Journey in the Woods

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Started Getting Mud on the Walls!

Melissa's folks came up for some exercise yesterday, so we went straight to work building the house. We have now officially started 'cobbing'.

Art and I got to stomping the clay bits in the sand mixture:

and I started in with the barefoot technique as we added water and straw:



Joanne was our detail person, cleaning off the foundation rocks and painting on the clay slip, which is just a goo-y water and clay mixture used as a sort of starter glue:


Because there's so much more clay in this mix, and no big gravel chunks, it's much easier to 'cob' it up - make it into lumps to carry over to the wall (here you can see that we're working on the butteress, to start bringing it up to the level of the other wall)


As you put it on the wall, it needs to be 'keyed' in to the other pieces, and we use little wooden handles to push holes and connect it all together.

Art wanted to mix up a batch with barefeet, so of course I didn't want to stop him. It's fun!


We also worked on a section of the front of the house:


Here you can see how when we put one layer down, we then put a 'zipper' on top of it, so that when it dries, the next layer will have something with some real 'teeth' to connect to, creating a very strong bond between layers:

of course, if you go barefoot, you have to clean your feet before you go home:

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