Earthen Builds

By Tallgrass Vernacular

Rogue Cottage Gallery

Rogue Cottage, Pacific Northwestern United States 2014-2016

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Although I have worked on a number of Cottages and small structures, this is the first structure that I designed and built. It was constructed in the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon over the course of 2 ½ building seasons. I harvested all the clay and aggregate by hand, fell the majority of the trees used for beams and rafters and peeled them with a draw knife, and sourced the foundation stones from the hills surrounding me. The cottage is 200 round feet (roomier than square feet) to appease local building code in the county it was constructed. This cottage was built for a good friend who supported me while I learned. I consider this project the equivalent to a master’s thesis while waiting to construct dissertation and live in it myself here in the Loess Hills of Iowa.

Elk Mt. Highland Games

Bench at Elk Mountain Highland Games, Wimer, Oregon 2015

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This bench was built as a cob building demonstration at the Elk Mountain Highland Games and May Day Festival in Wimer, Oregon. It overlooks a playground for the local education cooperative.

New Earth Farm

Chicken Coop at New Earth Farm, Papillion, NE 2015

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This was a workshop hosted by New Earth Farm in Papillion, Nebraska to demonstrate strawbale and cob techniques. We built the majority of the structure during a very hot July weekend and I finished up some details the following weeks. Finish Plaster and Earthen Floor are still pending. Several of photos in this set were taken by Britni Mecham of Bird Cage Collaborative.

Bench at Aprovecho

Bench at Aprovecho, Cottage Grove, Oregon 2012

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This cob bench was my first natural building project and still stands in the driveway of Aprovecho School of Natural Building and Permaculture in Cottage Grove, Oregon. My teacher Chris Foraker let me stay an extra week after class was dismissed to finish my independent project and put a finish plaster on this bench.