Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goofin' around

I'm not spending much time in the white house any more now that the Common Building's become the community's main hang-out space, but I still come down to use the internet, and I happened to walk in on the Bettinger-Vivrett clan clowning around. How Matt got in (or out) of this caterpillar thing is beyond me....

The walls come up...

...You can see the beginning of the walls here, with the door and window frames in place. The north-facing wall has strawbales for better insulation....

Cob Feet

I love looking at the feet during the mixing process. The clay often has small pebbles in it, so after awhile the cobbers started taping their feet to protect them from harm. I especially love the detail on the last picture. Anyway, here are some of the feet of the cobbers.....


Above: some of the window frames for the studio. Below: James, the teacher of the course, dumping clay into a bath to hydrate it, before it gets mixed in with the sand and straw to make cob.

Above: mixing the clay and the water; Below: the first bit of cob wall going on top of the earth bags (see description of earth bags in previous entry).

Making cob

Cob is a mixture of sand, clay and straw. Above and below: mixing by foot, which is the standard way to start to integrate the ingredients

Above and below: Step two -- Harry and Zack are rolling the cob around in a tarp.
Below: adding the cob to a big pile, which will then be used to build up the walls.


Some of the wonderful people who've come from all over the country to take this six-week cob workshop. Above: Harry, from Boston, and Zack from TX. Below: Tammy, also from TX.

Above: Josh, from PA; Leslie, from CO.

The cob workshop: the foundation

The beginning of the cob studio. Here the foundation's been dug and filled in, and then "earth bags" -- bags filled with soil -- laid around the perimeter of the building.

The common building kitchen

Above: a raw strawberry shortcake that Eden made for breakfast one morning. It was amazingly delicious. Below: Ocean clowning around.
Below: Rosie moving appliances and food into the kitchen.

Moving into the Common Building

Above: kitchen sink w/dishwasher. It turns out that the water isn't hot enough for the dishwasher to work properly, so we may end up replacing it if we can't fix the problem. Below: Dave Kennedy, our friend and the plumber for the building, in the middle of installing the final plumbing fixtures.

Above: Freezer and fridge in the utility room; Below: the on-demand tankless water heater in the utility closet.

Moving into the Common Building

Above: a couple shots of the kitchen sinks and stove; below: the bakery side of the kitchen.

Above and below: Rosie finishing the stove installation...

Baby chicks

We got a bunch of new baby chickens recently; we have a small coop set up for them within the larger coop; if we let them loose the bigger chickens will peck them to death. We've got a warming light shining on the coop 24/7. They're super-cute, as you can see.

The stairs

These pictures are in reverse order; sorry 'bout that. Way below: Silas taking a breather from working the stairs. First two pix: putting in the pickets.

The Stairs, part III

The stairs, looking as close to done as they'll be for awhile; there's still some trim that needs go go on the sides, but otherwise they're done and working well......