Earthen Plasters

PlasterThembuland                 plaster               Mopti

In recent years great strides have been made in the field of earthen plastering, which is the essential layer of protection of a building.

In South Africa we are moving towards the solutions of the old female and male master builders.

In a recent building project, through an old master, Herbert Arendse in Mamre, Western Cape, we rediscovered a long used lime dung plaster recipe, which Arendse learnt from his grandfather.

The constituents are one part hydrated lime; one and a fifth part three day old cow dung which is still wet, (preferred for its enzymes which give the binding properties and its fibre which strengthens); one and a fifth parts slip made with earth rich in clay; four parts smooth fine sand; and water.

There are as many plasters as there are earth or building sites.  Read this analysis of Earthen Plasters by Peter McIntosh. 

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Materials and Methodologies