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An unexpected arrival

In 1987 the form of the Reciprocal leapt out of a simple pencil line design sketch I was doodling. I immediately cobbled it together with my daughter's Mikado sticks and blue tack. and there it was ...a virtually flat little structure ...Interesting .


The following day I went into my workshop and thought "I'll just make that structure". I cut and planed nine sticks about 25x12x600mm. I put the first stick flat on the floor and laid the next upon it and so on. Each additional stick added height to the array and so how was I going to fit the last under the first?


My previous nights play with Mikado told me that this must work and so I just grabbed the first beam and crudely hauled it into the air until I could fit the last beam under it. Like watching a time lapse video of a flower growing the beams rose together as I lifted the first to place it under the last. The structure arrived in space as a three dimensional form.

The world stopped in stillness. I pressed on this tiny frame ... it was strong... I wonder.?.. I grabbed two old chairs and placed them either side of it. Supporting my weight on the chairs I lowered my substantial bulk onto the small sticks..

As it took all of me, a rush of energy, that was information and joy ran up my spine.

A silent knowing spoke.

"This is a roof structure,

a social structure,

a financial structure,

and wisdom in structural form.

Do it !!!    and p.s.....

return it to indigenous people"

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I spent the next month making a 1mt dia model of a nine beam, nine sided building.  Every day I would go to my workshop, meditate and wait for it to become clear what I was to do.  That month taught me much of what I use in the design and creation of buildings today. This model is still with me and still a great demonstration of the principle and practice of Reciprocal Frame building.

The first building
A week or so after I had finished the model an old friend, Ian Spiers, called me and asked if I had any good ideas for sanctuary buildings....We had both been woodworkers before he trained as a Chiropractor and I as an Acupuncturist. He introduced me to Kenny and Judy. Kenny a successful American musician and Judy, his wife, a beautiful English rose.

They loved it, and Kenny being American asked how much, and when can I have it.  I had no idea about either, but 15 weeks later the first 4.4mtr dia 7 sided Reciprocal Frame gazebo was erected and complete.

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