Saturday, December 14, 2013

DIY Superbooks
Books that are DIY projects themselves
Originally published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel December 13, 2013

Photo provided by Storey Publishing
DIY books are battling for your attention. They lost out for a time to low-budget DIY YouTube videos, when they became the studio-photographed, cookie-cutter products of crafts publishers. But it now looks like the slick-paper aesthetic is becoming side-lined in favor of books that appear to be the cover-to-cover brain-child of brilliant artists. These new DIY Superbooks still slide off your shelf like the traditional, mild-mannered how-to book, but once in your hands can ramp-up your creative maker-powers exponentially.

The pages of these DIY Superbooks are profusely illustrated with quirky-cool drawings. If there are any photos, they are altered and enhanced with more distinctive drawings. Embellished hand-lettering is also the norm. A new type of superhuman DIY author/creator seems to have emerged—one with the x-ray vision to dream up and complete incredible projects plus the creative brilliance to share those projects in the most riveting way.

So, if you want the power of DIY, search out these crazy-talented authors and their amazing DIY Superbooks:

FILM AND VIDEO MAKING: “Action! Professor Know-it-all’s illustrated guide to film & video making” by Bill Brown.
At first I thought this clever little book was meant for kids, but apparently, it has become assigned reading in some college-level beginning film-making classes. A fellow reviewer calls it, “simultaneously erudite and approachable, leavened with wit and charm aplenty." Illustrated with simple line drawings, “Action!” makes reading about white balance and hyperfocal distances actually fun, and will inspire film and video makers of all ages and experience levels to stride confidently into multimedia projects of any size.

            COZY SHELTERS: “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts” by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen.
The adjectives in the title are apt for describing the book itself—essentially a brainstorm of wildly imaginative ideas in the format of a black-and-white graphic novel—although it also has a small section of color photos featuring the author and others enjoying their outrageous, gotta-have-it shelters. The structures range in size from a disaster-relief shelter-for-one, to a junk-car cabin, to a “Tee-Pee for Three or so…,” i.e., they’re all pretty diminutive in size but big on wow factor. As one reviewer describes it, “the book reads like a demented Boy Scout’s fantasy notebook.” (Diedericksen also gives 3-day Tiny House Workshops. Go to

·         CLUBHOUSES: “Keep Out! Build your own backyard clubhouse” by Lee Mothes.
Not quite in the category of superbook, I’m recommending “Keep Out!” nevertheless, as the perfect complement to “Humble Homes.” Once Diedricksen has inspired you to leap tall buildings in a single bound, this one will provide the practical, step-by-step guidance to make it happen. The author includes photos of a clubhouse he and his friends built and rebuilt in the early 1960s from lumber, nails, old wallpaper and other things “found mostly by rummaging through the neighbors’ trash.” To recapture the romance of that early experience, Mothes provides plans and building instructions, as wells as wisdom on tools, techniques and using found materials, to create a retreat that’s a little less slap-dash than the one he built 50+ years ago, but probably more reliable. (See photos of Mothes’ childhood clubhouses and more at

      BRILLIANT STORYTELLING: “Abstract City” by Christoph Niemann.  
Niemann’s stories revolve around the stuff of his everyday daily life (home, kids, coffee shops, cables, dust bunnies), told using the most commonplace of materials. But there’s nothing mundane about Niemann’s storytelling. He uses napkins and coffee stains to demonstrate his love affair with coffee; crudely hand-sewn dolls to write about his superpowers; cookie dough and sprinkles to illustrate an alternate creation-of-the-world story; woven paper to explore the fall of the Berlin Wall. My favorite chapter is “Bathroom Art,” in which Niemann designs shower walls using “pixel drawings” made up of classic 4-by-4 inch colored tiles, including pixilated “Venus of Urbino” and Warhol’s “Brillo Box.” It’s storytelling reinvented—squeezing lumps of coal into glittering diamonds. (You won’t want this book to end, so go to or download his app, “Petting Zoo” for more.)


