Friday, December 11, 2015

What a year!

Yes, it's been over a year since my last blog entry. Too much happening to sit down and write one, y'know?

The house is nearing completion. We are pleased and proud of the work being done by ClaySandStraw creating this cob house. It's not just a building, but a work of heart, commitment, and unparalleled craftsmanship.

Living room West Wall
This is the west wall of the living room under the clerestory, freshly plastered and curing. The Guru Rinpoche thangka will reside over the doorway, a perfect place.

The clerestory is 14 feet high and provides light as well as elevation for passive cooling.

The floor of this room is packed earth, which was just laid this week and is now drying in preparation to receive the linseed oil.
Packed earth over the rough earth base. 
The colors of the plaster in each room are created using different clay and sand combinations, and pigments in some cases. We are using a very neutral palette, warm tans that complement the wood, and native stone in the sills and cob footing.

I had some purple earthen pigment that I bought a while back, intending to color milk paint or lime whitewash. We tried it in the wall plaster and it indeed resulted a fully saturated purple color. I resisted the temptation to cover the whole house in it, so it's only on the cob in the master closet; a place I can enjoy it and not cause anyone else distress.

Another thing we tried is scenting the plaster in the two smaller bedrooms and master closet with natural perfume. The south room blend had a bright citrus top note and leathery dry down with tobacco and oak moss in the base. The north room had a spicy amber blend. The master closet had a violet blend with orris and tuberose. The house is still open and the plaster all dry, but I can't get in the rooms because the earthern floors are going in. So I cannot tell whether the walls are holding the scent. Whether they hold the scent long or not, I'll make some room spray of each blend for the rooms. Why not?

One of our biggest accomplishments this year was to create a "food forest" using permaculture methods. First was to decide where to put it and then build a deer and critter proof fence, which we did in January and February. The next post will be more about that!

Here are more pictures of the house.

Living room West Wall rough in, from the loft

Living room north window & mud in buckets
Master bedroom southeast corner today - fresh plaster

the loft getting finished in drywal

Master Porch just roughed in 

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