Mixing the wonderful red clay that we have on site with water and lots of straw. It is cool in the dome and the mud and straw mix is cool too – and it’s very hot outside!
The first stage is to make the mix of much and straw (see blog ‘A Feast for the Spirits of our Land’ on where the straw came from) and this we did in the big plastic bowls in the picture below, using our hands and feet. Then the spaces between the bags are filled with the mix, and then the cob is plastered all over the inside.
Note the glowing green circle on the wall. Bottles were cut in half (not easy!) and joined together and put into the wall to add some interesting touches of light.
Working up high in the dome is not something everyone can do! Our workers seem to be having fun!
On the outside of the dome much the same process happens, except we are using a mix of cement and water, and dipping straw into that, to fill in all the spaces between the bags.
Then a mix of cement, sand, water and rice husks goes on, making a waterproof cap. Those pipes you can see sticking out of the dome in the picture below will be air vents to make sure that the dome always has fresh air, even when doors and windows are closed.
The Festival of Songkhran is about to begin. This is when everyone throws water at each other and probably began as a ritual to summon the rain, as the dry season is in full force with soaring temperatures and forest fires. We felt we needed to get a waterproof cap on our dome quickly, as the rains can begin any time after the Festival.
We are also hard at work on getting the next dome up and capped before the monsoon begins. This dome is bringing surprises as you will see in the next Blog.
I am very sad to have to tell you that Mickey Mouse (see blog Spirits Abound) was run over a few days ago. We miss him.