May Intensive Straw Bale Workshop: Day 6

Written by Andrew Morrison

At the end of the fifth day of the May 7 day intensive straw bale workshop, a few folks mentioned how much they were looking forward to applying the brown coat because it would be so much easier than the scratch coat applied to the interior of the building. I smiled and so “oh yeah?…okay.” By the end of yesterday, their opinion had changed.

Brown coat plastering is hard, there are no two ways about it. It takes a lot of upper body strength and a lot of patience. Getting the mud on the wall is the easy part, floating it so that it looks even and smooth is what takes the effort. As you can see in the above picture, team work is a great way to “share the load” of labor.
floating plaster wall on straw bale wall
Working together, we created a very smooth and beautiful couple of walls. We only got two walls completed over the entire day. I think that was more of a function of the general exhaustion than the actual work at hand. We have been working hard all week and have also been staying up late playing and connecting on a personal level. The night prior to our brown coat was fun, but we may have burned the midnight oil a bit too long to expect to accomplish anything labor intensive the next day! No problem though, we always have day 7.

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