Steve Price: Unique Handcrafted Cabin “Sweet Home”
This handmade cabin named “Sweet Home” was handcrafted by Steve Price while he was incarcerated at the Coffeewood Correctional Center, 40 miles northeast of Charlottesville, using prison issued materials. Steve was released in Sept. 2022 after serving 5 years for alcohol-related offenses.
The artist estimates this cabin took between 600-800 hours of time between 2020 and 2022. During that time, Price was incarcerated in a warehouse room with 79 other inmates. He stacked footlockers together to serve as a workbench for his project, which began as an idea for a birthday present for his mom.
Price gathered materials in various ways. During the one hour he was allowed to be outside each day, he picked up pebbles on the track to make the chimney and foundation. He ordered boxes of pencils and got other inmates to order some for him as well. He was also allowed to order boxes of popsicle sticks each month.
Price risked a weapons charge when he built a mini saw using the cutting edge of a beard trimmer and putting it into a pencil split at the end, wrapped with a piece of string cut from a bedsheet. He said it was worth the risk because he needed something to do to pass the time.
Price's process was to cut the popsicle sticks to length with a fingernail clipper. He learned to make glue by mixing coffee creamer and floor wax. He carved the furniture and appliances from lye soap. The porch swing and outdoor chairs are from popsicle sticks. The curtains are from prison sheets.
To stain the cabin, Price used coffee, letting it dry between multiple coats. The lights inside came from a bedside nightlight and the front porch lights from a battery-run clock. Price also added secret spaces to hide things like jewelry inside the foundation of the house. In the end, he sealed everything with floor wax.
“I became obsessed with building the cabins because it would make the days go by quick,” says Price. “My first cabin, my mom’s gift, took over 700 hours over the course of 6 months. I kept tearing it apart and starting over to get it right. I was learning as I went. Nobody I knew had done this. I was teaching myself. She got to see it finished, but it fell to the ground when being moved and was destroyed.”
This is one of three handmade cabins for sale.
12-inch rubber ruler
Cardboard shell, from which windows and doors are cut out
250 pencils, soaked in boiling water and split open
800-900 popsicle sticks
Twelve 12-ounce bags of powdered coffee creamer
Three 16-ounce jars of floor wax
Tiny, smooth, flat pebbles collected by hand
Sandpaper made from volleyball-court sand and coffee creamer
15 bars of prison-issued lye soap
Thread and swatches of cloth extracted from prison-issued sheets
Pair of beard trimmers, dismantled for a cutting edge and for casing to hold AA batteries and switch to power lights
Note that this item does not qualify for free shipping; contact the store to arrange shipping.
Measures approximately 24" x 13" x 15" tall
- Collection = Sculpture
Item ID: 59247