SunRay Kelly was my first introduction to natural building, I met a man who had apprenticed with him.
His descriptions of the buildings that SunRay had created had my imagination going wild – It was only when I researched him that I realised quite how incredible his work is!
This is SunRay’s home on MTV cribs, it’s a strange affair with some quite vile product placement (Who would have thought that SunRay would ride a women’s quicksilver snowboard?!?!) But if this gets more people thinking about what it is possible to build, then it’s probably a good thing!
The following is taken from SunRay’s website (go and check out the outstanding projects he has done!)
Growing up in the wild hills of the Pacific Northwest, it seems like SunRay was always building something. His favorite source of inspiration and materials is the woods around him, “God’s Hardware Store” as he calls it. When working on a project it is not uncommon to see him pick up a saw and head off into the woods looking for the right piece of wood to present itself. If he says anything, he’ll mumble “I’m going shopping.”
SunRay’s organic designs take their form from the shapes of living trees. His study of architecture and sculpture only reinforced his affinity for the forms Nature takes, in rejection of the artificial forms in rectilinear Western architecture. The teacher in his first college drafting class told SunRay on seeing his designs,
“Learn to use a hammer, boy, because no one but you is going to be able to build that.”
Since then, Sunray has been building things that “nobody but SunRay could build.” The structures seem timeless and rooted, like they grew from the site. In the early 1990s he was introduced by Ianto Evans to “Natural Building.” His forms had always been organic, based on wild round timber, but incorporating the sculptural qualities of earthen building–cob, light-clay straw and strawbale–into his work has been “a revelation and a completion” to the extent that SunRay for many years ran a “School of Natural Living” to learn and teach the art of integrating Nature and the human spirit, as well as natural materials in their pure form, into the built environment.