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Archive for the ‘Plasters’ Category

“Daydreaming” – artistic lime and marble plaster work by Natural Wonder Creations (click to enlarge)

“Daydreaming” – artistic lime and marble plaster work by Natural Wonder Creations (click to enlarge)


Mica adds sparkle to plaster

Mica adds sparkle to plaster


Burnished and waxed metallic mica powder

Burnished and waxed metallic mica powder


Venetian plaster with special mica powder finish and wax (click to enlarge)

Venetian plaster with special mica powder finish and wax (click to enlarge)


Most people probably think of boring, mud brown color when they hear of natural plaster. In actuality, natural plasters come in limitless colors and variations, and so I’ve decided to do regular features on this topic.

Image source: Natural Wonder Creations
Image source: American Clay (slow Flash site, but excellent content)
Image source: Mariah Kaminsky Fine Art
Image source: Skoda Painting

Related:
Decorative Finishing Details
Crushed Glass in Plaster

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Plastering an earthbag house with calcium carbide lime plaster in Nicaragua (click to enlarge)

Plastering an earthbag house with calcium carbide lime plaster in Nicaragua (click to enlarge)


Sustainable building in Nicaragua (click to enlarge)

Sustainable building in Nicaragua (click to enlarge)


“A friend suggested a product I was unfamiliar with, so I decided to research and do some testing. The chemical name is calcium hydroxide… ca(oh)2 (calcium carbide), a by-product created in the production of acetylene. I went into Managua to a place that manufactures acetylene for welding. I found a big pool of jade coloured water, which is how a pool of lime looks. Calcium carbide lime when mined and then fired becomes calcium oxide co2 or hydrated lime. These two substances have the same structure and are from the same family. The company asked me if I wanted the gel or liquid. I bought the liquid as my original intention was to use it for painting the polypropylene tubes. The super adobe tubes deteriorate in the sun, so you must cover with plastic while you are building, or paint them to protect. Painting is so much easier but more expensive. Carbide is stupid inexpensive — $10 for a huge drum. As it turns out, I discovered you can use it as plaster. It turned to a nice thick paste after several weeks. I did several mixes and test patches on the walls until I found the right mix of coarse sand and carbide. It was rock solid after 2 months. This is a natural product and still allows the walls to breath while having the ability to repel rain. It is affordable to use in construction and I want to pass this on to the local Nicaraguans to aid in affordable housing.

The fotos are of the carbide used between the bags initially to build out and level the voids between the rows of bags. (Note Rosita claims that it is necessary to wear Austrian crystal drop earrings when applying the mix. stylin´). You want to leave it rough so the next layer can key into it better. Next we cover with chicken wire and then a coat of lime mixed with coarse sand. The final plaster will be lime and a very fine sand from lake Nicaragua. I am testing some lime mixed with blue ochre but cannot get the colour I want. My earthbag buddy in San Juan del Sur has an interesting array of test panels using different mixes of lime wash. I hope to do the same and find the right colour to paint with next season. Much interest from all walks of life with the build. I have been approached by several people interested in me building for them and acting as a consultant. Quien sabes?”
– Kevin

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Glass colored beads can be added to plaster to create dazzling color and shine.

Glass colored beads can be added to plaster to create dazzling color and shine.


Here’s a great way to add color in your home. Add some crushed recycled glass in the final coat of plaster to make your house sparkle. The text below is from a Chinese supplier (edited for clarity).

Color: clear, dark blue, light blue, aqua blue, light green, dark green, black, white, golden yellow, yellow, purple, red, orange, pink, jade, and so on. (color can be adjusted as required)
Size: 1-3mm, 2-4mm, 3-5mm, 6-9mm, 9-12mm, 12-20mm, 20-50mm (size can be made as required)

Popularly used for terrazzo and exposed concrete coating, swimming pool industry, fireplaces, flooring decoration, countertops, terrazzo glass, floors/pavers and natural building. Will enhance the appearance of outside and inside walls. It will be dazzling and resplendent when the sunlight or lamplight is shining on it.

Color glass bead has the following advantages:
1) Beautiful: varied kinds of pattern, novel color, you can choose one or many kinds of colors.
2) Protecting environment: Non poisonous, No smell, No pollution, No cuts, Safe, Recycled.
3) Permanent: Non fading, Non aging, No maintenance, Clean, Bright, Luxurious and Beautiful.
4) Fireproofing, harder finish to resist rain and wear.

