Many feet make light work

Many feet make light work

Earthen Built by Kata Polano

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Mar 24, 2010

OUR Love Nest - Summer, 2008

Between the two greenhouses is where the Love Nest makes it's home.

There sat a bench. It was cold, sad, and unfinished. There had been big dreams for this bench to be a beautiful part of the garden. It was to also be a heat sink for the beds behind it. It was started, and a lot of hands loved it and sang and built. And then it sat. Two months passed...

We, at OUR Ecovillage, were preparing for a cob workshop. There were many hands, and more to come. The garden bench was to be loved again! I got the honour of making sure this happened. Participants showed up and I took some of them around to search for interesting artifacts that could possibly be made a part of the structure. The flow really got going with a few sketches, the expansion of the stone footings, and the addition of the four cedar posts. The simple bench was fast becoming a cozy little garden nook!

The ladies that stuck with the project for the length of the workshop were a lot of fun, and we got so much built in just the few days they were there. I hope they have continued to get their feet dirty!

Later we had a PDC (permaculture design course) and were able to start on the finish plaster, with many artistic features from a variety of collaborators. Brandy came up with some sweet little red heart-shaped glass pieces, and on one of my walks around the property I stumbled upon a fallen birds' nest. The Garden Bench soon became known as the Love Nest. We had a beautiful salmon coloured clay on hand, so I opted to use it as our base, adding a bit of orange pigment, getting the playful colour of the finish coat. I also used some lighter alizes to create just the right amount of contrast to some key areas. The walls got a weather seal and the bench got a few good coats of linseed oil for durability.
This was a very fun and inspiring project, being my first big project that I got to co-lead with Elke Cole. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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