Though slightly out of order in the project, we decided to plaster a bit of the exterior wall at the apartments to give volunteers something fun to do. (Not that ceiling demo isn’t fun) So Katey Culver and Howard Switzer (our respective permaculturalist and architect) came out on October 10th and showed us how it’s done. Weeks before, we’d made the lime putty by mixing hydrated lime and water thoroughly and letting it set up for a couple weeks. The longer it sits, the better glue it will make. Then we added mound clay (like they use for baseball pitcher mounds) and sand in a mortar mixer to make the earthen plaster. This type of earthen plaster has been used for thousands of years. It has many advantages from heat retention to humidity control to toxicity to pests such as termites because of the lime. It was so much fun to mix and apply. This will eventually be on the entire site, all the front and over the strawbales on the sides and back of the building. We’ll even do a similar plaster on much of the insides of the building.
Here are some pictures – you can see how much a difference it will make from what the building is now to what it will be. Then, dream with us about what we can do creatively, because you can build out from the wall at any point to make tree trunks, insert colorful glass or beads, inscribe words in the newly applied plaster, etc. It will be a never ending creative project…I highly recommend anyone considering this type of exterior coating.
Sorry.. pictures coming soon!