Meet Our Speakers: Lynn and Justin Kirnse

Lynn’s excited voice welcomes us into their house! Timbers point skyward glowing in sunlight; light illuminating perfectly smoothed soft mud walls. It’s airy with polished floorboards, plumb and leveled. The house is set back on the property leaving space for a permaculture designed farm one day. Built by hand from white fir salvaged just ninety miles away from beetle infested woods, bluish stretches mark certain sections of board. Hand jointed, the walls are built with a Larsen Truss Matrix and then insulated with straw mud layers to “build breeze”. They have painstakingly layered each element of this house into being, from design through handy work. “This is my livelihood,” Justin says, shying away from proclaiming himself the expert he is. Lynn gleams, her proudest accomplishment the almost imperceptible arcs of hillsides, swaths of clouds, intensions she has streaked into the mud walls, individualizing it as their own. Two and a half years in the making, their house has taken form, as they build their dreams into reality. Lynn and Justin have spent the last ten years of their life “coming humbly to this” by building and learning as they go. Admiringly, they attribute their skills to their teachers. “Justin always designed for a little more than he knew how to do” Lynn beams, her hands dancing as he smiles, quietly but wide. Proud of where they stand, love wrapped into the placement of each beam and the surface of every wall, they have built a house and together are making a home. 

By: Emma Rollins