Wild Dreams – Day 89

[Today’s featured artwork for Day 89 of the 365 Days Project is by Heidi Vilkman.]

Eco-Cottage by Heidi Vilkman
Eco-Cottage by Heidi Vilkman. Photo courtesy ©Heidi Vilkman.

Even the wildest dreams…ESPECIALLY the wildest dreams…can be possible.

#89 – The Artist Mind loves big dreams. The Logical Mind can help make them happen.

Artists often have big dreams. But there are often people who think such dreams are crazy and impossible….until the artist proves them wrong. The dreams of the Artist Mind provide the passion and conviction and creative thinking to accomplish them, but it also takes the Logical Mind to help get them off the ground.

Heidi Vilkman is an artist living in the U.K. who had a dream of building a small eco-dwelling in a forest in her native Finland, using only her bare hands, some friends’ help, as little money as possible and only natural materials – wood, stone and cob, an age-old building material composed of clay, sand and straw – from the surrounding environment.

This is what the future building site looks like in the winter:

Forest in Finland in winter
Site of planned eco-dwelling in Finland. Photo courtesy ©Heidi Vilkman.

The Logical Mind might say, “How cold!” but Vilkman’s Artist Mind smiles and says, “How cozy!”

As a visual artist, Heidi Vilkman has plenty of creative motivation, but she is also considering the logistics of such an endeavor. She met with an expert in natural and traditional buildings, toured some strawbale houses they had built and met with other people who are all part of the natural building movement in the area. Her mind jumped back and forth as she worked out all the possibilities.

“After our discussion and all the information I gathered, I was completely overwhelmed to say the least,” said Vilkman. “There was this huge fear in my mind, wondering what have I gotten myself into… I don’t know anything about building. I don’t have any money… real skills… I don’t even live here! I could see myself just ditching the whole idea and saying I can’t do it!”

“But, while driving back from my meeting on snow covered roads with horizontal snow whipping against the car, the powdery scenery put me almost into a dream-like state… I thought, yes, maybe I can do it. Maybe there is a way. I will have to take in what has been said and feel what my heart is saying. And my heart as usual, was jumping up and down, shouting: ‘Yes yes yes! I want to do this!’”

And then her Left Brain kicked in again. “I just have to do it in a way that is not going to break my back, my bank or my brain. Or my heart. I wouldn’t want to start a project I couldn’t finish. Even though my plan isn’t big, it’s huge enough for a beginner.”

Then her Right Brain offered, “What if I build a tiny one?”

And her Left Brain eventually agreed. “First, I thought it’s like giving up, but the more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. I would need less materials, less time, less money, less help,…and at least the right side of my brain would be able to play more, because the left side wouldn’t be so bloody worried about everything!”

So over the summer, Heidi Vilkman embarked on perhaps one of the largest creative projects of her life and began building her Earth House in a forest in Finland.

Bare feet preparing cob for a cottage.
Preparing the cob for the cob house. Photo courtesy ©Heidi Vilkman.

“Yes,” said Vilkman, “I will build a tiny house with what I have, try out everything, make a lot of mistakes, have a laugh, enjoy, connect with my heart and nature. The forest that was my playground as a child is now going to be watching me play as an adult. So, if the build becomes only hard work and no play, I will stop. I owe it to the forest to live the build through my inner child.”

The Artist Mind knows that’s the only way to build creative dreams.


Sculpture of a woman sleeping by Heidi Vilkman.
“Hundred Years Slumber” by Heidi Vilkman

Update: The main building work of Heidi Vilkman’s eco-dwelling was carried out over three months in the summer of 2012. The artist returned to her forest in Finland every summer to continue work on her dream and by 2016, most of the dwelling was done. Visit her blog, Cob Dreams, for photos and updates on the her progess.

Heidi Vilkman’s artwork can be viewed at: Heidi Vilkman. Her blog on creating her Eco dwelling can be viewed at: Cob Dreams.

Description of the artwork included in this post:
Hundred Years Slumber
Heidi Vilkman, United Kingdom
Unglazed earthenware, embedded moonstone

The 365 Days Project

In 2012, Serena Kovalosky committed to writing an article a day for 365 days as an exploration into the lives of artists and the value of creative thinking in our society.

Experience the full evolution of the project! Click below to read the entire collection of articles.

Click to view The 365 Days Project

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