Sculpted Cob Wall
in a Straw Bale House

Sarah Machtey (the artist) doesn't have a website quite yet. In the meantime please enjoy this page... and follow the links down at the bottom, too.


A trip backwards.


This wall was sculpted out of cob—a mixture of sand, clay and straw. Stones were embedded for visual effect, as well as to make a kick plate and niche bottoms. Coats of aliz (decorative earthen slip) might be applied over the cob in the future. The whole balustrade assembly is going to be replaced with unmilled-wood balusters and handrail. The wall is in a strawbale duplex in the Ecovillage at Ithaca, New York. You can contact the sculptor, Sarah Machtey, by emailing mudhome[@]netzero[.]net (remove the brackets around the @ and the dot).

A composite of half-a-dozen shots taken from the circular balcony overlooking the wall.

This niche doubles as a "truth window." (Strawbale houses often have truth windows to prove that the walls really are straw.)





The wall above the sculpting has a scratch coat of lime-stabilized earth plaster. (Remember, this photo series is going in reverse.)













Graham, the homeowner, before Sarah began sculpting the wall.



For more information, contact Sarah Machtey by emailing mudhome[@]netzero[.]net (remove the brackets around the @ and the dot). Sarah also worked on this one, has had natural building adventures in Argentina, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Vermont, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and more.




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