PARENT PROJECTS: “Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff” by Scott Bedford.
Who needs a phone booth when you’ve got a book with 67 ways to transform yourself into a super-parent? This book is the only thing you’ll ever need on a cooped-up, rainy Saturday afternoon—a project book which combines hyper-inventive drawings, photos and text, created by a guy who must be the super-est (and tireless) of dads. In the introduction he says, “If you have kids, some time to kill, and an empty toilet paper roll, this book is for you.” The projects are all kid-tested on his two young sons, and use supplies you’ve already got like cardboard, soup cans, rubber bands and plastic bags. What kid wouldn’t love to make a Slingshot Car Launcher, a Spaghetti and Marshmallow Eiffel Tower, or a Remote Release Zip Line? (Also see his award-winning blog,

Photo provided by Storey Publishing
GARDENING MADE FUN: “Kiss My Aster: A Graphic Guide to Creating a Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You” by Amanda Thomsen.
Although the author, Amanda Thomsen, didn’t create the drawings for her book “Kiss My Aster,” the collaboration between her sassy writing and the fresh, amusing illustrations is seamless. It’s all just one big, piquant bunch of fun that manages to also include helpful information for the beginning gardener. Thomsen is obviously a knowledgeable horticulturist, but may love sewing words just as much:
Thomsen on growing vegetables: “Pick a site near the house, so harvesting doesn’t become a schlepfest, okay?”
On growing hedges: “I bet you want a hedge. Way to start out easy, chief.”
On tearing out plants: “Tearing out is so much fun that I almost want to come over and help you. Almost.”

You get the idea. “Kiss My Aster” wears a cape and flies high above other gardening books in the DIY Superbook stratosphere.

Photo provided by Storey Publishing

Promise and peril
3D Printing and the world of repercussions
Originally published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel November 1, 2013

3D-printed scissors*
When you hear author Rebecca Solnit read in public, her writing sounds disjointed and lacking structure. She herself seems easily distracted: more than once, she invites everyone standing, to please sit on the floor since the chairs are all taken. Her cell phone goes off and she is embarrassed. She fusses with the microphone. Her unrestrained wavy mop of hair keeps falling in her face.

Rebecca Solnit
(Publicity photo by Jim Herrington)
But to actually read one of her books is a distinct pleasure, and the arc of her storytelling falls effortlessly into place, as she weaves seemingly disparate observations and occurrences into one lovely, connected whole. Solnit says that storytelling is a writer’s effort to find the patterns inherent in the chaos of life. And in her latest book, “The Faraway Nearby,” she does just that. She writes, “the sudden appearance of the patterns of the world brings a sense of coherence and above all connection.” To emphasize the point, she reminds us that Virginia Woolf once wrote, “Perhaps this is the strongest pleasure known to me. It is the rapture I get when in writing I seem to be discovering what belongs to what . . . “

These connections can happen in unexpected ways. In her latest book, “The Faraway Nearby,” as she connects the sudden appearance of a pile of apricots on her bedroom floor, with the conjunction of mothers and mirrors, with the emblems of ice and cold. “That vast pile of apricots included underripe, ripening, and rotting fruit. The range of stories I can tell about my mother include some of each too,” she writes. “This abundance of unstable apricots seemed to be not only a task set for me, but my birthright, my fairy-tale inheritance from my mother who had given me almost nothing since my childhood.”

Rebecca Solnit read from her just latest book, “The Faraway Nearby, at Bookshop Santa Cruz last June to a s
tanding-room-only crowd. (photo provided by Bookshop Santa Cruz) 
Solnit further explores parenting themes, and ice and cold, through the early life of Mary Shelley (who lost her own mother at birth, and lost 3 of her 4 children in infancy) and her classic book, “Frankenstein,” first published in 1818 when she was a mere 20 years old. In the famous story, medical student Victor Frankenstein—the parent in a sense—has made an incredible discovery and created a living, breathing creature. But once he beholds his brilliant creation come-to-life, he is frightened and repulsed, and runs away.

“Frankenstein imagines himself as a savior,” writes Solnit. “But when he brings his creature to life and then frees it, he is both a parent abandoning a child and a citizen walking away from a calamity in the making. The coldness of this novel that begins and ends in the arctic and climaxes in the great glacial landscape of the high Alps is the coldness of his heart.”

