Thursday, August 28, 2008

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3

Thursday was our much anticipated test batch day! We mixed some cob up in various proportions (2 parts sand : 1 part clay, 3 parts sand : 1 part clay, etc.). Brian and I got to practice our "cob dance", and I've got to say, Brian sure knows how to "mix it up" on the "dance floor"! He's a regular Cob Travolta. I mostly had the rather menial job of moving the tarp around...such is the burden for those of us with smaller feet.

Here's Brian river-dancing on the cob. Due to his extremely ticklish feet, he really was doing the "Elaine" at the beginning. This brought me great satisfaction.

Here I am looking a lot like a cob ninja. Despite my assassin looks, I am actually forming a cob ball to test by squishing (snow ball test), and dropping (drop test?). You listen to the cob, too, when you squish it. You're supposed to hear the scratching sound of sand-on-sand. Mine said "Paul is dead".

We made test bricks of our various cob mixes, making sure to scratch the recipe on the top of each brick with a stick (see below). From each batch, we made bricks without straw, and bricks with straw. Brian made the brick mold out of a broken down pallet. He's so crafty!

Kenny, Rhonda, and Clancy came out to help us! After donning Miss Piggy's gloves, Kenny mixed mortar and helped with the heavy lifting.

We also filled the middle of the wall with mortar and less desirable sandstone from around the yard. This is where Rhonda came in with her tuck point (?...small trowel thing), and helped spread the mortar. Rhonda also brought us fruit juice slushies, which tasted mighty-fine!

Clancy was a big help too (and by "help", I mean a total spaz).

He swam in our clay tub, burried things in the sand pile, made himself some tap shoes out of mortar, ate our leather gloves and flip-flops, peed in our house, and jumped in the back seat of the car covered in mud. All in a day's work, right, Clancy? (Oh, but look at that smooshy face!).

Here are our test bricks drying in the sun. As soon as they're dry, we'll karate-chop them, and submit them to various other forms of torture in order to determine which one most deserves to become our house, and which ones are "fi-yad".

1 comment:

Kimberley Lynch said...

Oh Han...I love to read your blog! I feel like I can hear you talking as I look at the pics....marvelous!