JOSH: An Artisan Architect

ARTISAN \ärdəzən, noun\: a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.

Josh takes pride in mastering many crafts, especially crafts that closely relate to sustaining basic human needs like food and shelter. Here's a summarized list of the crafts that keep Josh busy with his "artisan lifestyle."


Architecture is Josh's fundamental trade. It is also a trade that incorporates and relies upon knowledge of other trades.


Josh started brewing beer and making wine in college. He likes how he can control the flavor by varying the ingredients and fermentation process. He typically has one beer on tap while another is fermenting.


Like beer brewing, Josh also likes controlling the flavor and texture of his bread by altering ingredients and baking processes. He made his own starter culture and exclusively uses time, temperature, water, flour, and salt as his only ingredients. He revives his starter every Thursday, feeds it on Friday, and bakes bread on Saturday.


Similar to prosciutto, the coppa is the shoulder of the pig and makes a great dry cured salume. About every three months, Josh makes capicola. He trims the fat, massages in salt and spices, and lets it "hang" for a couple weeks before aging it in the refrigerator for a few months.


Josh endeavors to make all sorts of cheeses, but currently he only makes mozzarella for his pizza when his family has leftover milk. The process of making mozzarella takes a few hours, and he intends to gather supplies to make hard cheeses as time permits.


At the heart of it all, Josh loves making things. He loves to build all the things he uses as time, money, and skill level permit. Here's a few things he's built: an art studio for his wife, a dark room for his wife, a swing for his kids, stair railings, steel planters, in-floor hydronic radiant heating system, a butcher block table, a bench, a bed, and too many more to mention.


Josh has a lot of energy and enjoys making sustainable energy. He has made his own solar panels, a wind turbine out of an alternator from a junk yard, and he is currently working on a water turbine.


Josh admits he is not yet an artisan gardener, but he will become one at some point with enough practice. He is still learning the craft and how to adapt it to his local ecosystem. He built planter boxes that also serve as railings for his rooftop terrace. They are self-draining (which water the fountain and plantings below), they are automatically irrigated, and they have built-in lighting to illuminate the terrace at night. He grows vegetables and herbs like kale, tomatoes, garlic, spinach, rosemary, basil, and a few others which he frequently uses in his adjacent kitchen. He is mainly interested in growing all of the ingredients for his pizza.

Pasta is something we all eat, so why not make it yourself. Pasta-making stemmed from Josh's interest in making bread, and with the simple careful combination of flour and an egg, it's so easy to make spaghetti, linguine, lasagne, and even tortellini.


Pizza is an offshoot of Josh's interest in bread. He uses the same starter culture and schedule as bread for making the dough. He also makes his own sauce and gathers many of the pizza toppings from his garden. When his family has leftover milk, he uses it to make the mozzarella cheese for his pizza.