Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cob Loop-de-Loop!

Welcome to the BRING Planet Improvement Center!
I'm building a piece for their sculpture park called the Garden of Earthly Delights.

It's a totally ground-breaking, never been done before that I know of, cob-adobe hybrid spiraling loop-de-loop... yes, all that and some.

the 'before' shot

Laying the urbanite foundation

with a gravel bed below and reclaimed chimney bricks every 8 feet. Something had to break up the 50' long curved bench. The gently curving part is intended for classroom style seating when BRING wants to host groups to learn about sustainability, salvage and using reclaimed materials.

A group of high school students spends their spring break getting muddy and learning about how to build with cob.

We finish most of the length of the bench that week.

Then, I begin the loop

Building up the plynths

more cob,
even solo

finally the bases are ready

and I start the adobe arch, using a 5 foot diameter plywood form

a new friend, Jessica Gray, helps out

making arches is a total blast!

More cob, fleshing out the structural adobe arch

More builder friends join in to help with the integral roof/bench surface. We're using toilet tank covers to protect the cob.

We debate it for a long while and decide to go with a salvaged steel armature to support the overhang of the toilet tank covers. It's totally great working at a salvage warehouse, all materials right on hand!

Eva Miller and I trim the form of the loop

Max and Fezzo work on the toilet tank extravaganza

Each piece is slightly sloped to the rear to drain.

We use cementitious mortar to set the porcelin

The toilet tank covers follow the form of the bench and spiral upwards

we have to get clever about how we will secure them up-side-down

It takes all four of us to get them to behave

Wired in and temporary strings help out too. Defying gravity is one of my favorite things...

Super hero pvc'ers to the rescue for the rafters, another great find at the warehouse

the roof for the loop gets framed with these, Max Edelson takes on that project

I teach a workshop on earthen plasters and have several wonderful folks join in on the finishing touches
Ethan Rainwater, the Garden Designer is happy with what we've created.

some finished shots, with two coats of linseed oil, this thing looks an awful lot like a chocolate frosted donut... complete with sprinkles!

my original sketch/rendering that I presented to get the gig

quite like I thought it would be!