As soon as a got to Cob Cottage again, I was handed a pick axe, shovel and a wheel barrow. And then I headed into the woods with Linda Smiley to harvest some beautiful red colored clay. The next day I was shredding straw with a chipper/shredder and screening it through a fine mesh. We did a few test samples and before you know it, we were laying a beautiful red-colored straw-clay floor in her little cob cottage. These pictures show the screeding process and an example of what the final finish texture will look like once it's burnished.
The finished 'loving' room floor...
I also did a sculptural niche behind the spiral staircase using earthen plaster with the same red clay. The structure of the niche wall is wattle and daub which was done by Max Edelson. Making this transition look nice between where the earthen plaster met the lime plaster on the main walls was definitely the hardest part, but I had fun with sculpted spiral form. I like how Max pointed out that this followed Christopher Alexander's notion of decoration--that it should be used when transitioning between materials.
The final project in the Laughing House was tiling and grouting the kitchen floor. Again another opportunity for a fun transition to the wooden step down. We decided to use some small ocean pepples to fill in the larger grout areas. It was a whole new technique for me, but it came out just great! We even decied to repeat the motif in the cooler box.
Overall, the house is really starting to to reach a 'finished' state and Linda was just delighted with all my help--and I couldn't have had more fun working with her.