The Cavern Where Dolf James Forges Elegantly Poised Chaos

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This cement-block and masonry industrial building, where matchbooks were manufactured in the 1920s, is exactly the kind of studio Dolf had always wanted. “It was wide open, empty and spooky, and it was a place you couldn’t hurt.”

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His parents moved into the first completed house in a new subdivision outside Washington, D.C. when Dolf was in first grade. When construction work was halted, the streets of unfinished houses introduced themselves to the imaginative first grader as a ghost town playground.

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He says, “The neighborhood was my Erector Set.”

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