Millie and I went on an eight hour drive over to Saskatchewan a few months back for a clay plaster workshop with Dirt Craft. We have been looking for a way to cover our walls in a fairly original, natural, and non toxic way and have decided on clay plaster. The problem is the cost. If you have someone come in to apply clay plaster it usually ends up between $6 to $10 a square foot. We are not willing to pay that much so I was going to do it myself. Millie told me I couldn’t just go ahead and do it and signed me up for a hands on workshop. She then reconsidered letting me go alone and signed up for it as well.
I’d like to say it was because she likes spending time with me but in reality it was because she didn’t want me stretching the truth about how to do things. (AKA she wanted to know when I was lying about what’s important and what’s not).
The workshop was great as we finished the inside walls of a straw bale home. We also did clay paint which is nice but we don’t like it nearly as much as the clay plaster.
Millie took copious notes and is now the professional clay plasterer herself. Here are a few pictures of the event.
Ashley and Heather from Dirt Craft were great. I gather that their philosophy with the courses they put on is “Learning by doing”. It was nice to actually apply product to a real house.
Here’s a video of Ashley teaching us how to apply the plaster.
The video above shows the compression process that is done after the clay is applied and dried.
In the course we went through making our own recipes of clay that can be used as an alternative to American Clay which is the Cadillac of the clay plaster product. We will probably do the make your own clay for most of the house. Maybe a few showcase walls will get the good stuff.
It’s been a few months since we did this course and now I’m questioning all that I learned in the course. I’m thinking now I’ll probably either offer a course here at our place and have a bunch of amateurs come and do all the work or I’ll get Ashley to come down and work with me. In either case we were pretty happy with the hands on class and we are sold on using clay plaster in our home.