This week we focused on naturally constructed wall systems, and I'm going to take some space in this blog to explain what that means. The photo to the left shows you the "bones" of all many of the natural wall systems we are using to construct the eating space for the canteen we are building for the women's construction school. The first wall system we started is wattle and daub. You can see this far right in the background of the photo. The workshop participants have dubbed it the "canasta" wall, or the basket wall because bamboo is woven between vertical posts, and then the wall is covered with mud. It's a great wall for non load-bearing internal walls in the states, but since we are in a tropical environment, and the walls aren't load-bearing, we can use it wherever we want!
Notice the curvy branches used to outline the tops of each wall. This space will be partially open air, so Liz (earthenendeavors.com) had the idea to make the wall shapes fun. We cut branches directly off the trees on the property and used our artistic sides to decide what would look best. I think it turned out pretty great.
Below you'll see photos of wattle and cob. Wattle and cob is a wall system that uses posts as its internal wall structure. Then cob, packed densely with straw is used to weave back and forth between the posts. If you are careful, and you build slowly, the finished wall ends up with a beautiful woven pattern. This makes for nice texture on the wall. It's also a perfect place for bottle work in the walls. We created a mock wall for people to practice bottle design work as well. We decide next week what bottle designs will go into the final building.
Enjoy, and sorry this blog was extra natural building geeky. If you have questions of comments, or are interested in learning more about any of these systems, leave a comment here!