Monday, 8 November 2010

Wattle and Daub

I mentioned a while ago that one of the old walls of the new office is made of stuff. This stuff is wattle and daub of indeterminate age, covered with more modern (but still of indeterminate age) layers of concrete and chaux.

Wattle and daub. The wattles are the thin straps of
wood, into which daub is pressed. Our daub is a mixture
of mud, straw, and animal hair, all of which could just be
stable scrapings.
This week we will start the process of rendering the old wattle and daub as well as the internal stone walls. We are starting with one of the walls of the office and the one wall of the staircase to make them pierres vues. Today we have to scrape out a lot of the gunk (mainly mud) in between the stones and then clean the existing stonework, which we have been warned will create dust the like of which we have not seen before. Tomorrow Stéphane will be filling the resulting spaces with a mixture of chaux and coloured sand so only the faces of the larger stones are visible. The chaux is CAEB90, an aerated slaked (hydrated) lime, which is traditionally used to render solid stone walls which need to breathe.

This wall is to become pierres vues.
More dust than we have seen before. We can hardly wait.

Simon

3 comments:

Leon and Sue Sims said...

You guys are amazing - its like biting off more than you can chew and chew like mad before you choke.
Love the work you're doing.
I cringe at replacing a weatherboard on our timber home.
Leon

Tim said...

Interesting.... we were informed by our mason that... "pierre a vue" is the one that is deep cut and requires a lot of dusting and "pierre apparent" is the one with the stones just showing through a brushed of layer of mortar... now I'm really confused!

There's nice looking strips of chestnut in your 'torchie'.... bit I would put a glass frame round that bit at top right that shows the wattle, daub and cross-member so well.... purely as a historical talking point!

Simon said...

Leon and Sue. It's exactly like you say - except it feels like we take another bite before swallowing...

Tim. I think the terms are usually used interchangeably. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that in some places the usage is reversed