Pinaquy's passion for the old ways has lured craftsmen-in-training to ask for an apprenticeship, something beyond his guest lectures at Cerritos College's woodworking classes. But he and his wife, landscape architect Karen Adnoff, are planning something more ambitious. Inspired by a medieval fortress construction project in the Burgundy region of France, the couple say they will build a French chateau here entirely by hand, using materials and tools -- ropes, hoists, scaffolding, planes, saws and chisels -- also made by hand.
The dream is to partner with a local school or nongovernmental organization to create jobs for, and awareness of, at-risk youth.
"You are in the right spot in your world when you're doing something like this," Adnoff says, adding that drawings will be done by hand, not AutoCAD. Computers are great for revisions, but "it's wonderful to feel graphite all over your hands again."
Going back to basics makes sense in an economic collapse, but is building a monument to royal aesthetics sending the right message?