“Frankenstein” is certainly one of, if not the earliest works of science fiction, and has become the template for a thousand imitations. “The cinematic version has become so familiar,” writes Solnit, “that ‘Frankenstein’ has become the oft-invoked byword for reckless, irresponsible science....” For me, these themes of science fiction and the unintended consequences of technology were echoed in a new book I’ve been reading, “Fabricated—the new world of 3D Printing; the promise and peril of a machine that can make (almost) anything,” by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman. The very first chapter describes a futuristic world with 3D printers as commonplace in our daily lives as today’s 2D printers, generating everything from fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast to customized toothbrushes before bed.

Lipson and Kurman give a whole new meaning to the word “print” when they envision new homes constructed with organically-shaped foam walls printed from a gigantic nozzle, complete with built-in weather sensors and solar panels. Or shoes that are comfortable, durable and require no glue, printed into modular components that are interchangeable to allow a variety of different looks. Or replacement hearts, kidneys and other body parts, printed from cell mixture and biomaterials, ala Frankenstein’s monster.

It sounds like a world that’s light years away, but the authors says it’s more like decades. Much of the book explores where we are right now in the development of these 3D technologies. For instance, we can print (i.e. fabricate and bake) a 3D high-res shortbread cookie with a small, portable 3D printer, but printing a fresh, hot hamburger with everything on it is difficult to envision. Ideally, the products we print (even if they steer us away from fresh ingredients) will make us healthier and save lives. Food printers, for example, would allow the user to control the nutritional content of every meal, making it easy for someone diabetic or lactose intolerant to avoid sugar or milk.

Some predict that “bioprinting”—having a replacement body part made out of your own cell tissue—is only a generation away. “Printed on-demand body parts will help people who need an organ transplant, or have failing joints,” write the authors. “People with disposable income will order custom printed body parts optimized for a beloved recreational activity.” The ethical concerns, however, may be just as thorny and problematic as stem cell, abortion and cloning debates are today. One example: “The Olympic Committee in the year 2072 will struggle to decide whether athletes with bioprinted organs, should be banned from the Games.”

Just as Victor Frankenstein’s life-giving experiment goes chillingly wrong, the authors admit that bioprinting and other 3D technologies—in irresponsible hands—could lead to disastrous results. Once bioprinting becomes relatively cheap and easy, blackmarketeers will snap up cast-off medical bioprinters and sell discount organs made from outdated, faulty design files—or produce sloppy organs in a non-sterile printing environment, resulting in unnecessary deaths.

3D printed artificial heart valve.  Currently available valves—both mechanical ones and valves taken from animals—suffer from serious drawbacks. Someday surgeons will save lives by taking an entirely new approach: 3D printing a new heart valve with stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body. Bioprinted heart valves made from a child’s own stem cells will more likely be accepted by the immune system and be able to grow with the body and repair themselves. (Photo credit: Jonathan Butcher, Cornell University)
“The downstream impact of emerging, game-changing technologies is difficult to predict,” say the authors. “Criminals will quickly learn to apply 3D printing technology to improve their illegal wares and services. 3D printed weapons and new chemicals could be devastating if they fall into malevolent hands.” And so, just as the coldness of Victor Frankenstein’s heart corrupts his creation and causes his monster to go on a murderous rampage, so may the coldest of future human hearts use this 3D technology to bring about death and destruction on a much grander scale.

On a more personal note, I’m feeling conflicted about embracing one more piece of technology that will invite me to sit for longer periods of time staring at a screen (like I am now). I’m reminded of that cautionary scene in the movie “Wall-e” in which the obese inhabitants of a futuristic world float around in cushy lounge chairs watching virtual 3D images and sipping liquid meals grabbed from drive-by 3D printers.

Maybe 3D printers will help us create complex shapes and products that could not be produced otherwise, but at what cost? Will the bioprinted heart used to save a life, be necessary because humans have become inert and sedentary? Will the printed food we prepare at the push of a button save us time (much as processed, packaged food does now), giving us the opportunity to sit and watch more cooking shows? (Or will cooking become something our grandmothers did?) If there is nothing we can’t fabricate with a computer and printer, will we, the consumers of all these new products, forget what it feels like to be self-reliant, a little more omnicompetent? Will we lose the motivation to create?

Rebecca Solnit writes beautiful books to find ways of making connections, to discover “what belongs to what.” Connecting apricots with her mother, and her mother with ice and cold—and perhaps even the neglect of Victor Frankenstein—must have taken a measure of courage on her part. But perhaps making connections—in art as well as life—is the most important and consequential task we have as humans.

