Space To Immerse
Nothing beats raw interaction with the natural world. The one we all come from. A few flashes of experience come to my mind when I say this- falling in the snow, holding your breath underwater, climbing a tree, slipping in the dirt and feeling your body collide with the earth. There is something that has become almost mystical about being fully yanked into the right now.; noticing how your machinery relays the best information it can about your current place in space and time, through your sensory system. Both humbling and uplifting you with this reminder of being a living thing. One that relates, responds to and interacts with the environment that birthed it. In our busy modern lives, we yearn to go back to this place and rest our minds here. Building this outdoor space with my husband Jason, I was overwhelmed with this reality; working in the cold and rain, feeling my body warm and cool, with changes in my activity. By the end of every day, there was a satisfaction I could feel in my legs, arms and core, having worked with my hands, dirtied my clothes and made progress on something meaningful to me.
Following over a month of building after work and on weekends, beyond my feet was the winding boardwalk I had once just pictured in my mind. Jason's ingenuity brought it to life, just as I had imagined. It curves through the surrounding trees and guides you to the soaking deck beneath a canopy of branches. Fire, water and fresh air. Cedar and Palo Santo. We created a space with the intention to tune back into the real world, recognizing ourselves as the window we each are. A first of what I hope will be many.
We assembled our wood-fired soaking tub, designed by Forest Cooperage over the course of two half-days. This could have easily been done in one, if we hadn't been filming the process. The shipping crate we received held everything we needed (aside from a drill and rubber mallet) to build our tub. Assembly was refreshingly approachable and enjoyable to do together. We chose a four-person tub 6' diameter, 3.5' tall with exterior shelves that act as steps, cool-off seating and surface area for mugs and towels. The wood-burning stove that sits inside is guarded by a fence that protects from direct contact. The most beautiful part of the first time filling the tub is the smell of the cedar that floods the surrounding air. There's something uniquely special about soaking this way. Powered by fire, chemical-free and enriched by nature.
We've spent afternoon's here quietly watching birds, submerging our heads in the warm water and listening through the sound barrier. Mornings, just the two of us and Christmas night in conversation with siblings, while the owls called to one another in the trees above. Attention- undiluted and present. We've cold-plunged in the 36° water, after letting it sit for a couple of crisp winter nights. -This has been one of my favorite unanticipated experiences with our tub. The sensation is uniquely energizing and it's a proper challenge for the mind, to make the walk outside and pull your body beneath the prickling cold water.
The evolution of Búho is something I look forward to seeing unfold over 2023 and 2024. I am eager to expand the boardwalk from the soaking deck to an indoor/outdoor studio space that opens up to our view of the woods. A place to rest, create and connect with others, nature and ourselves. I'd love to power this off-the-grid style and create something strikingly beautiful and minimal. We have many sources of inspiration for this portion and I'm excited to see how we decide to tie this to our soaking area.
I'm grateful for the many people that continue to bring this hideout to life. Jason, for leading the project build and working into dusk with me on countless occasions. My clients, for enabling me to expand in my creative endeavors. And our partners at Forest Cooperage - for their stunning cedar tub design and valued partnership. Other partners for this space include Happy Place, who has supplied us with beautiful sustainably-sourced Better Cotton Initiative bath towels and robes and Planet Y, who has complimented the raw elements of Búho with hand-crafted stoneware.
Follow the winding boardwalk.
Gathering firewood on a frozen December morning.
Stoking the fire, periodically.
Stirring the water, mixing the layer of heat that gathers at the top with the cooler water at the bottom.