Saturday, July 25, 2015

Getting Ready for the Women In Their Power Cob Workshop

Today is the first day of the Womens Cobbing workshop here at my cob house site on Mayne Island.
Yesterday I awoke to rain hitting the roof of my trailer, the first rain since April. It has been an extraordinarily hot and dry summer so far. It seemed ironic it decided to rain just as the workshop is set to begin. It will be perfect if it stays slightly cooler than the temperatures we have been seeing lately, but dry. That is my wish for the next few weeks.

We have someone on the island preparing and delivering lunch to us everyday. Donna kindly offered to lend me her shelter. I had initially asked her for it as we needed some shade from the intense sun we have been experiencing. However, yesterday it was in order to keep dry, lol.
It was great to get it set up on the deck.

Lindy arrived from Texas yesterday, and it was so nice to meet her. Our other participants went straight to their B and B, so I am excited to meet them this morning.

Lots has happened since my last post here, but I have been adding pictures and updates to my facebook page, Pams Cob House.

The building inspector came on Thursday and gave us permission to move ahead with building the cob walls. This was great news as Rudi has been working so hard building the drystack foundation.

Here in BC the building code requires we have a concrete footing with rebar in it. We also had to bolt upright posts to the footing. These posts run up through the drystack foundation and the cob walls and are all connected to a wooden ring that runs around the top of the wall. This is for seismic protection and strength.
Building the drystack around these posts was a challenge as you can imagine, but I was lucky to find someone who could do it for me.

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity as the straw was delivered, and the sand arrived.

 I found some recycled windows while I was over in Mission and was so lucky to discover that Mayne Island Home Hardware have a truck that visits the mainland every week and they will pick things up over there and bring them back to the island. What a gift. I met them in Langley, where there were six arched windows I found on craigslist, and we loaded up all my fourteen windows and they drove them back to Mayne for me. I am so grateful to Amanda at the Insurance office here on Mayne, as she told me about this service. That is the beauty of a small island community, everyone is so helpful and supportive.
Yesterday on site we wanted to arrange for a bobcat to come  and do a huge mix of cob for us so we could concentrate on building the walls and not just doing the foot mixes. Fred Bennett, who delivered the sand, suggested he bring the small excavator instead of the bobcat, and this offered us a solution to another problem we had.
Inside the drystack foundation, we have to infill up to the floor level and this is a huge job. When Fred brings his excavator, he can take down a section of a soil wall and put it straight into the middle of the floor area. This wall has to be removed anyway as it is in the way of where we need to put three post footings for upright posts that will support the roof.

So we asked Rudi to leave a section of the foundation unfinished to allow the machine to deposit the fill into the inner space. This will save us so much labour and I am so grateful, I can't wait until Monday to see what occurs. Once this huge job is finished, Rudi will return to finish the last piece of drystack.

Today we plan to visit the Mayne Island Farmers Market, Thrift Store and Recycling Depot and mix some cob manually.