Clay Culture: Plasters, Paints and Preservation begins with the history of Taos, New Mexico, where earthen architecture remains a building block of culture. Many of the 280 black-and-white photographs are historic and illustrate the simplicity of old techniques and the role they play in a sustainable lifestyle.
With hopes of shifting the conversation from "how-to" to "what next," Clay Culture offers thirty years worth of experience and information about building, repairing, and finishing walls with abundant, natural clay. During these shifting times, it's crucial to understand ways of providing shelter without a bank loan. It is only recently that we have forgotten how to take good care of ourselves without shopping. Models are a way to begin, and a great way to test local clay.
Small compounds of numerous dwellings that catch water and grow food can support people more reliably than crashing stocks and bonds. With guidance from nature and simple means, "living situations"-that people actually enjoy living in-can be built. Traditional materials are perfect for utilizing sustainable design principles. This book offers a body of knowledge that will stimulate creative juices and help provide the confidence and understanding needed to use clay, sand, straw, binders, and pigments in buildings and art projects.
Smooth and delicious walls-glimmering with enough color to raise spirits and repel dust, absorbent enough to prevent mold and cold, and with acoustic values to make your ears smile- are not extravagant. Beauty is here for the taking, and the giving. An artistic offering is a totem to hope, a creative expression to balance the weight of the world.
About the Author
Carole Crews, an artist and builder from Taos, New Mexico, has played in the mud most of her life. By using earthen materials for artistic expression, she has developed techniques for making beautiful walls in the simplest ways possible, and hopes, through this book, to enable others to realize their own creative freedom and potential.