Sunday, November 15, 2009

Next Installment on the Cob Bench Project

It has been a busy few weeks and these photos spent a long time in the camera! But here they are. Back in October, Tony's Cob Building Class at AB Tech did most of the earthen plaster work on our bench. But Tony and I put the final earthen plaster touches on our bench project one sunny afternoon.
The plaster is made of clay, sand and wheat paste. The mixture is smooth and thick and is applied by handfuls and then compressed and smoothed with a piece of plastic cut from a yogurt container. This plastic rib helps to make the edges nice and gives the plaster a smooth surface and a finished look.
The earthen plaster coats the entire bench and gives it a harder, smoother finish than just raw cob.
This bench was designed to have room for lots of kids to sit around it. The backside of the bench overlooks the woods, to one side are the raised garden beds and to the other side are bird feeders and a storm water garden.
The bench has a beehive theme complete with giant sculpted bees on the top surface. It is to be an observation station for wildlife watching at the school. The bench has a built-in place to store a notebook which will be used as a journal to record bird activity.
I love this detail of where the foundation meets the cob.
The opening now has a wooden door fitted for it, hinged to a piece of wood that was built into the cob structure. I'll need to get pictures of it to share.
Sammy the snake guards the opening. Not sure yet what we are doing to finish the snake.. right now, we left it in raw cob. I think Tony was talking about oiling it to preserve it and allow it to have a different look from the smooth plaster finish of the rest of the bench.

The whole project still has a way to go.. The AB Tech class continues the work on the strawbale playhouse that is located opposite of the bench. In this photo you can see the brick courtyard that has been started between the two structures.
More pictures to come. What a great way this has been for me to learn about cob building and help out and my daughter's school. I look forward to the day when I am ready to build something out of cob in my own backyard!

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