Building at the Farm

Our brief (to ourselves, largely) was simple - unobstrusive, discreet, tranquil, nothing higher than the trees. We worked with an old friend from CWC & Namma Bhoomi - Nagaraj. So we would decide on what we needed - a cottage and a rehearsal space were top priority. A pizza oven was next! Kuki made the drawings and Nagaraj would execute the same with his team of masons. We used local material - granite, clay tiles, stabilized mud bricks. All the doors and windows were sourced from the gujlis in Shivajinagar and City market. Some were finds; like the two Burma teak doors we use as front doors for our cottage and the watchman's cottage. Some were drab old things that we painted olive, lemon, strawberry and pumpkin - with satin finish enamel.

We'd also bought a nice door and couple windows from Kundapur some years ago, and these we inset in an undulating brick wall that runs along the big banyan tree, marking our cooking and dining area. Beneath the banyan, we created a terraced area with the barbeque, Astra hole, woodfire oven and washing trough on one end. On the high end, the undulating wall ends in the best (great pressure from the shower) and prettiest (just a rock and a honey glass pane to define the space) outdoor shower.
Building the woodfire oven was quite the trip! We asked over farmer/potter friends, Priya and Yohan, to help make it. But that day turned into a party, with a giant pot of minestrone, beer and what not upstaging the oven. So we next consulted with Priya on the telephone about firestone bricks. Then off we went in our trusted Gypsy to load a ton of these seriously heavy bricks as well as some insulating material. We downloaded images from the internet - several really helpful people have posted directions to making a good woodfired oven - and got started. You can imagine how thrilling that first pizza was!

The large rehearsal space, on the other hand, was a breeze. Mothi gave us the dimensions (42 x 21) and we used pillars of rough cut granite, thatch roof and a black cement floor. It's got great vibes and we love rehearsing here. We now have a second rehearsal space which is somewhat like an African rondavel.

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