 “The self is also a creation, the principal work of your life, the crafting of which makes everyone an artist,” writes Solnit. “This unfinished work of becoming ends only when you do, if then, and the consequences live on. We make ourselves and in so doing are the gods of the small universe of self and the large world of repercussions.”

*Printing functional objects. These 3D-printed scissors work “out of the box” – no assembly or sharpening required. By making objects in layers, a 3D printer could print a door and attach interlocking hinges at the same time. No assembly required. Less assembly will shorten supply chains, saving money on labor and transportation; shorter supply chains will be less polluting. (photo provided by the publisher, Wiley Publishing) 
Grand Vision
Pintrest, the ultimate DIY-motivator
Originally published October 18, 2013 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Their finished piano bookcase graces the entryway to the Pointer’s Aromas home
—making a stunning first impression as you enter their home.
When I first looked at Pintrest—a popular pin-board style, photo-sharing website—I was unimpressed. Sure, I can type in just about any word or phrase in my head and see an often amazing collection of photos. If I type in the word “piano,” for example, I see a turquoise upright, a pink baby grand, steps and fences painted to look like black and white piano keys, piano nail art, a piano wine bar, and an amazing player piano converted into a gushing garden fountain. My reactions range from “way too cute” to “is that Photoshopped or for real?!” But if I search Pintrest for a project, such as “how to make a piano bookcase,” I get, “We couldn’t find any results, but you might try Holidays, Corgis, Sneakers, or Pasta!”

Pintrest does have a “DIY and Crafts” section where you’ll see instructions for making simple home goods such as terrariums, tote bags, gift tags, Christmas ornaments and cat scratching posts. But if you want to know how to make something larger or more complex, you’re better off searching DIY websites like Instructables. Pintrest describes itself as “a tool for collecting and organizing things you love” and tries to stick to that directive.

Fred and AR carefully move the awkward and still-heavy piano case
 from saw horses to two rolling dollies, to transport it back into the
garage after working on it in the driveway.
But it turns out that Pintrest is a powerful DIY-motivator, even without the step-by-step instructions. All some people really need is a little inspiration. My friends, AR and Fred Pointer, made a piano bookcase with no guidance at all, other than a photo she found on Pintrest. “I don’t have a lot of original thoughts,” says AR. “But, if I can see it, I can usually figure out how to do it.”

AR is passionate about repurposing things she finds in online and literal secondhand stores. Her living room walls have unusual, black and white pieces she’s collected, including an antique-looking eye chart, a Santos doll, a human target and a huge 35 MPH speed limit sign. She and Fred—both retired—also attend auctions and go on garage sale vacations. “We’re not really looking for anything,” says AR. “We just enjoy going.” A lot of what they find they refashion into something wonderful for their home, which you’d think might be cluttered with their finds, but isn’t.

AR holds some of the more interesting pieces gathered from the
 old baby grand, which was also, at one time, a player piano.
They found the baby grand they needed for the bookcase at AA Auctions in Santa Cruz, where anyone can bid online or in person at their by-monthly Thursday evening auctions. “It had a player piano attached and a lot of rust, so I didn’t feel too bad about disassembling it. There was no way to restore it,” AR says. (But she had to reassure her musical family by sending them rusted hardware from inside the piano, just to show them it couldn’t have been saved.)

To be successful at an auction, AR says, “When the professionals stop bidding, that’s when you bid one more time. I’m willing to pay a little more.” In the case of the piano, however, she wasn’t bidding against anyone else, so she kept her bid constant over several weeks until the reserve was finally lowered and they had their baby grand.

Fred Pointer sands the wood at the end of the
 keyboard that he will later paint black.

Next they had to hire a mover to haul the bulky 700 pound piano to their home in Aromas. “The piano was cheap,” says Fred with a smile. “It was getting it home that cost a lot.” They took off the legs to make the transportation easier. Once in their garage, they let it sit for awhile, contemplating their next move. They tied a rope to the rafters and looped it around the piano so it couldn’t fall over while they were working on it. “We had to take the bottom off in little pieces,” says Fred, “just to see what was inside.”

Once inside the piano, they learned that cutting the 220 taut wire strings could be dangerous, since they would fly like metal whips. “I didn’t have a tool to loosen them up, and I wasn’t gonna buy one when I’ve got a pair of tin snips,” says Fred. “So I put a towel over them for when they flew. Even with the towel some of them got away.” Removing the cast iron harp was also difficult. “It was too heavy, so my son had to help,” says AR.

