We were visited by Lauren and Phil this week, who were very modest about their earth plastering knowledge but turned out to have considerably more experience than we do. They rustled up some plaster test patches on a couple of spare bales, and we (well Phil) got to work mixing the first ‘proper’ coat of plaster, which is essentially a straw heavy scratch coat over which our finish coat will be added. Despite it being a cold morning he was straight in there with bare feet –
and was watched closely by Lyra, who clambered up onto a bag of sand to see if she could be of help –
Pretty soon we had the first of our window seats plastered – the mix was 1 clayey soil, 2 sand, and some finely chopped straw, left from shaving the bale walls. The hardest part of the operation turns out to be grading the clay, which involves pushing it through wire mesh to take out the stones.
This weekend we’ll be tackling the first of the walls, and experimenting with tests for our finish coat of plaster..