December to February is the cold dry season here in Pai – the best time to build. So we have been working on our earth house. Our goal is to move in by March.
We have finished plastering our walls. We have two layers of earthen plaster: a base layer and an infill layer. These two layers are followed by two finish layers which we painted on. Our finish layer had a ratio of 2 clay : 2 sand : 1 tapioca (1 part tapioca flour : 6 parts water boiled until a gelatinous texture is reached). We added water until we had a creamy soup texture easy to apply with a paintbrush.
We used the clay from an abandoned termite mound on the land.
We have also been building up our walls to create beautiful designs using found objects.
Another exciting aspect of earthen building is the absence of furniture shopping. Just do it yourself!
Below, is a bed made out of earthbags. The middle is filled with plastic garbage that was lying around and dirt from the land. Our place of repose is quite literally also our landfill.
Plastering the bed..
Our sofa is also made out of earthbags.
For best results, let the ladies do all the work.
And let the boys hang out and drink beer..
To facilitate plastering the earthbags, we nailed fishing netting onto the earthbags.
Then we plastered on top of the the netting.
For the armrests we simply used earth bricks.
We’re looking forward to our earthen floor next and we will keep everyone updated on our progress.