A passive solar greenhouse built from cob, light clay-straw and salvage materials. The existing backyard had several concrete pads for old sheds, so we cut them into squares and stacked them up for some thermal mass on the inside of the greenhouse, which are located to get direct sunlight only during the winter months. It also freed up the yard for garden space. The wood framing came from deconstructed sheds and decks on the property and we only needed to purchase a single piece of lumber! We infilled the wood frame with sculptural cob on the east and west walls, insulative clay-straw on the north wall, and reclaimed sliding glass doors as windows on the south. There are also operable … Read More »
This cob bench was built as part of a sculpture competition called "Art in the Heart of the City" on the Ithaca Commons. The foundation uses seconds stones from a local quarry. The arches were built with adobes and then cobbed together. The mosaic is set with earth plaster grout. The adobes were pre-fabricated and the bench was built during the Ithaca Festival of 2009. Hundreds of people got to watch its construction and learn about natural building. It was only intended to be on display for six months, but it has since survived several winters without a roof and remains a favorite play structure for the local kids.
This earthen oven was built during a three-day workshop. The design was inspired from the story of the Great A'tuin in Discworld, where a turtle's back supports four elephants which in turn hold up the world. With all the colorful mosaic going on on this turtle's shell, the world is sure be be supported. This oven gets a lot of use from it's owner and I am delighted every time I get invited to enjoy it.