Firespeaking

Masonry Heaters, Wood-Fired Ovens, Natural Building

Deck Family Farm – Cob Cottage

In March and April of 2015, Eva led the finishing of a cob cottage at Deck Family Farm.

The clay, straw, wood, manure, and milk for these finishes all came from onsite at this beautiful 320-acre organic farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The main construction of this building was designed and led by Ali Maggio and Christine Deck.

I was hired as the lead and brought on some super talented colleagues Angela Francis, Erica Bush, Emily Jantzen, Alexandra & Nick Tomaselli and Max Edleson. As a team we completed the wall construction, did a fair amount of trimming of cob and bales, finished doors, handles, trim, installed windows, added shelves, sills and benches. There are always so many details to complete before plastering! The interior of the building was then finished with a clay based plaster and painted with an aliz. The exterior plaster was oiled with two coats of Claylin finishing oil.

What a joy it was to work on such a beautiful building at an amazing farm with my friends! And the fact that so many of the materials came from right onsite was very fulfilling.


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Albany Pallet Building

In 2011, I taught a 3 week workshop and gave a presentation at the Natural Building Extravaganza in NC. A student in the course, Max Livingstone, was intrigued by the pallet building projects I had worked on and consulted with me on how to build his own.

In 2015, after Max had completed the main construction, I was hired to plaster the building. The initial plaster coat on a pallet building is an important step, as you need to build out the wall surface. I always choose a straw clay plaster for this initial coat. I worked with the builder Max Livingstone and Bethanie Ruffo, along with my colleague Emily Jantzen to make clay slip, chop straw, put up trim, make niches and bringing this pallet building to the next level.

So often in my work, I get hired to teach workshops. Workshops are a time for me to share the techniques of what I love to do. I always meet a few people in each workshop who I continue to work with.  Thanks for this wonderful opportunity Max Livingstone, and thanks to my friends and family who stopped by to help! Chad Gaetz, Sebastian Collet, Kat Jank. These photos show the base coat plaster. We will likely return in March to apply the finish plaster and an aliz paint and pour an earthen floor.

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Discarded pallets are a great source of free wood and they make for what I feel is an easy construction technique. Max Livingstone did a stellar job constructing this building. Hopefully you will find inspiration in these photos to build your own.

Further Reading:

Natural Finishes

We have a decade of experience with fine natural finishes including all kinds and colors of earthen plasters & paints, lime plaster, earthen floors, sculpture, mosaic, and tile.

These techniques can be applied to many surfaces including earthen buildings, cement, drywall, and latex paint.

Please contact us to discuss your projects and ideas!  We are also available to teach courses on how to use your local, natural materials to craft many types of beautiful and traditional finishes.

Written by in: Natural Plasters & Paints |

Firespeaking - 89242 Fir Butte Rd, Eugene, OR 97402 - info (at) firespeaking.com - (541) 688-0948 - OR CCB# 200122