why rising earth?

The title of this blog draws from my time as an apprentice at the Cob Cottage Company in costal Oregon. If you spend time with natural building folk, you'll eventually find yourself around a fire, sing silly songs about cob and natural building. Folks usually refer to these oftentimes improvised tunes as "cobsongs". I often sang..."There is a house in old coquille, they call the rising earth, it's been the work of many hands, and you know what that's worth..."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Straw Bale

We have room for a couple more folks to participate in the straw bale workshop August 10-12 in Summit, NY. Check out the link and get in touch if you're interested!

Preparing for the upcoming workshop has me reflecting on previous bale projects, so here's a photo from a build I worked on a few years ago. The bales have been installed and we were trimming the walls and filling gaps with straw. The orange helmet is mostly for ear protection because we were using a chainsaw to cut, shape, and trim bales.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sod Roofed Cellar

I'm pleased that this 9x12 root cellar turned out to exhibit such a harmonious blend of building convention and natural materials. The 8" thick poured concrete foundation walls and slab floor are set against clay plaster and a sod roof. The sharp and shiny flashing contrasts with the urbanite and little funky door.

We will complete the building by lime plastering the gable walls, for durability and interior brightness. The floor of the cellar rests about 30" below grade and sits above an extensive drainage system. It rained last night, just perfect timing to get growth on the roof started after this little drought we've had in central NC.