Black tadelakt

Thanks to Melissa Beaury – one of our homeowners this fall – for these great photos of her and Randy’s beautiful Tadelakt shower. This weekend students spend countless hours with Ryan Chivers and Liz Johndrow, two plaster masters and extraordinary teachers. Why the countless hours? Liz and Ryan have been teaching us about tadelakt. Tadelakt … Continue reading

Mile Markers

Today was the beginning of the end. The adobe floor has always sat as the final mile marker. The last big thing that had to be done on the straw bale home that we have spent the last 4 months building, and we started pouring it today. It’s fitting that the adobe floor is our … Continue reading

The First Coat of Plaster

It is amazing how many things you can do with a bit of mud and straw. Sturdy, sculptured cob, well insulated light clay straw walls, tough earthen plasters, and beautiful finishes. Different ratios of materials, different applications, but the same basic ingredients.  It’s hardly alchemy, either, being only slightly more highly evolved than the mud … Continue reading

Serving the master tea.

One of the things we learned last weekend with Joel Glanzberg was this motion called ‘serving the master tea.’ Basically, you start with your hands out in front of you, palms up, like you’ve got a tray filled with tea. Then you swoop them up, around and down again without flipping over your hands ever. … Continue reading


Another productive day on site. Kelly Ray is with us again for interior plaster work. Personally, I’m most excited to learn about Tadelakt, and that is for two reasons: 1) it’s a mostly organic, waterproof chemical reaction situation that involves rubbing perfect little stones on the wall. 2) it sounds like Cadillac.

CR’s newest crew member (who’s name can’t be published here)

We have our own mixer! As on any construction site, we’ve all become little potty-mouths and thusly have dubbed this miraculous machine something that we can’t print here without feeling a little bad about it. So henceforth, she shall be known as StoneChamp. With StoneChamp, we can mix large batches of plaster, which is a … Continue reading