Siri Helle
The Hand Made Tale
Chainsaw Mindfulness

We humans have always used our hands to create the world around us. Until now. These days, we've gone from being practitioners to theorists, from being producers to consumers. What happens to us when we no longer use our hands? What happens to society? This is the story of building a small - but absolutely necessary - building on your own and feeling an intense joy of doing it by yourself.
Siri Helle inherited a cabin without electricity or running water, and without an outhouse. She decided to build one herself, almost as a bit of a protest, but mostly to find out if she was able to.The outhouse is built with material found at close hand. Siri manages to make the planks from large trees, she builds the turf, she braids walls, uses her knife to make shavings – and her sense of achievement grows. A feeling stronger and warmer than many others in this world. To create, to build something with your own hands – this is something everyone should try, she thinks. Especially those who think they can’t.

Video of Siri Helle presenting her book: ":

This is not a back-to-the-wilderness book. On the contrary, Helle is aware that she is happy to live with water and electricity. The bottom line is that she "needs both."


Inspirational. The fact that Helle doesn’t know what she is doing – or has enough Socratic irony to pretend – makes her book more accessible and inspiring for a practical klutz like me.


Siri Helle swings the pen as surely as the chainsaw....This book isn't written for trained craftsmen, but for those of us who long to do more with our hands.


Surprisingly, quite a lot of wisdom may come out of building an outhouse.

Bergens Tidende

Siri Helle

Siri Helle

Siri Helle is an agronomist in organic farming. She occasionally works as a writer and journalist, carpenter assistant and goat herder.

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Northern Stories AS
Thomas Mala
+47 46 67 61 55
[email protected]

Edited September 16, 2021 by Northern Stories