10 Beautiful and Useful Things You Can Create with Earth Plaster

People are often fascinated by the structure of my earthbag home, but in truth that was the easy part. It’s the plaster that is an art. And a science. At times I thought it might have even been witchcraft. Because it took me just 6 weeks to build my earthbag house, but almost 2 years to get my plaster sitting beautifully on my walls without cracks or bits of it falling off.

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Earthen Plasters: The healthiest and most beautiful way to finish your home

Carole Crews teaching students how to apply a clay based plaster at a workshop in New Mexico
Carole Crews teaching students how to apply a clay based plaster at a workshop in New Mexico

“No matter what material you build your house with, the finishes will always be the most visible part both inside and out. For thousands of years people have used natural materials to improve the appearance of their buildings, to protect their buildings from the elements, and to hide the rougher qualities of their walls. Despite advances in technology and industrial methods of production, most houses are still finished with natural plasters and renders. In this article we’ll explore the three most common types of plaster, discuss their benefits and limitations, and talk about why they’re the best option for home finishings, not only in natural homes, but in conventional homes too.

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Second Coat Earthen Plaster

So here’s our example of finish plastering using earthen plaster on this wattle and daub sample. Several people did this. You just use the edge of your hand right here. Just put on a thin layer. So the edge of your hand becomes like a trowel. You could do this with a trowel, but we’re … Read more

Bamboo Wattle and Daub

This is a demonstration of wattle and daub made with bamboo. Wattle and daub is the world’s oldest known building method used all over the world many thousands of years. Here we’re using bamboo. You could use small saplings and branches woven together in the same way. We peeled the bamboo on the surface – … Read more

Cost Overruns at Earthbag Clinic and Schools in Leogane, Haiti

The earthbag clinic and school buildings in Leogane have unfortunately experienced cost overruns. Obviously this is a very important topic, and doubly so when building in developing countries where budgets are very tight. One problem has been the unusually high cost of materials, which can be much higher than in the US. The main expense … Read more