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Cord-wood studio construction

geo duncan

We're into September here in Alberta. With cooler temperatures on the way my thoughts have turned to gathering winters supply of firewood and sealing up the cabin and studio. The photo's shown below are from the beginning stages of construction. I will be posting current ones over the next couple of days.


I'm starting with the studio. Finishing the west cord-wood wall that remained unfinished for more than a year long. It wasn't a priority last year, the straw-bale part of the studio was given precedence. It feels good working on the cord-wood wall. It's a different pace than straw-bale. Your mood has to be right, patients is important, try to push it and bad things happen... uneven walls, rough finishing, mortar " a mix of 9 parts sand, 3 parts lime, 3 parts straw, 2 parts Portland" is too wet/too dry. Worst of all rushing does not speed the process, I know I have tried. What it does do is create frustration tipping toward anger. Best to put on the music, get your hands in the mud and find the rhythm. A nice part of cord-wood construction is that you are doing 4 different things at the same time... building a wall, insulating it with sawdust, finishing interior/exterior surfaces. A big part of cord-wood construction is log selection. Remember your both your interior and exterior walls will be exposed when complete. Whatever placement both logs and glass bottles will be what you see for as long as you live or as long as you life in the space. You want to make it as appealing as possible.