Coppicing and Rapping

The Idler magazine has a profile of woodsman Ben Law and the house he built in Prickly Nut Wood just outside of Lodsworth, West Sussex. Modeled on a Medieval hall, Law built the house, in part, of coppiced wood. In the interview Law says, “I cut the trees down in winter they don’t die but re-grow from the stumps. This is an ancient woodland management system and as well as supplying a cyclical crop of timber poles it increases biodiversity supporting many species of butterfly and dormice.”

Law has a website, books and lots of videos. Here’s a tour of his house:

Valee: Rapper and Homesteader
A New York Times profile of rapper and DIY enthusiast Valee notes the musician’s DIY tendencies which include the skillful use of a sewing machine, building koi ponds, carpentry and electrical work. The article contains this gem:

Backstage at a private show for New York University students, Valee’s D.J. and producer Rio Mac got in on the cheerleading, too, urging his friend to hype up the college crowd. “I want you to stick your chest out,” he said. “You’re like a sex icon.”

Valee demurred. “I’m an old man,” he said. “A big weekend for me is Home Depot and a Caesar salad.”

Sounds like one of my weekends. I suspect Valee is like some of the artists I’ve worked with in the past who know that if you want to do something right you’ve can’t just buy it off the rack.

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