Source: Alibaba.com

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Kerry Bingham’s off-grid earth bag home in Turkey only cost $3,761 to build. Using dirt from her own 6,500 square foot plot of land, the artist and writer filled dozens of polypropylene sacks that were then stacked to create a striking circular structure overlooking Turkey’s magical Olympos Valley.

“My goal,” she says, “is to change my lifestyle, to be aware of how I consume and how I can consume in a more responsible way.” Not only has she built a house using locally-sourced and sustainable materials – including lime plaster that has yet to be applied to the outer wall, but she has slashed her carbon and water footprint in other meaningful ways as well.

Bingham is building a compost toilet (with a view) that requires absolutely no water to function, and any grey water that she does use for washing dishes and clothes will be recycled after it goes through an on-site constructed wetland that relies on nature to filter out harmful impurities. She also intends to build a water pump that relies solely on power from the sun to function.

The neighbor – a pomegranate farmer named Dudu – was not convinced of the merits of earth bag construction, but the resiliency of Bingham’s pride and joy has had a transformative effect on all of its critics. Dudu is now a believer, arriving almost daily with gifts of fresh vegetables and pomegranates. Other villagers, who in the beginning warned that the house would never stand up to the torrential winter rains, also arrive regularly, trying to push down the walls. They fail. And the rains have come, but the house is still standing strong.

From www.greenprophet.com

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I am pleased to announce that Owen Geiger’s Basic Earthbag Building DVD is finally available for purchase. It has taken more time than expected to complete the production, but it is well worth the wait I think.

Owen is a natural teacher who understands how to present information in a clear and understandable way and this DVD is excellent for introducing folks to the basic essentials of sound building practice using earthbags. Much of the DVD is derived from actual instruction at workshops, so you witness the whole process from the ground up.

After an introduction to the tools and supplies that are necessary for building, they construct a small sample wall with a rubble trench foundation. Every step is fully explained and demonstrated as the wall proceeds.

The second portion of the DVD takes you through the process of building a functional cool pantry that is attached to a house. Here you can see how doors can be framed and roofs attached. There are many tips and tricks that emerge from watching that could be invaluable in constructing most any project.

At the end there are some bonus scenes that include tips for building a dome, an animated fly-through of Owen’s Enviro Dome, and a tour of Owen’s completed Earthbag Roundhouse.

With over three hours of solid instruction, this DVD would be a valuable addition to anybody’s building library. You can review portions of this DVD by exploring the short clips that are shown on Owen’s YouTube Channel. And you can purchase the DVD directly from the manufacturer for $28.

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The Natural Plaster Book: Earth, Lime, and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes by Cedar Rose Guelberth and Daniel D. Chiras

The Natural Plaster Book: Earth, Lime, and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes by Cedar Rose Guelberth and Daniel D. Chiras


The Natural Plaster Book: Earth, Lime, and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes by Cedar Rose Guelberth and Daniel D. Chiras, 2002. For builders of natural homes (straw bale, cob, adobe, rammed earth, and other natural materials), this unique step-by-step guide takes the confusion out of choosing, mixing, and applying natural plasters. From principles to practicalities, and with every stage of the process illustrated, The Natural Plaster Book details the entire process of plastering with earth, lime, and gypsum for a long-lasting and durable finish. Cedar Rose Guelberth has studied architecture, design and construction for 30 years. A nationally recognized green and natural building educator and consultant, her business Building for Health Materials Center provides one-stop shopping for 7,000 products nation-wide, including a complete line of natural plaster products. Dan Chiras has several years experience of natural building and is the author of over 17 books including The Natural House (Chelsea Green, 2000). Dan is also the panelist at GreenHomeBuilding.com for the topics of solar heating and natural building.

The next choice as reference would be the Steen’s original The Straw Bale House, published back in 1994. It has a 25 page chapter devoted to plaster that includes stucco, lime, earth, and gypsum, with lots of recipes and suggested techniques. The Steen’s also co-authored an entire issue on lime plaster in The Last Straw Journal about ten years ago. Back issues are available. The Steen’s run the preeminent training center Canelo Project, in Arizona.

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Final Superadobeserrano roundhouse (click to enlarge)

Final Superadobeserrano roundhouse (click to enlarge)


Final Superadobeserrano roundhouse (click to enlarge)

Final Superadobeserrano roundhouse (click to enlarge)


They’re making good progress at Superadobeserrano. Compare the above photos to previous photos to see the before and after look. As you can see, finish plaster and detailing make a big difference.

Source: Superadobeserrano Blog
Previous post: Superadobeserrano Blog

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