Most cob builders use a form to make their arches perfect. We, as you can see, did not. The windows are wonky. We like wonky. (Yeah, one pane is broken due to construction mishap.)
To make the arch over the windows and doors, we need to use super strong fiber straps made of sticky clay and straw. The arches distribute the weight of the wall evenly over the openings.
Part 3: Insulation and the Barrel
Under that slab of marble is the manifold. It’s a space between the bottom of the barrel and the first length of stovepipe.
I left for the day and returned to a blazing fire in the cob house! Pah!
Our first batch of cob for the season started the coffee nook. The large, opening, SSE-facing window will be set in a small wall of cob atop a salvaged marble sill. In front of that, a fir slab counter. The foot of the bed (nest-shaped and heated from the exhaust of the rocket stove) will serve as a bench. A”coffee rocket” will be built right into the wall next to the window. So, sliding out if bed for a cup of coffee is that: just a slink under the covers to emerge in the other side, light up the rocket, and grind the beans.
Slapped on a few batches with friends this weekend. We are at a critical point where built-in furniture needs to be planned, windows and doors installed and sculptural detail decided upon. So, a few carefully placed batches took us a long way. So grateful for friends lending energy and time that will live in the walls.
Our friend, Careen, a fabulous potter, gave us a box of beautiful kiln mishaps.
These are glass green flowing pieces we will use as candle and key holders.
We have broken cups and plates we mourned that will also be worked into the design.
Little things, like pottery protrusions and big things, like sculpting 10 ft high, 2 ft thick walls from clay dug out of the earth, make cob worth the time.