Memory Lane: the Spring Natural Building Practicum

The Fall Natural Building Practicum will start tomorrow! I am looking forward to participating in it and working on bringing the Boathouse and the yurts and whatever else closer to completion. I am also eager to see all of the independent projects that the students will complete. During the Spring NBP I was delighted by the variety and creativity of the projects and can only assume that the same enthusiasm will be displayed this autumn. It was a pleasure to be introduced to such a catalog of skills as well – from cob to dry stone walling to timber framing to plastering to working with light straw clay to pouring earthen floors…so much valuable information. Tomorrow for some a whole new world will be opened up to them, and for others the joy of playing with mud and building forts will continue. I’ll be sure to report here on what we all get up to!

For the moment, how about a quick tour through the spring practicum, to get the cob balls rolling?

Putting fresh cob on the wall, March

The dry stacked stone retaining wall that is the foundation for the next part of the cob garden wall, March

A little “Pride Rock” reenactment…! (All of the stone for the retaining wall came from the site of the Playhouse)

Interior base plaster in the Playhouse, April

Light straw clay “bricks” to be used as ceiling insulation in the Playhouse, April

Working on the yurt (which was started during the 2011 Shelter Series), May

Adding bamboo weaving to the reciprocal roof of the yurt, April/May

Fun and games during the exterior finish plaster at the Playhouse, May

Cob detail around the window, April/May

Laying the earthen floor in the Playhouse, finish pour, May

The yurt, looking like a cupcake, with the daub applied to it’s wattle and it’s canvas roof, April/May

Lime plaster detail on the Playhouse, May

The cob, frosted with earthen plaster and looking tasty!

The timber frame for the new loft in the workshop, April/May

Nurya working on her independent project, a cantilevered deck for the yurt

My independent project was a “waterfall” foot stool

The Playhouse (mostly finished by the end of the spring NBP, and more or less completed later in the summer)

I hope that wets your whistle. There will be plenty more to learn and build at Apro before 2012 bows out. It’s a good year for playing with mud!