sticky

Artist & Builder LLC designs and builds custom structures for your terrace, rooftop deck, garden, field, or woodland landscape.


Artist & Builder is currently focusing on architectural planter design and construction, landscape bridge construction, raised vegetable garden structures, and other creative landscape projects. If you have a novel idea, a folly, something possibly too outlandish for the average carpenter or landscaper, I'd like you to contact me. Below are the kind of projects I do in a little more detail.


Planters

Architectural wooden containers for rooftops, balconies, storefronts, commercial sidewalks, decks, front yards, back yards, and every place in between. My goal is to provide the finest, moat aesthetically pleasing woodwork for most outdoor environments.

The nature of wood in contact with soil and weather creates specific challenges for any builder. It is important to select a builder who understands the possibilities and limitations of materials and construction techniques, but also understands plants, microclimates, microorganisms, and the effect of these on your outdoor woodwork.

There are many species of wood available, but Artist & Builder will only construct planters with species of wood that have been shown to show the best decay resistance and are available in a timely manner. Currently, clear or knotty Western Red Cedar, Coastal Redwood, and tropical Ipe are available. Artist & Builder can source other durable species if enough lead time is presented.  I will work with you to closely match your individual visual sensibility and can offer you several detailing options or my own designs. All planter exteriors can be clear coated, painted or stained to your specification or can be delivered without treatment.


Raised Vegetable Gardens

I've been a gardener all my life and there's nothing like the fresher, sweeter, more flavorful taste of home grown vegetables. Nearly all of my urban garden and construction experience focused on aesthetic gardens, but it's easy to add vegetables to any well-built container. Vegetable growing structures built by Artist & Builder will not have any treated lumber (even as newer additives are said to be safe, I cannot recommend it). For these containers, I prefer to rely on cedar or redwood for their natural rot resistance. There is little we can do to completely eliminate fungal attack of wooden garden structures over time, but relying on these two woods will give your raised beds the best aesthetics as well as the best chance for long term use.

Artist & Builder can design, create, and install any number of iterations of wood-framed raised beds or vegetable garden structures. I can:

  • incorporate rabbit-proofing (there are tons of rabbits in Minneapolis)
  • incorporate deer-proofing
  • create two tier gardening beds
  • create a modular raised bed that is easy for you to put together
  • increase lumber thickness for increased longevity and sturdy aesthetics
  • create architectural planters without treated lumber for growing vegetables on your terrace or deck
  • respond to your needs to come up with the right solution for growing vegetables in a raised structure.
  • create large scale raised gardening structures for institutional settings such as schools or retirement homes

Bridges

Artist & Builder is prepared to construct functional and aesthetic wood pedestrian bridges for your residential landscape, sensitive wetlands and woodlands. A variety of lumber can be specified, but I am also willing to work with prefabricated concrete piers, custom concrete trusses, and even white or bur oak log piers. Decking for the bridges will vary based on aesthetics, structural requirements, and longevity.

I can design bridges rated between 30 and 100 pounds per square foot combined dead and live load, taking into consideration constant, wet-service applications, the variety of soils, and construction materials. I will consider constructing for tractor, snow mobile, or four wheeler crossings with the right information detailed ahead of time, site conditions that support low-impact bridges, and the likely aid of a structural engineer.

Artist & Builder is currently working on the repair of an eighty foot long, three foot wide, residential wetland crossing. The original piers are white oak cut on site and placed into the muck. After 15 years these are still solid enough to support the 6x6 beams, have settled into place, and are likely to last nearly as long as the new decking that will cover it. For these reasons, we decided to shore up the treated beams, replace the rotted decking, and leave the white oak piers in place.




Outdoor Furniture Repair

If you have garden benches that have rotted boards, Artist & Builder can replace them. I can refurbish old benches with new or even different wood. If the benches are iron, they can be enameled. New hardware can also be installed. All you need to do is bring your cherished outdoor furniture to my shop. Pickup and delivery can be arranged for a fee.



New Challenges

Artist & Builder is always taking on new projects. Some structures will be new to me, while others will advance skills already under my belt. What Artist & Builder is capable of will always be growing, so check back to see what I am up to. Click here or the Projects tab above to see what I have accomplished over the years. I am an artist, so you will also find a link to my artist page, above, as well as my specialty garlic site, Hudson Clove, and garden and landscape blog, Mound. Thanks for visiting.

An early inspiration: arched sidewalk over an old tree's roots.