Thursday, November 7, 2013


Ah, the best laid plans!

Wednesday came, the weather looked like it would hold, so I went "full speed ahead" to get the new yurt set up. The friends who would help me don't get up until 10:00 so I had time to do the last little things in preparation for setting it up.

First, I had to add some screw eyes to attach the uprights to the roof ring. The next step will show why they are necessary...

It's the Tyvek. Because it is sealed to the ring, ropes can't pass over the ring like they do in Mongolia. I cut out the skirt and taped it on.

The central ring and columns are ready to stand up.

Here's a closeup to show why the screw eyes were necessary. See how the ropes attach without passing over the ring?

Now it's time for the door and lattice!

When I pulled out the lattice panels to set them up, everything came screeching to a halt. I had checked the integrity of the camel hide ties on the lattice walls, but apparently I skipped one.

I want to be clear on the provenance of these parts so that there's no confusion. The covers came from Groovy Yurts in Montréal. Yves, the owner, has been amazing to deal with. Everything that he sent me is of the highest quality. He really went out of his way to get it to me and communicate clearly and thoroughly at every step of the process.

The frame, however, came from a man in San Diego who had a small import business. When he stopped importing them, this yurt sat in storage for a while before he listed it on eBay. This is when the horse hair ties were damaged along with, I now know, some of the camel hide lattice ties.

On this one panel, many of the ties had snapped and many others felt weak.

For someone with as many kinds of thread and yarn and twine as I have, it was kind of unbelievable that I don't have an appropriate cord to replace these ties. That meant I needed to drive to town and find something. It's an hour away and it'll take time to tie the joints so I started adjusting to the fact that I would not have a yurt for at least another whole week. I leave for a show on Thursday, so even if the weather is good the yurt needed to be set up on Wednesday.

I started by replacing the ties that had already failed before I went and applied pressure to the others to test if they would fail soon. And, yeah, fluorescent yellow is the only color I could find. I don't like it, but I can replace the ties one at a time once the yurt is up.

It was dark by the time I was finished since nearly every joint needed to be replaced. In the process, I also discovered that a couple of wooden slats are missing, too. (At the bottom on the right.)

I really feel like a fool for somehow skipping over this panel in my parts checking, but I did skip it and the price is that I don't get to start moving into the yurt for at least another week. I probably won't be out of the studio by December now so I'll have to pay another month's rent there and then move the studio in the rain. Pretty maddening, really, but it is what it is.

In the end, a few months' delay, a bunch of wasted money and some rain isn't the end of the world. It just doesn't feel so great right now.


Katie said...

Well, it is a bummer, but you have the right attitude. Chalk it up to experience and go forward. You'll still have a beautiful workspace at the end. I've never, repeat, never, been involved in a project like this that didn't have bumps. Gnashing of teeth just ends up in broken teeth.

BloggerPlus App said...

Yep! That's kind of how I treat all of life. Living and learning. And a project like this with SO MANY unknowns is bound to include a few dead-ends and egregious mistakes. If I wanted certainty, I'd live in a standard house built by bonded contractors, but what fun would that be?