Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Timber Framers Guild Conference, Manchester, NH, Aug 7-10, 2014
I will be speaking at the TFG Conference, Friday afternoon, Aug. 8, on geometry in the States, 1683 through 1850. I will begin with the First Period houses in Topsfield, MA, and end with the 1850's dismantled railroad shed. I will use the diagrams and photographs from this bog.
The day before, Aug. 7th, the TFG bus tour will stop at the Sandown Meeting House. I will be there to explain the geometry. I will have the diagrams. I will also encourage people to stand in the pulpit and sense the space. The attic will be open. Will Truax will be up there in the trusses with windows and a roof hatch open. A permanent steep stair leads up to the trusses and a board walk is in place across to a now missing chimney, so it is reasonably safe. No one should go through the 250 yr. old plaster ceiling!
The Sandown historians will be there as will First Period Colonial, Bob Pothier, the carpenter for the last set of repairs.
The recent workshop at Trillium Dell with Laurie Smith brought up lots of ideas and questions which I do not expect to answer before the talk.
Some of the issues are simple:What do we call certain recurring forms and geometries? We need a common language.
Some more complex:
Is there any indication that the houses I am looking at begin with circles which laid out that first square?
Were the master carpenters and owners whose houses I have laid out trained in the guilds in England? Is there a record that they studied geometry?
Am I seeing different geometries because of different framing systems? For example: the geometry noting cut lines, not center lines, for interlocked log walls in Virginia - or because the people came from different parts of England with different training? What about the Dutch? the Germans? the French and Swedes?
Am I seeing the length of a rod: 16 feet 6 inches, and not noticing? Laurie Smith finds it to be a common, basic dimension in England and Wales.
Have I missed it because I haven't been thinking about it? If the framers here were not apprenticed to someone trained in the ways of the old country would they have adopted another length?
The Timber Framers have suggested that people who might like to come only to my talk need not pay the fee for the whole day - which includes food as well as all the other sessions - but could simply make a donation.