Rhiwena and I are building a curvilinear 30′ wall 6 feet tall out of cob, to block the view of, and some of the sound from, a nearby busy road.  We chose a curvilinear shape for aesthetics as well as for stability. We don’t want to disturb any more of the root systems than we have to.  The soil has a fair amount of clay in it so we are creating basins for rain water harvesting, taking the first six inches of soil off and setting it aside, then excavating a foot of the clay rich soil. When we are done we will put the top soil down in the basin and seed and mulch to encourage thicker more diverse growth in the area.

There’s a lot that’s different about this project. Rhiwena is the biggest change. She is helping on this project, bringing lots of energy, like she showed in the dancing in the cob video, from the straw bale bench workshop. Having help is a joy. We decided to invest in a mixer so that takes a lot of the work out of mixing.

Flickr set

We did a ruble and concrete footer with urbanite and a busted up fire pit we salvaged.

We are doing cob for the whole wall no straw bales in the core. There is a serious Pack Ratproblem here and we don’t want to make a condo.

The last inch of thickness will be a couple of  layers of screened adobe mix and straw, with linseed oil.  The cap will be a solid formed concrete bond beam.