Jon Appleton

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Click the audio play button above to hear Jon talk about his natural building projects.
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Natural Building

Simple shelters.

Click the audio play button above to hear what Jon wants you to do…

Jon Appleton

The dens ranged from simple nest like hiding places under the ferns and bracken to quite sophisticated, more permanent structures. Straw bales, when available on the local farm, made excellent building blocks. Flexible hazelwood frameworks covered with “liberated” pieces of canvas or tarpaulin made the most satisfactory semi-durable accommodation. Sometimes we thatched with rushes, flag leaves, bracken fronds and leaves of all sorts. Most of these dens incorporated a fire of some sort. Small and neat, smoke free if possible and all lit with “only one match” as a matter of pride and as instructed by “Lonecraft” the book by John Hargrave or “White Fox” as he was known.
Even little birds do it.
The picture above was taken in 1942 when my brother, sister and I won a fancy dress competition as a native American family. The bug has bitten!
American Indian Tipee
I don’t much like the “nylon nightmares” that seem to be the norm these days. It’s hard to beat cotton canvas as weather protection when the rain and wind get up.
The Yurpee.
My octagonal camp pavilion, slackened off and drying out after rain before being packed down at the end of a camp.
Move your mouse pointer over the drawing below to see the full picture
This design was created to combine the benefits of dome and tipi construction
me and the “Yurpee” at Oak Dragon.
My hand built Sacred Space.
Old fence panels cut up for roof shingles, topped with reversed beer cans and a glass pyramid. Inside a little chimenia in the back corner for winter heat. Bench seats with sheepskins all round and plenty of candles.
Sacred Space Interior
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton
Family tradition has it that I was conceived in a Tipi, made by my parents, under the “old yew tree” near Polesden Lacey in Surrey. I certainly spent time as a baby and as a small boy in various hiking tents like the ones used by the Kindred in the 20’s and 30’s. A significant memory for me is being woken up one misty morning to see a little tipi in the garden. It had smoke coming out of the top and looked quite magical. My father had made it out of paper and used the dried stalks of the Golden Rod plants for the lodge poles. Being an Indian was part of my dreaming and imagination as a child and the books of Ernest Thompson Seton, such as “The Book of Woodcraft Indian Lore” were much loved treasures. A lot of my time as a pre-teenage boy was spent on Wimbledon Common and “den” building was a significant part of our play.
All of these early experiences and influences have stayed with me and played a part in my fascination with both camping and minimal living spaces. The design of the “Yurpee” a cross between a Yurt and a Teepee sprang from my desire to have a comfortable living space on the 10 day camps I’ve been attending in recent years.
A 10' wide octagonal meditation and meeting space. All made with recycled materials. Walls of "Papercrete", mashed up Guardian newspaper 70%, sand 20% and cement 10%.

Jon Appleton

Continue
Back

Natural Building

Simple shelters.

Click the audio play button above to hear Jon talk about his natural building projects.
Even little birds do it.
The picture above was taken in 1942 when my brother, sister and I won a fancy dress competition as a native American family. The bug has bitten!
The Yurpee.
My octagonal camp pavilion, slackened off and drying out after rain before being packed down at the end of a camp.
me and the “Yurpee” at Oak Dragon.
My hand built Sacred Space.
A 10' wide octagonal meditation and meeting space. All made with recycled materials. Walls of "Papercrete", mashed up Guardian newspaper 70%, sand 20% and cement 10%. Old fence panels cut up for roof shingles, topped with reversed beer cans and a glass pyramid. Inside a little chimenia in the back corner for winter heat. Bench seats with sheepskins all round and plenty of candles.
Sacred Space Interior
Family tradition has it that I was conceived in a Tipi, made by my parents, under the “old yew tree” near Polesden Lacey in Surrey. I certainly spent time as a baby and as a small boy in various hiking tents like the ones used by the Kindred in the 20’s and 30’s. A significant memory for me is being woken up one misty morning to see a little tipi in the garden. It had smoke coming out of the top and looked quite magical. My father had made it out of paper and used the dried stalks of the Golden Rod plants for the lodge poles. Being an Indian was part of my dreaming and imagination as a child and the books of Ernest Thompson Seton, such as “The Book of Woodcraft Indian Lore” were much loved treasures. A lot of my time as a pre-teenage boy was spent on Wimbledon Common and “den” building was a significant part of our play. The dens ranged from simple nest like hiding places under the ferns and bracken to quite sophisticated, more permanent structures. Straw bales, when available on the local farm, made excellent building blocks. Flexible hazelwood frameworks covered with “liberated” pieces of canvas or tarpaulin made the most satisfactory semi-durable accommodation. Sometimes we thatched with rushes, flag leaves, bracken fronds and leaves of all sorts. Most of these dens incorporated a fire of some sort. Small and neat, smoke free if possible and all lit with “only one match” as a matter of pride and as instructed by “Lonecraft” the book by John Hargrave or “White Fox” as he was known.
Megalithic Insights               						Jon Appleton