|Early morning at SLAM. All ready for the cob to go on!|
These kids stomped, rolled, jumped, mixed, and made cob like nothing before. We were soon coming dangerously close the the end of our clay supply. A quick run back to the stockpile at O.U.R. Ecovillage ensured that things kept rolling. What first seemed to be a big goal for one day turned into a bench very quickly. By 2:00, when the festival got underway, people were able to come by and see a clear bench taking shape.
We were lucky to have Sol Crawford on the lead building team. Sol had spent many hours and days working on the original design for the community space, and there was nothing like having him there to be involved with its evolution in real time. He had some great ideas and really carried a lot of the project through.
|Community bench at the end of the festival.|
Some of the greatest moments in public building events are when the public actually gets involved. Watching people go from spectator to participant is so rewarding, and such a big part to why we do this.
SLAM was definitely not short of people who started out scratching their heads and ended up hosing themselves off. Sometimes it starts with someone watching from a distance, wondering what it is that we are up to. Then they come a little closer and actually ask a few questions. We place cob in their hands, and they still don't quite know what to do with it. They watch and ask a bit more. Then, all of a sudden there is another set of hands pushing and poking more cob onto the structure. Then it becomes hard for them to walk away, and we have accomplished one of the goals we set out to achieve. Those who get involved become aware of something innate within themselves, something that makes them feel alive and empowered. Building with the Earth is something that each and every one of us shares within our heritage. People walk away with a new sense of pride, and a sense of shared accomplishment and ownership of something they will get to enjoy for a long time to come. We have truly given back to the people when we give them skills and experience.
SLAM was intended to bring the community of Shawnigan Lake out of their homes and together in the neighbourhood. Along with the bench building, there was music, food, dancing, and plenty of mingling. Neighbours met and friendships grew. People loved it and had a great time! We hope that people will use the space to both gather socially and to wait for the bus. I also hope to see more of you out there next year when the community does it again! Again, thanks to all who participated and made this come together.
~Stay tuned for more updates as the roof goes up and the plaster goes on.