As they continued removing the guts of the piano—making space for the shelves—they saved and sorted all the nuts and screws, hinges and gears. “With a 700 pound piano, there’s a lot of metal,” says AR, holding some of the pieces in her hand. “I’m gonna keep these, and make something with the interesting ones.” Their labor of love led to some surprises. “We found a lot of people’s signatures on the inside—the people who put it together,” says AR. “And every one of the keys were numbered.”

It took them about six months to complete the project, working when they had time, and making design decisions along the way. They removed the action, but kept the keyboard intact. Fred sanded and refinished the beautiful wood on the outside of the case, but painted the inside black. They oriented the bookcase with the keys on the right, and used French cleats to secure it to the wall of their entry hall, resting a few inches off the floor on rounded feet—a stunning first impression as you walk through the front door. AR used many of the small patinated metal and wood pieces she had saved to make a lovely shadowbox collage, which she hung above the curved portion of the bookcase. “We felt almost a reverence for this piano. You really wanted to honor the craftsmanship,” says AR.

If you join Pintrest, you can create theme-based image collections around your interests and hobbies. My sister-in-law, for example, used Pintrest to help choose a color palette and design her new kitchen, saving photos of kitchens done in shades of gray and honey oak. At a baby shower I attended last summer, where the cake, decorations and tableware were done in hot pink and zebra print, the hostess asked me to take photos so they could be posted on Pintrest.
AR Pointer saved some of her favorite pieces from the dismantling of the piano
and assembled them into a beautiful shadow box display, which she
 hung on the wall above to the piano bookcase. (photo by AR Pointer)

I haven’t joined Pintrest yet (and neither has AR), and I’m still cutting out idea photos and recipes from magazines and newspapers and literally pinning them to a corkboard on the wall behind my computer. But it’s probably only a matter of time and space before I succumb to the wisdom of storing all my inspiration in one convenient, virtual location.

Before they were even done with their bookcase piano project, AR excitedly showed me a photo from Pintrest of her next project: a wine bar made from an upright piano. “This next one will be easier,” predicts AR. She and Fred don’t drink, so they will probably give it away.  “It will hone our carpentry skills,” AR says with a smile. “It’s really just for fun.”

A beautiful fall wreath, made by AR
graces the front of the Pointer's home.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Stalk Talk
Bamboo--the superhero of plants
Originally published August 16, 2013 in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Bamboo Giant Nursery is located on 31 acres on Freedom Blvd. in Aptos
. With over 15 acres planted in bamboo, it is one of the largest displays
 of timber bamboo in North America.
What plant produces the most oxygen and consumes more carbon dioxide than any other plant,  has a tensile strength greater than steel, can be harvested without destroying itself, and comes in over 1500 species, some of which can grow up to 4 FEET PER DAY?

You guessed it—it’s bamboo—the invincible, superhero of plants, able to do so much more than your average piece of lumber. Bamboo is so mighty and resilient, it survived the1945 atomic bomb drop in Hiroshima, Japan and was the first plant to re-grow after the blast.

Known for its strength and versatility, bamboo is used worldwide to make food, medicine, textiles, furniture, housing, and many other useful products. And, for the curious craftsperson, gardener and environmentalist, sustainably harvested bamboo poles are available at many home improvement stores, garden centers and nurseries.
Michael Kanner shows Sarah Hoole, 2 1/2, and her mother
 Jennifer Riley, how to drill the finger holes for a bamboo flute
 at the Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes Fair last Sunday. For the two
 day fair, Kanner helped about 70 children make their own
 flutes, and will also be teaching at the Bamboo Giant Arts
 and Crafts fair.  He has been a programmer of world music at
KUSP for 30 years and is a member of the American Bamboo Society.

One Santa Cruz musician who understands the versatility of bamboo is Michael Kanner, who’s been making traditional Japanese shakuhachi flutes from bamboo for over 45 years. Kanner loves to share his techniques with children whenever he has the opportunity. He shows them how to mark the finger holes using a prototype as a guide, and burn the holes using a hot inverted drill bit with a wooden handle. After they sand the holes, clean the shaft, and decorate the end with feathers and beads, Kanner provides instructions for playing and caring for their instrument.

