The plastering of the bale walls is the most enjoyable job so far on this project.
The sand, clay earth and chopped straw plaster is mixed up in a cement mixer and with a pair of rubber gloves I slap it on and work it in to the straw wall to ensure a complete covering of me and the wall in mud! This first coat of clay helps preserve the straw, no one is quite sure why but as clay is a moisture regulator it is thought it draws out any moisture from straw bales.
The problem I did encounter was running out of sand, and at that point in time our flood damaged road had not yet been fixed so I have only been able to do half of the outside wall.
While I waited for the road to be repaired I decided to make the inner wall separating the two rooms out of light clay straw, this requires no sand.
Straw, coated in a clay slip (clay melted in water) is left to dry slightly over night.
After the clay straw is packed down a post is inserted on top to bear the weight of the next load and hold the formed clay straw in place.
Remove the plywood form and -
This is the wall finished up to daylight. From here upwards I am going to use cobwood to close off the outside, what cobwood actually is you can find out in the next update, thanks for visiting and sharing the slow progress of me hand making a house.