I’m Grace. I have always been interested in making things, and I’m good with my hands, so I figured I could build a house. Why not?
I had no formal qualifications and not much knowledge about buildings, but I am a sensible person and a keen learner; I know what I don’t know, if you know what I mean. And I know how to find it out.
I started this project in 2011 with my husband Elmo. We’ve since parted ways, but he’s remained supportive and a positive influence on the project.
I live on site and run the build from the shop floor. I get involved in every aspect of the actual work, in addition to managing, procuring, and generally being responsible for everything from catering to toilet facilities to publicity to volunteer coordination. It’s been a hell of a learning curve.
I’ve had a very great deal of technical, practical and emotional help from a very great number of people. Nobody could do this on their own. I host volunteers from all over the world who are interested in what I do and who can learn skills and enjoy working on my project. I also invite my friends (old and new) to drop in anytime and just hang out here, because it’s a wonderful place with a really positive atmosphere, or at least I try to make it that way.
I’m not in a hurry to finish. I consider this my life’s work. Well, this decade’s work, anyway. And I would like to be living in it by the end of the decade, but I don’t expect to ever stop working on it.
I welcome anyone with an interest in what I’m up to to come and see it. I encourage anyone with a will to try something like this to just get started. You will cry a lot, but it will change your life.