Another big dose of generosity
We had Brad and Mark arrive Saturday morning to set up for our second coat rendering extravoganza, and this time we were much better prepared for who was coming and the kinds of jobs everyone could do - with some rendering experience and confidence from the first coat we were more relaxed and ready for action. With the fabulous team of Aygun, Katrina, Hans, Cath, Cam, Leora and our renderers Brad and Mark, we set to work in the heat. We really weren't prepared for just how hot it got (31˚c). Rests were well earned, and most of the work was done inside out of the sun, as we were working on the internal walls. I am now officially on 'light duties' and despite being 30 weeks pregnant, and being fully aware of my physical limitations, it was difficult at times to sit and watch.
And what a sight to behold! We had fantastic loads of cob being mixed up (by Hans the master) and swarms of people filling up all our holes and gaps with the render. We experimented a bit with the render mix, and ended up getting a load of washed sand to add with our red clay-ish sand to reduce cracking and get an overall better render result. We also added 5-8% lime to the second coat. It is truly amazing to see how much hole filling was accomplished, as well as the master trowelers, who were following after Brad after the render was pumped onto the walls, smoothing off, shaping, and troweling the walls - magnificent work.
The second coat of render is much thicker than the first, around 20-30mm thick, so our walls look very different now. Very exciting and rewarding indeed! Last night we had Brad and Mark, and Cam and Leora stay at our place, and I think everyone slept pretty soundly except for Peter and I, mainly because of the heat.
Today we awoke to a much cooler morning, and thankfully it stayed pretty cool (compared to yesterday) with cloud, and even a little drizzle. Again, we were overwhelmed by everyone's contribution today. Aygun was working faithfully with Mark mixing the render and taking care of the pumping machine, Cam, Ben and John were doing a brilliant troweling job, and Nic, Leora, Jan and many others at different times, were applying cob to the gaps and holes in our external walls. Meanwhile Shane and Tracey were preparing and stuffing the few remaining door heads left inside, and Logan was jack of all trades, mixing cob, attaching sub-floor sheeting with Peter, and smoothing over the render on the tops of the external walls.
At the end of the weekend we have almost all of the internal walls with a second coat, and about 65% of the outside walls with a second coat. We had optimistically hoped to have all the walls complete in two days, but this was a little unrealistic! So we are back to our planning board to figure out how to get everything we need to have ready for the spraying of the 3rd coat for the internal walls on Sunday 15th November.
I know I have mentioned this before, but I must express our thanks to everyone who is and has been contributing to us and our house. I was driving up our driveway this afternoon after getting some additional supplies in town, and I was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude as I watched the energy and activity all around the house - it was amazing! The way people are so generous, willing and energetic - it really does blow me away, and makes me remember how incredible the human race is.
Again, to all of you, our deepest heart-felt thanks!