This is my second year attending the colloquium. I will continue going each year until there's no more oil to get me there. And then maybe I'll ride a horse. Or something.
I followed Laura Bartels around like a little puppy while she shared her vast plastering knowledge with us. Working mostly on the guest cabin, I earthen plastered over lathe, did second coat plaster over first coat, and did a very strawy exterior plaster over which cladding will be installed. I also paid close attention while Joshua Klyber led us through the basics of clay- and lime-based paints. I think I'm ready to get plastering at my own house, if I can find a proper source of sand here in the big city.
Highlights of the trip included:
- Blowing a tire on the trailer and learning how to replace it with my new friend Kylie
- The lighting of the sacred fire that burned for the week
- Sunrise ceremonies and drumming circles
- The strawbale/sod surround muffling the noise of the generator (thank you, Frank)
- Spending lots of time making and applying plaster, and watching how it changed the look and feel of the guest cabin
- Ed Raduazo's bamboo basket playhouse for kids
- Watching Sarah Highland gently and expertly guide participants into the heretofore rarified world of timberframing
- Checking out the ceremonial building and watching it get a new green roof
- Walking around the Peaceweaver farm, marvelling at the land and the things growing on it
- How the dragon oven was replaced, first with a boob, and then with a sea turtle, through the whimsical talents of Sunray Kelly
- The creation of a strawbale spiral structure, meant to house a solar shower
- Singing with Deanne Bednar, whose excellent harmonies belie her expertise as thatcher, cobber and illustrator
- Watching Joe Jenkins and his son Orion lead attendees in transforming the roof of the oven into a slate masterpiece
- Meeting and working with people of such generosity and curiosity, spending time with friends new and old
- Singing with Frank, especially contributing harmonies to his signature tune "I like to pee outside"
- Knitting, dancing, wrestling, eating, exploring hug technology, swimming in the pond, singing singing singing
- Playing guitar while Janice played banjo and Kevin played more guitar
- Participating in the timberframe raising
- A double-ended hug circle; innovation!