The Seed House

 100_1968 After 4 long years, the end is in sight.

It’s been a long road and a long time coming since we (I) decided that there needed to be a little building with a greenhouse attached to it up on the top of the hill, maybe around that weird old cracked slab that is there.

Just a little bit ago, I was infused with a golden burst of radiant energy that i was able to channel into the finishing of the inside of the seed house.


actually it was Leah asking me if we would be able to get the Seedhouse finished before winter.

So we did it.

the final layer actually uses a couple handfuls of cat tail fluff with 50% blue clay (that had been gathered nearby from an extremely clean vein), screened through 1/8″ window screen and 50% white “mason sand” from a local supplier. i had some trouble getting the cat tail fluff to break up into the water using only my hands but have since gotten a large paddle mixer and D-handled slow speed drill.

a story i heard once is that cat tail fluff was used in WWII as life preserver flotation filling for US pilots (maybe others too), because it floats. I dare you to submerge a handful of it. Only once it gets mixed with the clay and sand it gets “wet”? and turns to cob into a sludgy mass that reminded me of the goo in the bottom of the giant grease trap in the floor of the washroom where i washed dishes for a buffet restaurant when i was 16, only it didn’t smell nearly as bad.

i skimmed the bench top with a wide plaster knife.

it was truly amazing to see the almost glass smooth surface appear behind the knife.

till this point we had only been using our hands on the final layer, which leaves a flat but textured surface. it reminds me of old worn crumbling sandstone.


the picture clarity isn’t great, sorry. the darker areas are the 3rd coating of boiled linseed oil which is being increasingly cut with turpentine. it is generally used on floors and is said to “tighten” the surface so that someone wearing stiletto heels can walk on it and not leave marks. Not that anyone should be doing that any time soon.

Even with only 3 of the 5 coats planned, the surface is wonderful to sit on, especially when it’s warm.


the west door has been plaguing my mind for months now, years really. not knowing exactly how thick the final layers of cob would be had an effect upon how the door trim went on. I had all these drawings for milling up this crooked ass piece of tulip poplar that bounced around in the back of the carpentry trailer I worked out of for the 3 months I was with a roofing company. I could never see how it would fit sweetly and simply together. Once the final layer was on the walls, I had no more excuses and not having an adequate table saw to mill something, I just went with the boards as what they were. the golden and dark brown boards are 2×6″ tongue and groove floor boards salvaged from an old farm house in town years ago. The trim floats above wall itself. linear meets mud. across the top, I slapped this curved 1/4″ slice of aspen that came out of a curved log that will be braces in THE HOUSE. I went over the door and the floor boards with the linseed soaked sponge and the colors seemed to really pop out of the wood.

when i get the camera worked out and it stops raining, i’ll get better pictures and post them onto the flickr

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