We finished the second instalment of wattle and daub panels in Hamilton Public School recently. They were built as part of the ‘Harmony Week’ celebrations – and what better way to come together then getting your feet and hands in the mud with your friends. The kids and I had a great time making the mud mix, which is basically clay, sand and straw mixed with the feet, and then packed into a lightweight bamboo frame. We also left some of the bamboo exposed on one side so the children can see what it is made of. We also inserted beautiful bottles to form flowers and to let light through.
Once the wall is filled with the mud and straw mix you let it dry for a day and then start your renders and forming the surface designs. This is very easy to do and you would surprised how strong it is when dry. The designs were the kids’ own and art teacher Jen’s. The final renders were mixed with cow manure for waterproofing and extra sand, and then finally a little lime for added protection. We believe it is the first Wattle and Daub wall built in Australia for a very long time – such a great, easy technique for panel walls. Go ahead and try it yourself! The kids loved every minute of the experience, with a few from every class coming down to get involved, and most agreed it is the best way to build your house – I already have a list of names for the next project, a school cubby house!