Clay room workshop was organised in collaboration with my University and The Natural Building Company. (There is something special to me about the company, as Paul Lynch, the head of the organisation, comes from Limerick, and not only that, but also my good friend Beth used to live in the house where Paul grew up. To hear the Irish brogue and the sarky jokes after being away for a few months was a balm for the soul.)
It was actually another lovely guy, Charlie, who was leading the workshop in the studio. The idea was to build a space, using natural breathable materials within the concrete walls of a former nuclear research lab that our studios used to be.
Clay is a locally sources, 100% recyclable and waste-free material. It purifies the air by absorbing and releasing moisture according to the changing conditions of a space.
Sampo, our technician, built the wooden frame before hand, disassembled it, brought it into the space and put together again. Around 30 cm was left around the structure for access to the radiators and fire safety. Inbetween the wooden planks, there were reed blocks. At the start, the outside of it looked like this:
Charlie showed us how to put together the ready-mix (clay and sand) and straw to make the paste to work with. Us four girls did some hard-core mixing.