My favourite photo of my Dad George and I taken inside Greenland Place in Camden, London – my photography and graphics studio circa 1986. This was my second premises, having been in a Council incubator unit with Nick and our business The Image Factor, just around the corner in Carol Street Workshops for a year beforehand.
Just behind the Natwest Bank on Camden High Street, 1 Greenland Place was a semi derelict ex-garment factory or sweat-shop as we used to call them, on three floors. I rented and refurbished the top floor which had a marvelous loft atmosphere, windows around two sides and a pre-health and safety double goods door which opened into thin air with a gantry hoist!
This 1500sq ft space was ideally flexible for studio photography, fashion shoots etc. as well as having space for a darkroom – this was just prior to the digital revolution. I think my early adopter’s Mac SE came a year later. It was here over the coming years that I produced logos, brochures and photography for a range of clients from small businesses to a few Blue Chips besides.
And it was here in 1987 where Jo unwittingly met her husband! She had a job cold-calling on business premises with a big bag of shirts and sweaters for a company called Sleeves in the West End. Now I would never have admitted a sales person via the entry phone, but luckily for us, Maureen Jones on the floor below had already let her in and after visiting there, mentioned that there was a glamorous young designer/photographer on the next floor who may be interested…! Which is why she was able to barge through my door with her holiday tan and short skirt…and we were both smitten! To be honest I put up a fight for a month or two but then Felix, Jacob and thirty years later we are still in together and more in Love than ever!
It’s worth mentioning that Jazzie B and the Soul to Soul crew had a shop in the indoor market on the ground floor and their keyboard player Phil worked for Nick and I as a printer when we started the Image Factor!
? 13th August 1986 ?
Carved poplar wood fish, copper pipe, oak base. L60cm. ©JMA2016
I am super-stoked (!) that my Nesthouse will be featured in Lloyd Kahn’s next book which is currently in preparation. Called ‘Small Houses’ it is the latest in an influential line of architectural tomes which have formed the backbone of ecological self builders’ inspiration world-wide for decades.
The Nesthouse and I are happy to have been featured in an article in Campfire – the online magazine for those who love the outdoors. They have written an excellent little article about Tiny Houses which gives a good contextual overview of this US phenomenon which has been part of my inspiration to create an innovative and sustainable new housing form.
Read the article in Campfire Magazine.
I have been working on the interior photography of the main space in the Nesthouse this week – so here’s an early release to whet your appetite!
Now you could just have your Nesthouse completed to shell finish – so it is ready for you to furnish, or, I could design and custom build every furniture item in the house – as demonstrated in the prototype; total Jonathan Avery style from inside to outside! More photos to follow soon – checkout the gallery.
We had a family party this weekend with friends and family travelling long distances to visit and celebrate Jo’s birthday. As a by-product, this also amounted to the Nesthouse’s debut public event with around 40 curious party-goers taking the tour!
Mind you, it has had quite a few previous visits at various stages of construction by potential clients, but not in it’s new location and virtually finished (we won’t mention the bathroom yet!).
It was an exhausting but rewarding couple of hours showing people around and explaining the ideas behind the Nesthouse. The feedback was tremendous and at times embarrassingly fulsome and gushing (for me)! Those familiar with my design styling and details over the years certainly spotted them and declared it totally “Jonathan”. There were several people ready to “move in immediately” and a couple of possible sales leads too. All in all a reassuring debut for the project…I’m a happy boy!!
Moveable Modular Small House System
Central to the Nesthouse concept is the ability to actually move the house when desired….well I am pleased to say the prototype has passed its moveability trials with flying colours!! Tiny House Scotland is now ready to do the external cladding.
There’s still another 2 tons to add to the build – it’s currently 5 tons – so a bigger tractor may be required!
I have designed the Nesthouse as a modular system – each of the three sizes 3.6m, 4.8m and 6.0m comes in a basic form (Live) available with three optional extra modules – Entry, Bathe and Sleep – giving internal areas ranging from 11.5m2 – 32.7m2
After seeing a great piece by the RSPB on trying to help our beleaguered House Sparrows by putting up communal nest boxes – I decided it was time to ‘Practice what you preach’! These cute little birds were a very common site when I was a child – always nesting and chattering around the eaves of the house, but as with many other species they have fallen on hard times and the way we build now does not give them the same nesting opportunities.
We have quite a population of house sparrows here at Shangri La Farm – usually in and around the beech hedge but I don’t know where they actually nest. So as an act of solidarity with the RSPB I rattled up a triple nest box for them…its just scrap OSB but it will be well sheltered under the house eaves…I have finished it with a coat of Osmo’s superb Country Colour which is very similar to Falu red.
OMG#tinyhouse all in a row ha ha – Tiny House Scotland – IS a housing developer after all!!
I’ve not seen a hare in the field for over two years but now we have a wheat crop next door again and I saw one over the hedge in that field the other evening.
You can imagine my delight when I spotted this pair of ears on my morning walk this morning and rushed back for the wildlife lens. I stripped down to bare feet and stalked my way back towards the target…and I could get REALLY close! Upon focussing my first thought was “poor thing – what maggoty ears!!”
Then I realised it was the end of a log I had used for photographing Jays three years ago! DoH!
Tiny House Scotland’s latest construction – a garden arbour in a neo-gothic style. To be used as a view point, weather shelter and sculptural landmark. L 2.1m x W 1.1m x H 3.3m. Heavy timber frame post and beam with new and recycled materials. Redwood shiplap cladding. Sixty degree roof. Hand cast concrete piers. Recycled windows set asymmetrically for standing and sitting heights. Reclaimed corrugated steel sheeting for the roof and rear elevation.
L 2.1m x W 1.1m x H 3.3m.
Rustic Garden gate made from treated timber and roundwood (holly) with boat hook decoration.
Rustic garden gate with a combination of recycled pallet, treated timber and roundwood detailing by Jonathan Avery.
The hide has been set up for a week or so now to catch this little chap – but then I gave up because water levels in the stream have dropped again and didn’t expect to see him until we had some rain. Hey presto, whilst eating lunch today, he arrives and stays for a good 15 minutes – long enough to get into position in the living room and get the sliding door open without spooking him.
Last week we bought three new Japanese Tetsuhiro kitchen knives from Niwaki and seeing as our old knife block was looking very tired, I thought I would rattle up a new one in the workshop! This is the heavyweight replacement – alternating layers of beech and quarter-sawn oak with a danish oil finish and 12 degree angles.
Further work on updating the THS logo…(its now a year old) and producing somw promotional images for print and web!
Just competed this post and beam framed barn at Shangri La Farm. For more photos and details visit my site at tinyhousescotland.co.uk.
Committed to saving the planet…here is this year’s digital Christmas card for all our family and friends around the world. Happy Christmas everyone and a prosperous New Year in 2015.
I have a few little creative ideas on the go at the moment and decided to line up some of my barn illustrations…to see where it might lead.
Felix is out in Guatemala travelling and has started a new side line making sandwiches (well he is a chef)…on top of his usual hand crafted jewellery and knives. I had a bit of an inspirational moment and came up with this!
New website started for Tiny House Scotland. Its a work in progress as the product is still at prototype stage.
That’s the first bent frame up and fixed; the rest will follow pretty quickly.
Extension to existing slab with cardboard tube footings.