Moving through life, you never know which moments and experiences will have the most profound effect and in what manner they will surface later.
The seed for Podzook began in early childhood when I played in my cousin Lydia’s playhouse her Dad had built her in the backyard. This was a magical structure to me.
In the playhouse, everything was pretend. Nothing else mattered.
Fast Forward twenty more years, I am the director of the model shop at Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, my days were spent creating miniature utopian vignettes out of wood.
There is satisfaction I get, when at the end of the day, I look into my workshop, I see what I have created with my own two hands and I turn out the light.
Upon first seeing the pod when it appeared in my twitter feed, the archipod, Chris Sneesby’s invention from the UK…I fell in love with it. It brought back Lydia’s playhouse. There was no question in my mind. I had to have one.
Archipod did not distribute to North America. Sigh.
But wait. I was trained as an architect…I can build things.
After many long talks, FaceTimes and emails, we decided crafting these in Maine would not only be a way of making archipod available here in the United States and Canada, in addition it would be a way to bring commerce to Maine. The main component of the pods, timber, grows in abundance here. Maine is, after all, called the Pine Tree State. There are folks who make insulation out of blue jeans. The shingles for the pods come from a Mom and Pop operation a few towns over. The cedar for these is harvested right here in Maine. The domes are made in Calais. The flooring, reclaimed, is from the bottom of the Penobscot River. Sourcing local products has been one of the more rewarding parts of this whole journey. I have met some incredible people along the way.
There are many many ways in which the pod could be constructed faster, quicker, and cheaper.
I could import parts and materials from Shanghai, set up an assembly line and sell them at WalMart. This is not my objective. The pods will not be a commodity item. They are special, made one at a time, each piece hand cut. Making them and savoring the feel of wood ripping through the saw, the way the stain is absorbed in the shingles, piecing it all together so that the parts fit just right…a work of art.
The pod now sits in my yard, just looking at it from my kitchen window I smile, perhaps it stirs within me a forgotten memory of yesterday.