Building a Unique Studio
The Handshouse Studio is an unusual timber frame structure used as Laura and Rick Browns' artist studio and shop near Norwell, Mass.
The frame is a design that borrows from a combination of Roman tooth beam, medieval northern European timber frame, and 19th century American covered bridge construction.
The Construction & Raising
During a record-setting rainstorm in June 1998, many volunteers (including members of the Timber Framers Guild, faculty and students at the Massachusetts College of Art, and friends and neighbors) raised the building.
During that raising, volunteers awoke to pouring rain Saturday morning that continued throughout the day and astonished everyone in its intensity and duration. Rain-proof gear proved futile by the end of the day, as they endured an onslaught of around 18" of rain that day; lightning and thunder in the late afternoon added to the drama. They did manage to raise three bents, using traditional timber frame raising techniques and pulleys, rigging, brute force, and sheer determination. By Sunday afternoon, all six bents were erected. Later, a copper roof was installed on the building.