Tell us about how the Fisherman's Project started?
About 5 years ago we had the goal of taking some real time away from Heath. We took a road trip to Canada and Alaska, camping in our van for 8 weeks. That trip was the first time in 14 years that we really had the opportunity to look at our lives from a different perspective. Something changed for us and we came back with a strong desire to live more simply and more deeply connected with nature, slowly transforming our personal goals and how we wanted to spend our time. Fisherman's Camp as a place and a project has come from these desires.
(photo: salmon glacier AK 2017)
Where does some of the inspiration come from?
There are old photos from over 100 years ago that show this spot with many little structures scattered about, along with the house that still sits here. The neighboring property is like that, its its own vernacular. Cathy also often talks about her visit several decades ago to Doug Tompkins’ land in Chile’ where the accommodations were made up of multiple huts - some for sleeping, some for cooking, some for other purposes. This inspiration always stuck with us, and together with the history of the place, we’ve embraced our purpose to recreate our own version of “Shedlandia”.
(photo: Fundo Reñihué, Chile 1995)
What’s the history of the house?
The story of the house is really cool. Local myth has it that it was created by pushing 3 shacks together, filling in the remaining gap, and putting a single roof over it. This can actually be verified by going into the attic and tracing the different walls of the individual shacks and where they’ve been joined. When we’ve done work that requires cutting into walls, we’ve found under the drywall either nothing at all or only solid boards mated together (making it really handy when hanging a very heavy Leon Galletto tile mural!). When we refurbished the original wood ceilings we chose to paint them different colors to differentiate the different buildings that today make up the one house.
The project feels very personal, did you always intend to share it with others or did that idea come later?
We enjoy creating nice environments and it makes them even more meaningful to share them. Hospitality has always been a side fantasy of ours that we’ve talked about and decided it should remain a fantasy ;), so renting out this place occasionally, like we do our furnished cottage in Sausalito, is just our way of dipping our toes into these waters. It’s also a good excuse to keep on making these places nicer!
How do you spend your time at Fisherman's
When we’re not fixing things ;) ? We do a lot of work on this place ourselves - paintbrush strokes or hammer swings are a very satisfying way to take a break after the work week (or day). It’s an ongoing project, but it's also important to take the time to enjoy the surroundings - walks nearby with Ponch (our very busy Border Collie mix), a kayak on a still morning, watching the seedlings grow in the greenhouse, picking fresh snap peas off the vine in the vegetable garden, or just sitting in a chair at the end of the dock.