Strawbale/cob garden wall

  • September 18, 2010 · 9:30 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

I have obtained permits to build a 40+' privacy fence/garden wall out of strawbales and cob. In the first weekend of workshops we will install stone splash stem wall, mix cob, apply clay slip on the bales, stack the bales on the wall. In the next workshop we will apply the brown coat. The remainder of the workshops may get pushed off until spring we'll just have to see how it works out. There will be a workshop for the finish plaster coat and possibly one for the cap/cedar roof. I will install the drain pipe and rubble trench this coming weekend Sept 4th 5th and 6th. If you want to help then just send me an email and we can work something out. Sept 11th and 12th will be stem wall and concrete again email me if you want to help. The official workshop(s) will be Sept 18th and 19th. Then the rest will follow with announcements made on this site. I expect to hold additional workshops on Oct 2nd, Oct 3rd, Oct 10th, Oct 16th and Oct 17th. The property is located just north of Antioch IL. I believe that commuter rail to Antioch is not available on weekends. You will need to plan on transportation of whatever means you can. I will try and help organize carpooling and or answer questions about what is near and what is not. Lets recap: Sept 4th 5th and 6th (layout wall, dig trench, install drain line, install rubble, harvest clay)not official workshops, you can help if you would like - you need to email me to make arrangements On or around Sept 11th and 12th (install stem wall, pour concrete bond beam, install rebar) not official workshops, you can help if you would like - you need to email me to make arrangements Sept 18th and 19th OFFICIAL WORKSHOP, make cobb, apply clay slip to bales, install cobb on stem wall, impale bales on rebar and stack more bales, apply cobb to joints, lots and lots of muddy fun. Similar activities both days with some variations. Snacks, food, and water will be available - please bring your own if you have allergies or special dietary needs. Oct 2nd and 3rd, OFFICIAL WORKSHOP, make cobb, apply cobb to joints, focus on "Brown coat" we will be finishing our shape and working to make the vertical surface of the wall plumb. Attention to detail and focus on the tools for such activities will be covered, lots and lots of muddy fun. Similar activities both days with some variations. Snacks, food, and water will be available - please bring your own if you have allergies or special dietary needs. Each workshop will have time set aside for group discussion, topics will be class driven but may include the following: jobsite management, material acquisition, building concepts, individual onsite sewage disposal systems, composting toilets, living roofs, or ? additional workshops will follow, watch for meetup notices. Please note: Children are more than welcome - I like to teach and really get a kick out of listening to the unpolluted building perspectives of little people. You are the best judge of weather or not your child will be able to sit through teaching and building. If you bring your children you will be in charge of watching your own child. If you need to come late or leave early you are welcome to do so Are you flat broke but really want to be involved? I know the feeling!!! Maybe you have something of value to barter? Give me a try, I love tools especially old ones. I need a big 1/2" drill of my own. Some other ideas are, flower seeds - you could collect seeds now from browneyed or blackeyed Susans and bring them to the workshop for partial trade, or possibly camping gear, gas weedwipper (running), maybe you could bring all or some of the food? Are you a starving artist? If your work appeals to me I may be willing to trade? Email me, I do not want people to miss out due financial hardship. I may not know you (yet) but I would rather have you at the workshop than not. The cost for each day a workshop is offered will be $ 35.00. Pay for two days save $ 10.00, pay for three save $ 20.00, pay for 4 days save $ 40.00! One condition - you must pay in full at the start of your first visit to take advantage of any savings. One day sign ups will be $ 35.00 per day. I will limit the attendees to 8 per day to allow for proper hands on learning and discussion time. There may be a campfire later in the day. Please bring a folding chair, note pad, proper clothing for the weather, drinking water, extra dry clothes and shoes (just in case), you may want to wear work gloves, you may want to consider bringing a hat? Please restrict cell phone use to break time only as to keep class disruptions to a minimum. Class times will run from 9:30 am through 3:30pm (you may be able to stay later and keep working if you wish)
Do you have ideas or suggestions for me? Send me an email. I look forward to talking to you soon, Peter Thank you!

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  • Peter

    Big help by those who attended! Thank you so much! I could use one more full day and a few helpers so I could move on to the bale/clay portion. If you want to come over just send me an email and we can set up a time! Otherwise look for the next meetup to be on or around Oct 2nd and 3rd.

    September 19, 2010

  • Peter

    Lots of fun, slow process but wonderful results. Those who came had a good time moving, breaking, and placing rocks! Thank you for your help!

    September 19, 2010

  • Peter

    Concrete bond beam is done and the stone stem wall is started. Check out the new photos. I will have stone available for the workshop crew to split (only if you want to), I have been doing it with a hammer and chisel. See you soon.


    September 12, 2010

  • Heather

    I can't come Saturday, but I hope to be able to come Sunday. I'll hold off on the RSVP until I know for sure. I am excited to see this wall in progress!

    September 7, 2010

  • Peter

    Rubble trench is 80% complete as of Sunday, I will finish today and start working on the bond beam this week. I would like to note that if you want to get involved please sign up. I post some photos of the trench.

    September 6, 2010

  • Peter

    Here is the next big update.....I was able to get my local inspector to grant me the building permit!!!! First was zoning, no problem, then I had to get it by the building inspector. His only comment was that he thought that I would most likely be rebuilding the wall due to rot in just a few short years. He stated that he will be watching to see how it holds up! I 'm thinking he'll retire prior to the wall going south. I'm in need of materials, I'll post a list soon.

    August 30, 2010

  • Anna W.

    I think it is an awesome endeavor, I look forward to seeing it unfold. congratulations on the permits- good work good work good work!

    August 27, 2010

  • Heather

    I love this idea! I want to do the same thing myself so I would love to learn on your wall. I vote for Sundays as well!

    August 27, 2010

  • Peter

    So, I thought I would post an update: I was able to obtain zoning approval from Kenosha County today. Now I need to apply for the building permit with my local inspector. Keep your fingers crossed! I did review the comments made by our members so far. I would have the workshop(s) on a weekend, kids would be welcome to come along (we have a big yard and a swing set within 30' of the proposed wall constrution) and yes I could hold a workshop on a Sunday also. Any other considerations?

    August 26, 2010

  • Martha

    Great idea and a lovely one too! Very interested as I have considered it also. Foundation work could well be included as helpful learning opp. Have a few projects going this fall so may not be able able to attend all. Hope it's very reasonably priced. Go Peter for making a "Hand-Sculpted Home" dream come true!

    August 25, 2010

  • charlotte

    I live farily close to Antioch, and don't often make it downtown to meetups. This would be a great chance to learn/ help. I have small kids, so length of workshop is a consideration...

    August 25, 2010

  • Chris K.

    I'd be interested, but it would have to be on a weekend as I travel for work.

    August 24, 2010

4 went

  • Peter
    Assistant Organizer
    Event Host

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