Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cobbing the Wellhouse

The Kids went to England with David for nearly three weeks. I could not leave the building project, but everyone was homesick and Grandma helped with the tickets, so we decided the rest of the family should just go. I spent the two weeks cobbing the wellhouse. I had to come up with a unique reciept for our soil and see if I could make it work. This has worried me since doing the class two summers ago, but it was actually easy. We have a very strong clay soil and I ended up doing almost fifty percent clay to sand. I also figured out another trick. Our soil is very rocky. That translates to hard on bare feet cobbing (jumping up and down on the soil to mix it!) If you try to cob in boots or normal shoes-- the clay just clogs onto your boot and it gets impossible to lift your legs. But you can use diving boots-- they are slick with no tread to grab clay and they fit tight to your feet like second skin. I found that they protected my feet from small stones and made me warmer/dryer so I could work longer. I did six to eight hour days.
These cobbed walls must look rough to you non cobbers, but I was delighted with them. They look just as they should. The cob will dry over some months then eventually I will put an earthen plaster over it and paint it. It will not looked spotted with holes and shaggy with bits of straw then. You will not be able to tell it from a normal plastered building--- except for the hippy style windows and glass.

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