Posted at: 11/21/2012 6:37 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It's being called a castle in the sky. All handmade. It's part house, part work of art in Truchas, New Mexico. It's been nearly 30 years of work. and it's not finished yet. The owner and artist is getting worldwide attention. We had to check it out for ourselves.
"The intention of it was to just building a beautiful personal house for myself. But then I think it got out of control. I just carved and carved and carved and carved and carved and carved." according to Isabro Ventura Ortega. He's been working on "Casa de la Nubes" or the "House in the Clouds" in Truchas since 1984. No blueprint. Just his woodcarving and carpentry skills. And a desire to create something no one's ever seen before.
"Like the cactus in that chapel. Those are incredible things that I think is a gift from our lord. He gave me a gift. And I just love using it no," Ortega said.
Ortega's faith and religion have always been an inspiration. You can see that just by looking around. Religious symbols are everywhere. So you'd think he'd be working to monk chants, church hymms or even organ music.
But it's songs from the British rock invasion from the 60's that really does it for him. Ortega said that was a time when creativity in music and art was running rampant.
"I'm listening to a cd and I'm carving... It's like, you know, you listen to Eric Burdon sing 'boom-boom-boom', you know. 'The House of the Rising Sun', it just gives me like Superman. It gives me a talent to keep on working," Ortega said.
The other encouragement and inspiration has come from his family. They are also his biggest fans. 30 years of work. But Ortega isn't keeping track of time or the money he's put into it.
"Who knows? I've beeen working on it since 1984. And I've enjoyed every second of it," Ortega said. "I never had a blueprint. I never had. I just built it. I think it turned out alright considering I didn't have a blueprint. I just build and build and build."
Ortega is hoping that the home might be a bed and breakfast someday.
If you'd like to see the house for yourself, head to the old church in the middle of Truchas. If you don't find him there, ask around. Ortega's always happy to share his work.