Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Suscol Strawbale Project - Part 1

Now on to a slightly larger project. I have joined forces with Bay Area Architect, Bob Theis, to finish a strawbale building for an inter-tribal Native American sacred land. The project was started last summer by another person, but they were unable to complete it as started. It is interesting coming into a project that you didn't begin, but so far we are making the best of it. It has an octagonal framework with strawbale infill, cobbed windows, skylight & living roof.

The first week on the project we were assisted by an Americorps Crew, Hoopa Tribal Community Civilian Corps (TCCC). It was interesting getting muddy with these young natives, whom for the most part were delighted with the change of tasks--building with alternative materials instead of maintaining trails.

Earthbag foundation

Octagonal roof framing

Setting up the plaster prep area, glorious shade!

Bob demonstrated how to tie a custom bale

Gravel bag course work for the foundation

Yoshi, fills voids with a clay-straw mix

Processing local soil, from pile to plaster

Tracy Thieriot (Tactile Interiors) and her assistant Yoshi work on filling the structure

Americorps crew members make fill mix, essentially straw-clay that is really heavy on the clay

Covering the bales with slip

Tracy and Ceasar keep on slipping!

Curving slpits of bamboo over an open fire.
These will be used to support the arches over the cobbed window openings.

Sculpting the window openings

making 'paned' glass windows

a special project for a special place... stay tuned!


  1. Another epic project, LOVE the pile to plaster shot, smart moves on the bamboo split window arches. Thanks for your phone message...I miss you!

  2. Can hardly wait to see the finish plaster photo blog.