Rethink Your Life!
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Kiko Denzer on Art
[Cob] Mechanical cob vs. instruction by cob "experts"ocean ocean at woodfiredeatery.com
Fri Mar 4 23:09:00 PST 2005
Clay slip, uniformly mixed with sand and straw by a mixer/tractor will form a cob mix as strong as a foot mixed blend, in our experience. The microscopic level described in the previous posting by M.A.T. is nice theory, but not the only truth! The key is to understand that the clay acts as the "glue", much like Portland cement, to hold together aggregate - sand - and fiber - straw. This is the essence of cob. If you can get a uniform amount of clay to coat each grain of sand and each fiber of straw then you will have strong cob. Cement mixers, bobcat/tractor cob, horses stomping or humans stomping - all can make good cob or lousy cob, depending on the ratios and mixing of clay/sand/straw/water. A problem I've observed before on the coblist electronic forum is repeated in this discussion - here we are discussing cob without any clay or sand or straw to feel, touch, stomp on, or otherwise physically experience. It's very hard to conceptualize how to make "good" cob without a physical demonstration of the process. I recommend taking a class or workshop taught by an experienced teacher, either through Cob Cottage Company, Becky Bee, Kleiworks, or some other cob building educational organization. Or as an alternative, have an apprentice from one of the above organizations come and lead a workshop for you. This way you'll have hands-on/foots-on demonstration of how to make structurally superior cob. And you'll never again wonder whether your cob is strong enough to hold up your house. Ocean Liff-Anderson _____ Steward, Ahimsa Sanctuary http://www.peacemaking.org Proprietor, Intaba's Kitchen http://www.intabas.com On Mar 4, 2005, at 8:22 PM, Jill Hogan wrote: > The secret of an earth house staying together is that earth and clay > are made up of platlets and as in a pottery pot even when it is dry > before it is fired it will maintain its form, This is due to a > magnetic attraction between the platlets caused by moisture. So the > secret of a good cob mixture is to get the platlets lying parallel. > When you use a mixer it tears the platlets apart as opposed to the > stamping with feet like wedging clay for pottery you get the platlets > lying flat together. Hence buildings built this way have stood for > hundreds of years. There are no short cuts > > Secondly solving the clay issue simply put you clay in a tub cover it > with water and it will dissolve. When you need to add it simply take > it out of the tub with a spade and add it to your mixture. > > Jill > McGregor Alternative Technology Centre "MAT" > Tel: 023 6251533 > www.mat.org.za > info at mat.org.za > > We teach new (truly ancient) ways of living that respect the earth as > a living spirit" > > "We respect each other for who we are"
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