A good-looking cordwood wall is breathtaking in its simplicity.  It grabs the viewer and gives the impression that an artist was at work on this wall. The wall lasts for hundreds of years (if done right) and the beauty remains. The key is to be fluid and random.  Logs of all sizes and shapes make an attractive statement.  Certainly, well thought out and well-planned patterns can be used.

The beginning of a sun and its rays.

Bottles and widgets and excellent tuck pointing.

Stones, bottles, cordwood, and tight mortar joints.


Cordwood in an Alaskan sauna on a cold winter’s day.

Two mortar lines, two exact mortar beads, beautiful tuck-pointing and a wall that will look good for centuries!

A mermaid is swimming in KimAnna’s shower!

Rounds, splits, and electrical conduit in a Lime Putty Mortar wall. Note all the different shapes.  This is what you’re trying to achieve.

One of the most beautiful cordwood walls in the world.  Talk about attention to detail! 

Using large and small pieces to create a lovely presentation.

Window placement becomes a big part of the building’s “feel.”

The yellow circles show how “a round” was split (exploded) and then put back together with a mortar joint.  This will help stop the log shrinkage and log loosening.

A close up of how well-dried wood should look.  Notice all the tiny checks and cracks.

There is a dragon that sleeps in this cordwood Dragon’s Keep!

Directly opposite the Dragon is a mandala to keep him centered and not thinking about eating the villagers.

This is how to make the mandala so all the bottles are in alignment.

If you have any questions or wish to learn more please “subscribe” to this blog and/or email me at richardflatau@gmail.com

Should you wish to learn how to build a cordwood cottage, cabin or home, please visit www.cordwoodconstruction.org   While you are there, click on the pictures, read the brief articles, check out the latest workshops and newsletter and if you are interested check-out the Online Bookstore to see all the cordwood literature available in print, digital and ebook format.


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 Workshop DVD (2018),  Cordwood Construction Best Practices (print 2017) and Cordwood Conference Papers 2015 are the newest publications available from their Cordwood Bookstore.  The books & DVD are also available as ebooks for a quick and easy shipping free download.