Over the last week, we’ve continued to practice finish plasters. Last Thursday, we took a field trip to northern Vermont to visit the property of one of our instructors. On the way, we stopped at Thea Alvin’s homestead. She is a local, famous stonemason and has completed many projects around the country. On her property, she has created a space for artists and gardeners to live and work together in community. She even has gallery space in a 200-year-old barn for the artists to display their work. Besides her productive gardens, she also keeps chickens, goats, and bees. It’s a lively and beautiful space.
We’ve been practicing plastering with both earth (clay) plasters and lime plasters. It’s been really interesting learning the chemical processes involved with lime and the properties of a lime plaster. It makes an excellent exterior coat because of it’s ability to resist moisture. On our instructor’s property, we applied finish lime coats to a straw-bale chicken shed built last year. And the following days, we applied lime plaster to the walls of one of the intern bedrooms here at Yestermorrow. He was so grateful to get something other than ugly drywall with weird colors on it. Drywall over plaster? Is that possible, you ask? As a matter of fact, it is! Anyone interested in some plaster finishes at their house?
If you’re interested in looking at some pictures of our plastering experiences, check out the facebook page for our instructors’ business. He’s been posting photos there: https://www.facebook.com/artesanotadelakt
We haven’t been able to apply any finish coats to our trusty “Cube,” because the base coat we applied over a week ago still isn’t dry. Have I mentioned yet it rains a lot here??
In one of my next posts I will describe learning the process of tadelakt plaster, an ancient Moroccan plastering method.
As I write this post, I’m sitting in the kitchen here at Yestermorrow where many of us gather each night. Many of these nights include spontaneous jam sessions by incredibly gifted musicians. Some of the many instruments I’ve heard include saxophone, upright bass, clarinet, guitar, maracas, bones (which I’m trying to learn), mandolin, banjo, and the occasional other random instrument. What a great community this place creates!