cedar outdoor shower - bench 00

Summer rolls onward, swiftly and sweatily. Recently, I had the chance to rebuild a spring-fed cedar outdoor shower at friends’ property just down the road. It was nice to work so close to home after a spring full of back and forth to do the big plaster project in western Kentucky. The former shower was a nailed-together hodgepodge of scraps and splinters, and this was a chance to start afresh with some decent materials.

[click to continue…]

Japanese plaster hawk

Read ahead for some tips on how to make these ergonomic Japanese plaster hawks

Japanese-style plaster hawks are a comfortable, ergonomic alternative to the typical hawk design you come across in the states. Best of all, you can very easily make your own with only a few basic materials and customize the proportions to your liking. Here’s how you make your own Japanese plaster hawk.

[click to continue…]

Clay Plaster Evolution

by ziggy on June 24, 2017 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Clay plaster evolution

The reward of building is seeing the progress and the character of a house take shape. This most recent plastering project has been no exception. Back when I saw the house for the first time in January, the walls were bare and the floor was gravel. It’s come a long way since then.

This photo sequence shows the three major phases of the plastering work we completed inside — bare faswall, the initial clay base coat and trim, and the finished product. What a difference!

I recommend viewing this image enlarged for the a fuller effect.

american clay forte plaster - big wall

Plaster complete!

The big stretch of my spring clay plastering job is over now. It comes with a huge sense of relief, some achey shoulders, and a definite sense of accomplishment. It’s hard to remember that when we showed up to this house site two months ago, it was bare block walls. Now the space has really come to life.

[click to continue…]

Lime plaster base coat on Faswall block

Applying the first coat of lime plaster over the faswall block

Lime plaster is the source of a lot of confusion for folks, myself included. It’s taken a long time to understand even the basic ins and outs of hydraulic lime, hydrated lime, slaking, carbonation, blah blah blah. When you start to read and hear about lime plaster, it sounds a bit like alchemy. Which it kinda is. Lime is totally unlike clay plaster, which seems so simple and innocent in comparison. Lime plastering is, after all, a chemical process that you really want to ensure goes according to plan.

[click to continue…]