The Entrance Center at Kinstone is called the Dragon’s Keep. Nineteen dragons reside within its walls, including the 15-foot beast undulating along in the wall.   This project has been ongoing and we finally made the big push to finish. Besides all the wonderful folk who put their heart and soul into the beginnings, we had twenty-three intrepid souls, brave the cold rainy spring weather to put on the finishing touches.  [Thank you to Kristine for the delightful pictures.]  Kinstone Dragon 4(Above)The 15-foot dragon has a dark green eye (far left), scales (triangle bottles) and a tiny set of wings (trapezoidal windows).  The Eastern Red Cedar is apparent in the red-tinged pieces of cordwood.  The belly is a 4-foot piece of horizontal White Cedar.Kinstone Dragon 3

(Above) The mandala was created two years ago using cardboard for a template (see below). This is the brightest it has ever shined.  I think it likes having the building completed.  The dragon’s belly was previously positioned and placed.

Kinstone workshop 2The mandala was cut out of a large piece of cardboard to enhance accuracy. Kinstone workshop 9

Kinstone Dragon 10The group (above) worked diligently on April 29.   The group (below) feasted off the first groups’ hard work and completed the final rows of cordwood on April 30.  Kinstone Dragon 5A pewter dragon brings out a delightful smile from our Canadian kindergarten teacher,  Erin. Kinstone Dragon 9Dressing in layers is important for staying comfortable outside.  The bandana is useful as a dust mask and neck warmer for 39 windy degrees! Kinstone Dragon 13Having a heated classroom to eat and discuss Best Practices with cordwood was wonderful and comfortable. Kinstone Dragon 11We have an 8″ fence wall that we are laying out for a motif between the living roof post and beam framework.   It provided fun instruction in a group setting.  Everybody learned by eyeballing each other’s work!

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Normally we use 16 inch cordwood in order to achieve an R-value of 24, but on the fence/wall we are using 8″ cordwood and insulating it to give workshop participants a visual reminder to build a thermal break for their home building, all the while using best practices.  M-I-M stands for mortar-insulation-mortar.  Kinstone Dragon 6

A fine row of cordwood and bundled up cordwooders!

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Two of our participants from Rhinelander, Wisconsin (Kerry and Cecelia) placed the mythical Hodag into the wall using glass beads.

Kinstone Dragon 14As luck would have it, two baby goats were born during the Sunday workshop. Named Peanut and Butter.  Everyone got a chance to cuddle the new-borns.  They are very, very sweet animals.

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Becky and Christy are smitten by the baby goat (Peanut).

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Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested click on the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print and ebook format.Cordwood Construction Best Practices Front_Cover_-_CC_Best_Practices small pixels

If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website you can email me at  

Readers have requested a brief bio, so here goes:

Richard & Becky Flatau built their mortgage-free cordwood home in 1979 in Merrill, Wisconsin. Since then, they have written books, conducted workshops, facilitated the 2005,  2011 and 2015 Cordwood Conferences and provided consultation for cordwood builders.  Cordwood Construction: Best Practices DVD,  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their online cordwood bookstore.