Another bamboo fan, local cycling entrepreneur, Craig Calfee, made his first bamboo bike as a gimmick for a trade show. Calfee’s workshop in La Selva Beach assembles some of the most advanced carbon fiber racing bicycles in the world. But he also directs a project called Bamboosero, which supports micro-manufacturers of bamboo bike frames in developing countries. The assembled frames are shipped back to Calfee’s workshop for inspection and hardware.

Promoting the beauty of bamboo, fine artist Carolyn Fitz of Scotts Valley, is well-known for her bamboo graphics. Fitz has traveled to Japan and China and has been sharing her passion for calligraphy and ink painting for over 25 years. Her sumi-e workshops explore a traditional style of Japanese ink painting using a bamboo brush. Fitz created the logo for Bamboo Giant—a bamboo nursery on Freedom Blvd. in Aptos which specializes in bamboo consulting, design, delivery, installation, fencing and furniture, and has over 50 different species of bamboo growing on 15 planted acres.

Brano Meres found an article describing a bamboo frame built by Craig Calfee and was determined
 to build one, using a method he developed from building a carbon  frame.  He provides instructions
 for building a bamboo bicycle frame on, and writes that the most difficult
 part was finding quality bamboo rods.
All three of these bamboo enthusiasts will be on hand at Bamboo Giant this weekend for what promises to be the ideal introduction to the possibilities of bamboo. The two-day arts and crafts fair will have bamboo-related workshops, crafts, products, face and nail painting, as well as live music, a raffle and barbecue, and an opportunity to wander through bamboo-forested trails and learn more about bamboo.For crafters and builders, Bamboo Giant sells raw canes harvested onsite and imported kiln-dried bamboo. For ideas and inspiration, you can see fencing and garden structures made from bamboo, plus a full range of bamboo products for sale, including birdfeeders, ladders, chimes, bird cages, floor mats, easels, tables and chairs.
A basket made from bamboo chopsticks.

“The Craft & Art of Bamboo” by Carol Stangler provides good details on planting, harvesting, cutting, preserving, and attaching bamboo, as well as instructions for making 30 different projects, from water features, to furnishings, to fencing, to gates and railings. Bamboo fencing is especially lovely in the garden, and can vary in color, style and effect depending upon the species and diameter of bamboo used.In her book, Stangler notes that bamboo’s popularity has increase in recent years. “Once seen as an unwelcome invasive, it is now hailed for its eco-friendly properties. ‘Rapidly renewable’ describes its spectacular growth rate: bamboo reaches 80 percent of its full height, diameter and leaf canopy in only two months!” Bamboo is actually a giant perennial grass, and its dynamic growth is anchored and nourished by a shallow, underground network of rhizomes.

Left on its own, bamboo will multiply rapidly, a challenge for those with limited space or close neighbors. To contain bamboo, the roots must be surrounded by a 3-foot-deep high-density plastic barrier. Healthy bamboo requires regular maintenance such as removing unwanted shoots in the spring, harvesting mature culms (stems) annually, and removing dead and dying culms.

Bamboo is ready for harvesting in about four to

Viewed from the bottom, a chair with frame and slats
 made from bamboo.
seven year, when the culm is dark or dull green. Use a coarse-tooth pruning saw to cut the culm as close to the ground as possible. Remove branches with a machete or loppers. Cut lengths needed for your project or store long lengths out of the weather and off the ground. Annual cleaning and sealing greatly increases the life and appearance of bamboo structuresIn addition to Stangler’s book and others, the Internet is also a good source of bamboo projects. One website, has a long list of projects including how to make a cutting board, tree house, raft, compost bin, birdhouse or candles from bamboo. offers a wide variety of step-by-step bamboo projects with photos, including:
  • 15 minute bamboo easel       
  • Bamboo bike frame adapted from Craig Calfee’s original design        
  • Japanese bamboo stilts
  • Bamboo chaise lounge chair padded with wine bottle corks
And of course has photos for an inspiring assortment of large bamboo creations, including beds, walls, ceilings and garden bridges.
In Bali last May, I saw this platform constructed from large-diameter
 bamboo, at a bridge construction site, used for holding tools
 and materials. I thought the way of joining the poles was really unique.