The first wall – Part II

Finally we could begin to put our hands in the dirt 🙂

For the outer part of the wall we used about two parts of water, three parts of sieved loam, one part of sieved sand, about two buckets full of cut straw and about 200 ml of linseed oil and mixed it all together in our cement mixer.  As I wrote before we had made some tests to find out which mixes would be appropriate for our soil and our wall. If you want to work with loam, too, you will have to make your own tests and I suppose that you will have to use different quantities.


A leaf of Agave on top of our water barrel

First you have to put some water, then slowly add the loam and wait until everything is dissolved. Just after this you can add the sand, the straw and the linseed oil. The linseed oil will make the wall a little water-repellent, when it’s dried out.


The bottles fixed with some loam

The water we used, we had prepared 2 days before: We cut some leaves of an Agave and put it inside the water. With these leaves the water became a little sticky, which was useful when building the wall.

One day before we had mixed some loam, water and sand just to fix the bottles in the places, where we wanted to have them, in order that they wouldn’t move.

But how do you get the loam on the wall? Quite easy: You throw it as strong as possible 🙂




Throwing loam on the wall

Ok, a big part of the loam will fall right through or splash back (and hit you), but the most was retained by the chicken wire and the reed.

It’s important always to put your fingers sometimes between the chicken wire and the reed to close the holes inside and to build up the whole wall all at once. Because if you’re waiting too long and the first part is already dried a little, it will be difficult to fix the next part on it.Still we sometimes had this problem and then we sprinkled the wall with water, before we went on with throwing.

After we had this done, we waited a few hours (which was a great time to go to the beach) and then formed out the symbols and forms, that we wanted to have. In our case it was a stylized tree and a lizard.

Then we had to let the wall dry. In this process, when the loam is shrinking, occur very much cracks, which we closed from time to time with a little loam until it was dried out. Finishing the outer wall needed about 2 days (including long siestas and swimming in the sea).

For the filling of the wall we used very much water, 2 parts of loam, 1.5 parts of sand and linseed oil. This mix really didn’t look very tasty… more like cow shit. But at least it didn’t have that smell 🙂


The loam-baguettes

We put this mix on a plastic sheet, took a little long straw and rolled the straw inside the cow sh… inside the loam mix, until all the straw was wet and we had a kind of baguettes 😉 These baguettes we tramped with sticks between the finished outer wall and the chicken wire and the reed on the inner wall. As the baguette-wall was growing up, we had to close more and more the chicken wire and the reed on the inner wall. For this part of the wall we needed about 4 days.


The finished outer wall, the infill with baguettes and the bottles

After this was finished, we made the completion of the outer wall, where we mixed 1.5 parts of very fine sieved loam, 1.5 parts of very fine sieved sand, about 500 g of lime and about 300 ml of linseed oil. This mix we put with some cloves (!) and sponges as a thin layer on top of the outer wall. It is used as a protection against erosion and makes the wall a little bit more stable. Normally you should wait about 2 weeks for this completion, but we made it after just 2 days, because we thought, it would be hot and windy enough to dry the wall out fast and because we didn’t have the time to wait for 2 weeks…

The inner wall was made in the same way like the outer wall and was decorated with some ornaments. We worked together with our guests for almost 2 weeks to finish the wall and we’re very happy we made it. The only tools we needed to make all of this were the cement machine, a saw, scissors, a drill, pliers, knives and hammers, some shovels, a wheelbarrow, a scaffold and a ladder, sponges and a reed stick.

And the most important: A good shower to wash away all this loam on your body 🙂

Now it’s protected of the rain by a plastic sheet until we come back and make the second wall. And here is how the wall looks like now:


Outside with the tree and the lizard


Inside with some ornaments (and our scaffold)


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