In our winter lull, we’ve been tackling a lot of projects at White Oak’s home base, the common house. Our new pantry and reupholstered cushions are just the beginning – this week we decided to take on the office. There are some cracks in cob and plaster that have developed over the years, and we’re particularly obsessed with thwarting the mice that have bored holes in some places. On Tuesday we mixed up a simple batch of cob, three parts clay to one part sand, and added a little chopped straw and water as we saw fit. The beauty of earthen construction really comes out for simple repairs like this, the materials are incredibly easy to come by and are just as easy to apply. We stuffed the cracks and holes with a drier mixture of cob, and used a brush to apply a wet mixture to fill hairline cracks and even out transitions between cob and existing plaster.

Up next: finishing the office paint job. Stay tuned!

Cob repairSarah Shea applying a wet mix of cob with a brush.

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