ceremonial entrance; the surrounding glass walls and ceiling of the conservatory will be draped in a soft, felted material of Arnold’s creation.

Cascading Felt

The Fashioning Felt exhibit provides a comprehensive overview of the uses of felt, with more than 70 works covering themes from historic examples and handmade felt innovations to contemporary industrial uses in fashion, architecture, product design and home furnishings.

The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is located on Museum Mile at the corner of 91st Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City (2 East 91st Street).

Plans are being made for the exhibit to travel to various locations after the run in at the Cooper-Hewitt.

Dec 252008

Steve Hammond's Ger I recently received an email from yurt builder Steve Hammond of Moorestown, New Jersey, with a most generous offer. Steve has built a few Mongolian gers over the years and the “four wall” ger you see on the right is his latest.
Well, as Steve put it, he “just got the bug to write down what I found as aids for my particular path”, adding pictures to illustrate. He offered to send me the file so that I could share it with potential yurt builders in the hopes that “readers might find a few insights to their dilemmas in what I have learned from others.”

So here a link for downloading Steve’s Info in Word doc format.

Yurt Workshop

Yurt Workshop

If you’re in North America and are interested in building your own traditional yurt, you might consider attending a workshop with Alex and Selene Cole of Little Foot Yurts in Wolfville, Nova Scotia (Canada).
The 2009 workshops are happening January 9-11 and January 16-18. The two and a half day workshop covers the basics of yurt construction and includes coppicing (a sustainable method of timber harvesting common in Europe). You will leave with the practical skills to start building your own yurt and making your own yurt plans, and the cost is only $250. Families are welcome, too! For the full agenda and registration information go to their website at www.lfy.ca.

Wishing all you builders great success with your projects. Don’t forget to look at the resources listed at www,yurtinfo.org and check out the yurt plans section on our Forum.

Best of luck with your projects,

becky

Dec 222008

 

Christmas yurt

Paul making yurts

Paul making yurts

  In lieu of a Christmas Card, I’d like to forward this enchanting winter photo of a Scottish yurt, sent my way by Paul Spencer of Highland Yurts in Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Paul can be seen at right peeling a log with a draw knife). Paul tells me he will be offering some yurt making workshops this coming year (check the yurtinfo.org Calendar for a posting of workshop dates) and that he’s working on providing yurt camping in the Scottish Highlands.
    One of the delights of this season is hearing from yurt builders in all parts of the world–from Europe to China and New Zealand. It’s amazing how broad this yurt phenomenon is. Each place on the planet modifies the design to fit their local climate and lifestyle needs, but all share in that marvelous roundness and sense of uplift.

    I hope you are staying cozy in your yurt (or cool in the Southern Hemisphere). May you enjoy a special Solstice, a Merry Christmas and a joyous Holiday Season.

Yurts,
becky

Nov 282008

Modern Green Yurt wins Design Award

Current Affairs, Yurt Design, Yurt Living, Yurt Manufacturers Comments Off on Modern Green Yurt wins Design Award

 

Award-winning yurt design

    Congratulations to  yurt builder and designer extraordinaire Howie Oakes of Go Yurt Shelters for being First Place Winner of a Portland Spaces Design Award for his Modern Green Yurt.

 The Awards article has this to say about the thirteen foot yurt:

    Inspired by innovations in sailboat design, Oakes has used breathable
canvas; curved, linseed-oiled birch; and stainless steel hardware to
build a functional and elegant hideaway. The structure can be assembled
by one person in an hour, and the heaviest component weighs a mere 30
pounds.

Howie & friends at Baja

A true family business, you can read the Go Yurt story here , but don’t try to reach Howie over the Christmas holidays. He’ll be camping with his family on the beaches of Baja–in a yurt, of course.

Tip of the week–don’t forget to pick up an extra hot water bottle at your local drugstore to keep your feet warm this winter! Throw it in your bed 30 minutes before you get in and your bed will be toasty warm.

Home is where the yurt is,

becky

Dec 142006

    Todd and Monica have a 30′ fabric yurt, but unfortunately they purchased it a couple of years ago from a company that advertises cheap yurts. There were so many problems with their yurt when it arrived (six months late) that it took them an additional six months to put it up. The good side, they said, is that they now know enough about yurts to build their own.

Felted wool insulation

        The most amazing thing about Todd and Monica’s yurt is the insulation. In addition to a layer of the usual Reflectix bubble wrap/foil insulation, Monica added a complete inside layer of real felt. The felt, imported from India, came in 7′ rolls. Monica hand stitched the wall sections, with cutouts for the windows, and had a friend machine-stitch 6 large pie-shaped wedges to go on top of the rafters.

    The Reflectix layer, which is sandwiched between the felt and the outer covering of the yurt, functions as a
vapor barrier as well as providing additional insulation (and reflecting out the sun’s heat in the summer). Monica pointed out the importance of keeping the felt dry, as it can easily mold or rot if it gets wet.

Dec 012006

I had the loveliest dinner last night. A true “Yurt Dinner”, there were three couples who live in yurts, one couple that has spent the last 7 years building a hexagonal, yurt-like strawbale home, and two couples seriously considering yurt living.

Valley view

Kim and Russell, our hosts, recently purchased a magnificent yurt  from a couple in their 70’s (heading south to escape north Idaho’s cold, grey winters). The yurt sits on a bluff with a view of valley and mountains for miles around.