Woodworking and construction

Led by VCAC Staff Artists and local master builder Mel Seeger, the Sustainable Building Workshop will provide a focused approach to collaborative design and building. Staying true to the Visitor Center Artist Camp’s mission, and with the functionality of the VCAC community at heart, together we will be building a customized cabin known in Finland as a Grillikota, using locally-sourced lumber milled by Mel Seeger himself, down the road at Seeger's Matchwood Sawmill. This octagonal structure designed by Mel will sleep 8 people at camp!

During the Symposium, participants can expect to:

IMG_1423 (1).jpg
  • Practice the use of materials at hand
  • Source sustainable and local materials
  • Properly and safely use power tools including drills, impact drivers, chop saw, and circular saw
  • Work collaboratively and co-creatively with others
  • Learn from local master builder Mel Seeger
  • Gain knowledge and insight into alternative architecture and sustainable living

Previous building and power tool experience is helpful but not required.

Participants are responsible for their own basic safety gear (safety glasses, dust masks, work gloves, work boots, etc.)


Participants will have the opportunity to tour Mel Seeger's Matchwood Sawmill and farm down the road from camp, see the barns and yurts he has built, and watch a demo of Mel milling logs on the sawmill he made from a Mac truck!


This is an opportunity to learn from a DIY master. Mel has worked in the logging industry and run sawmills his entire life. He builds barns, saunas, yurts and boats of his own designs; the VCAC studio barn is one of his. He also makes various types of heaters, furnaces, ovens, and stoves and has been experimenting with creating insulating bricks from local clay and sawdust from his mill. He's a master of hand craft but is also tech savvy, using CAD and CNC to create utilitarian designs and visual art. Additionally, he farms and plays traditional Norwegian music with his wife.


See Costs here and See Logistics for details