Thursday, August 19, 2004

Let me introduce the project briefly

Wow, first rule broken: don't make earth houses during monsoon. So, it was a little mud up and down, and back up again. The lime and clay plaster will get up next week, and that should stabilize the beauty.

We made a 9foot 6inch diameter flexible form rammed earth structure for meditation purposes. We call it a meditation kiva, a hut, a dome, a wonder. Most of us who worked on it (what, about 20 in and out?) felt the deep connection to earth and people throughout history as we filled the bags and slapped on the staw and clay plaster. A lot of comments included how peacefully meditative it was to work with this medium, without mechanization or complicated tools and sophisticated know-how. It felt to be a welcomed change of pace for our minds from this fast-paced techno-based culture. We followed our intuition a lot as we learned together how to make a dome that would hold itself up as it was being pulled down by gravity. Shirley Tassencourt, who introduced me to this method 10 years ago, said its like living in a dancing house. Most of us who worked on this agree there's something intangibly magical about this structure.

and more mud is on its way

The expert mud team evaluates and progresses

Oh, man, look at Jaki and Laura go!

Kendall is poised and ready for her next "SPLAT!" Go Kendall!

Douglas wets the previous layer of plaster (and all the workers, as well!)

Michael, put down that mud.

The plaster pit was a favorite spot on the site.

Kendall and Laura really know their mud!

The work progresses with Ecan, Michael and Laura

Jaki, Kendall and Chew Yat Peng had an efficient mixing system going, with Douglas cheeing them on.

Ecan and Michael plaster the entry vault

Kendall is mud woman extraordinaire, as seen in this shot. She brought a lot of great tips to the project.

Bet you didn't recognize Jaki, also from Singapore, was THIS talented in the clay pit!!

Douglas seems to be enjoying earth building as mush as eveyone else (he's going to make a sculpted relief bear on the front - watch for this next week!)

Ecan plasters the entry vault

Michael evens thinks working with earth is healing

yes, the sacred cow dung is in our project, collected by kat and Elly from a beautiful meadow nearby

Ecan, Chew Yat Peng, Kendall and Douglass get that second coat on in no time.

Chew Yat Peng from Singapore becomes another expert plaster mixer and worker

the entrance to the kiva is quite dramatic and clay and straw plaster very beautiful

the dome opening gets smaller and a plaster foundation for the brick dome is laid

Rose again, smiling and whispering to the plaster to Stay Put!

prickly pear fruit, ripe outside the front door of the kiva, being used for paint and coloration

Rose talks to the plaster inside, with words only she knows how to utter, that make the plaster hang against gravity.

Chris and Robert continue their precision plastering efforts

Exterior plastering makes the dome look like a termite hill. we're calling it a kiva

and the lintel over the door shows, with Grail measuring

Zeleigh fills buckets with Rose that feed the long tubes

Manny & Elly smile at progress

The Dream Team in Action, Rose, Zeleigh, Robert, Christ, Elly, Kat, Manny and Catalina

Grail inside measuring the line with a compass, or . . .

Kat, Manny, Robert and Catalina filling bags

pretty spacey looking...

and the vaulted entry emerges

Windows and air vents coming along


Let the plastering begin

Anomika and Baba came out from PA, Expert Clay and Straw Plaster Mixers

Pictures from Tom

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Evan and Jaimie help make windows (on Jaimie's Birthday!)


FInally, some pictures to send home. Posted by Hello