Monday, June 22, 2009

Plastering a Cob bench and wood heater in Alexandria,VA

Mollie Curry and Steve Kemble invited me to help them plaster a piece of cob art they produced. The plaster was an American Clay product called Marittima. It was colored with a special blend also American Clay products. It went on nicely , thickness about like a credit card.
video

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Play time




Now we get to play with clay, plaster mixes, horse poop, hammer mills and roto-tillers. Made another trip to the excavation site to get as much clay as possible before it goes away which may be real soon. Romey Pittman went and spoke with the men on site at the dig and they may send the pile to her place. That would mean there would be enough clay to do a whole lot of natural type building! Romey is building her new home now and plans to use a lot of clay plaster inside.
From cricket crawl

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Plaster Party

We had a very nice and well attended plaster party on Saturday. Got the whole house plastered with the scratch coat. We used sandy soil from the foundation dig and some pure clay Sam found on the way to work. We dried and ground up the clay and mixed it with the sand. Bomber. Check out the video! Major thanks to Ed Raduazo, he brought us a hammer mill, a ton of buckets, some tools and a batch of his famous shredded paper cob to make faces on trees . Thanks, Ed!
video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Plaster Preparation



A niche




We are almost ready to put on the scratch coat of plaster. Walls have been weed whacked to flatten them out (but not too much).
Some people think a strawbale wall has to be a little wonky otherwise it just looks like drywall. We decided to spray on some boric acid and Borax solution to prevent mold, bugs and fire. We nailed double layers of 15# building paper over the wood to bridge it. You can get cracks at these junctions. Over that we put plastic mesh. A niche or three was carved into the wall, some wood blocks were also put in at the site of a shelf. Some casing bead was placed around the bottom of the plaster so it might end in an organized fashion. Plaster stop was put around the top of the wall for the same reason. I know I'm forgetting something important but I don't want to anger Dios by trying to equal her. Plaster will be three parts of the stuff we dug out of the ground ( mostly sand with a little clay) and one part pure clay Sam found by chance at an excavation site on his way to work. It is an amazing pile of clay of various hues. We chopped it up with the roto tiller and let it dry for a day and a half, grinding it several times during this time . It dried up pretty quick. Ed Raduazo is going to bring his hammer mill over on Saturday and we can grind it finer. So there you go. Exciting stuff, no?
video