Burning the Model

Tuesday got rained out so I went to Antoni's in the afternoon with some stuff. He had built most of the 1:6 (e.g. "Barbie scale") model and we finished up the remaining bits.

It looked really good although he didn't have time to finish putting a skin on the third quadrant, and didn't even assemble the fourth. We put together the fourth and tried burning it. It went okay although it collapsed organically like a structure. I had tied it together with rope but the quadrants weren't weighted enough to topple and didn't fall over when the rope burned through.


I told Antoni I was going to quit. I just couldn't bring myself to work on the models and I couldn't get all the things in my head about what it should look like. The project was just too big and too elaborate to complete. I didn't have all the answers yet, and I didn't think I could: everything from safety and design to shipping and clean-up. It was all just too much.

Well he pretty much dressed me down, albeit full of caring and understanding. He said I'd become just another person who doesn't do anything in the world, but if that's what I wanted, that's what I'd get. Also something about how I didn't have to know how to do everything: I could find people to help.

I don't remember much because it was pretty emotional for me. I was quite dejected about the whole thing, and when I left, I was resigned to do it—I had no choice in the matter as the plan was already in motion.


I took a few pictures of trees to get an idea of how they look, and some elements of branches and whatnot that I thought would work. I did my best to draw some sketches, but I'm not particularly adept at it and I didn't like what came of it. I got together with two friends: Antoni, a sculptor, and Brandon, an architect to talk about the project. Overall it wasn't too productive, but at least it was a start.

One thing I think is important is to have a spiral ramp—not stairs or ladders—to access the main level. I don't understand why it needs to be a spiral, but it needs to be a ramp to permit people with limited mobility to access it.

It also needs an interior space—a sanctuary for ceremonies and reflection. The yurt provides this. It also helps the stability, since a real tree of such size would have a substantial root structure to anchor it; an artificially-wide trunk would mitigate the instability in absence of such a root structure.

September 29, 2012 Sketch, side
Side view.
Top view.
Top view.

Toni encouraged me to start making models using toothpicks as, say, 8' framing members and see what I could come up with. He suggested we make a 1/6 scale model (e.g. "Barbie size") and burn it, say, on the Solstice: December 21.

Yesterday's sketches.
Yesterday's sketches.