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 Oregonís 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.
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 Livingstone 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 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, Eli Edleson Stein, Kat Jank. The first photos show the base coat plaster and the latter show the interior finish and the earthen floor I completed with Maeve Riley.
Discarded pallets are a great source of free wood and they make for what I feel is an easy and low cost construction technique. Hopefully you will find inspiration in these photos to build your own!