The Solstice Wall: An Introduction

December 15, 2023

By: Lee LeFever

I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.

This article was published as an issue of my newsletter Ready for Rain

At our home on Orcas Island, we have a large interior wall that faces south. In 2021, during our first summer at Flattop, we noticed that the roofline cast a shadow across the wall as the sun set every evening. This shadow’s movement gave us an idea.

What if we marked the location of the shadow line as it moved up the wall? That seemed like an interesting idea, but the marks would be specific to a single day. What day should we do it? The obvious answer was on the summer solstice. So, when that day arrived, we placed tacks and sticky notes on the wall that marked the shadow’s location in 15-minute increments.

These lines were like coordinates for the shadow’s location over the evening. The tacks allowed us to start thinking creatively. The shadow lines created a canvas across the whole wall, which is about 10′ X 15′.

These lines, which only existed digitally, were the foundation for months of design debate. What could we create that uses the lines and the whole wall? For the past 18 months, we’ve been working to answer that question.

Here’s a brief video introduction:


Today, we have everything lined up to bring a new idea to life and I’m sharing every part of the process. I’ll share on this blog and a few places on social media:


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