“The building process began in the summer of 1996, when Jorge and Michele Sanz-Cordona, architect and interior designer, led a seminar on anthroposophic architecture. Anthroposophic architecture, Inspired by Rudolf Steiner, is architecture that fosters spirituality and healing. Straw-bale architect Jeff Dickinson, of Energy & Sustainable Design, attended the seminar. Jeff then immersed himself in the study of Waldorf education and Steiner-inspired architectural principles. He consulted with other Waldorf schools and their architects. He soon came up with the plans for the first-ever Waldorf school to be built with straw.” (Laurie Stone, from the school website) Raising Waldorf is a lavishly produced, heartfelt book that recounts the birth and building of a Waldorf school. Fifteen years ago it began as a small initiative through a small group of parents in a small town in western Colorado, located on the upper reaches of the Roaring Fork River watershed in the Rocky Mountains. The story of the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork is the sum of many stories that have become one. It is a tale told in many voices not only about the building of buildings, but also the building of community and commitment. It poignantly details the risk-taking ideas, the heartfelt feelings, and the enormous will forces needed to start such an enterprise, as well as to realize an ideal.
Paging through this visual feast and its engaging contributions, readers will recognize the depth of a shared journey that leads to the realistic acceptance of a work “still in process”—the mystery of new beginnings, the ecstasy of birth, the hopes of a growing community, the challenges and disappointments, the triumphs and sorrows, and the eventual sense of accomplishment.
Parents, teachers, children, administrators, staff, graduates, and friends of the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork have told their hard-won story in loving detail, as Doug Sheffer, parent and publisher, puts it—“in the hope that it will encourage and further your story as you build your school, your business, your non-profit organization, or combine your talents with others for the greater good in service of humankind.”