Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Layer - Part 2

We are definitely plaster novices. That fact became very apparent when Doug stood his straight edge up against our walls. As you can see in this picture, there were gaps, some wide and others small, from the eaves to the drip edge at the bottom of each wall. This was due to the irregularity of our bales. In some places, they bulged out. In other places they swooped in.

To make the application of our last two plaster layers easier, our plaster team - Scott, Doug, Shanna, Linda and I - made a second pass around the house with our trowels, straight edges and plaster bins. That means there is lots of plaster, almost three inches in places, while some spots have a very thin layer.

Part of the charm of a strawbale house is the organic curve of the walls. We wanted to preserve that feeling, but we also didn't want the walls to look like a lumpy chocolate layer cake either. Without being overly fixated on straightness, we now have a much more even plane upon which to place our second plaster layer. For most of the house, this will consist of clay, straw, water and sand. On the north bump-out, this will consist of clay, straw, sand, lime putty and water. Scott will begin the second layer in late August.

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