Thank you to everyone who came along and got their hands and feet dirty at the earth wall demonstration!
We had a great day showing two different types of wattle-and-daub applications as well as a clay paint recipe and clay plaster techniques.
We also demonstrated how to test your soil composition using the simple jar test.
For the single layer ‘wattle’ technique we used woven river reeds supported by bamboo.
The double layer technique (shown on the opposite side of the frame) used off-cuts of finger-joint battens – but you could easily use bamboo or any other light weight timber off-cuts for this technique. As the soil sourced was almost pure clay in its composition, you can use this to lightly coat the fibre and loosely pack it into the double skin layer. This creates a highly insulating layer, is lightweight, uses your precious clay sparingly and is somewhat similar to the hempcrete process but minus the lime.
You then render over this with a clay or lime render to achieve a smooth finish.
Otherwise the mix we used on the day (especially for the thick render coat) was similar to a traditional cob or adobe mix. The main difference with wattle-and-daub however, is that you apply it in handfuls at a time – and this means little ones as well as older people can easily get involved.
Every material was sourced locally: wild red clay from Uki, river reeds and bamboo from Murwillumbah, local straw and local beach sand. This equals less travel miles and is much better for the planet. Best of all, these materials are completely non-toxic and are also often free!
Many people have been asking for specific recipes for the above mixes so we will create another page and post these. Keep in mind you should have a basic idea of your soil composition first before you start mixing…. otherwise lots of experimenting will also work!
Any questions about these techniques or any other earth construction technology feel free to email your queries through.
Happy building! 🌿